Northwest Medical Center of Benton County

Northwest Medical Center of Benton County

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Northwest Medical Center of Benton County is the newest and most modern hospital located in Bentonville, Arkansas. The tertiary care facility is a part of Northwest Health System and offers a full range of healthcare services to the communities of northwest Arkansas, southwest Missouri and northeast Oklahoma.Northwest Medical Center was opened in 2003 as a replacement hospital for Bates Medical Center, which was established in 1942 as Benton County’s first hospital. The key services of the new 125-bed facility include cardiac services, cardiac catheterization, cardiac rehabilation, open heart surgery, neurosurgery, digital imaging, orthopedics, women's and children's care, and senior services.The hospital features Arkansas' first completely digital imaging department. A separate, on-site women's diagnostic center offers digital mammography, bone density and ultrasound testing. Opened in 2004, it houses the outpatient ambulatory surgery center and a variety of medical offices and clinics.Aside from their childbirth classes, the medical center has aquatic programs, strength training, and volunteer programs.Northwest Medical Center of Benton County is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO).

Judge orders mental evaluation in Springdale murder case

Joshua Lee Anderson, 25, Garfield, Benton County, capital murder

BENTONVILLE -- A judge Tuesday ordered a mental evaluation of a Garfield man accused of killing a 2-year-old girl.

Joshua Lee Anderson, 25, is charged with capital murder, and, if convicted, faces life imprisonment without the benefit of parole of a death sentence.

He's accused of killing Sephylia Fuls, who prosecutors say died Sept. 4, 2018, of blunt force trauma. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Defense attorneys filed a motion last week requesting a mental evaluation. Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren granted the request.

The evaluation will be at the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock. The evaluation will determine whether Anderson is criminally responsible in the case and whether he's mentally fit to stand trial.

A mental status hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 10.

Anderson was the boyfriend of Sephylia's mother.

Springdale police were called at 8:44 p.m. Sept. 4, 2018, to the Chapel Ridge Apartments by firefighters after the girl was unresponsive, according to a police statement after the initial report of the girl's death.

She was pronounced dead at Northwest Medical Center-Springdale.

The child's mother, Veronica McCoy, told police she returned to the apartment from a trip to a convenience store and found Anderson holding Sephylia's 5-year-old brother and accusing the boy of hitting her, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Anderson told investigators a different story, including the brother pushed the girl. Sephylia's two brothers -- the other was 3 years old -- were interviewed at the Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County. Those interviews implicated Anderson, according to the affidavit.

A child abuse specialist pediatrician at Arkansas Children's Hospital determined the girl died as a result of physical abuse, according to the affidavit.

Anderson is also charged in another case with aggravated assault, battery, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental operations. Anderson is accused of having a machete and chasing another man, according to court documents.

Anderson is being held without bond in the Benton County Jail.

Tracy M. Neal can be reached by email at [email protected] or Twitter @NWATracy.


Agriculture and dairying, logging, lumbering, granite quarrying and manufacturing have been active industries in the past. The timber and granite supplies have been depleted, so the lumber and granite industries have become defunct. The economy was based mainly on agriculture and dairy farming for many years. In recent years, industrial parks have been established in Sauk Rapids, Foley, and Rice to attract industry to the county. A large expansion project is in progress at the St. Regis Paper Mill in Sartell.

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County (CAC) opened January 10th, 2000 to provide a safe place to serve sexually and physically abused children in a supportive child-friendly environment. At the CAC abused children and their families can receive the support needed to deal with the abuse. We are available to serve all Benton County child abuse victims under age 18 after a report has been made to the child abuse hotline.

  • A child-friendly and non-threatening environment
  • Trained forensic interviewers (bilingual services available)
  • Specialized Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and an on-site medical exam room
  • Child advocates to assess family needs and provide follow-up, support, and referral services
  • On-site counselors available to meet with the child and non-offending family members
  • All services at no charge to the family

According to the National Children’s Alliance: “The collaborative child-focused approach of a Children’s Advocacy Center ensures that children are not further victimized by the systems intended to protect them.”

Welcome to Benton County, Indiana History and Genealogy

Benton County Courthouse in Fowler, Indiana

This Site is Available for Adoption


This county was named in honor of Thomas H. Benton, a Missouri senator.

The surface of the county may he described by saying, that it is one grand continuous prairie, being an extension of the grand Illinois prairie. The soil is exceedingly fertile. Many parts were originally very wet but a system of drainage has been adopted which will ultimately result in bringing nearly all the surface into cultivation. Pine creek is the only stream worthy of mention. It runs southerly, and empties its waters into the Wabash river.

The northern portion of the county is watered by tributaries of the Iroquois river. Stock raising is one of the principal industries of the county.

The county is excellently adapted to grazing, and some of the finest droves of cattle produced in the west are annually shipped from this county to the eastern markets.

Oxford, formerly the county seat, is situated in the southeastern part of the county, and on a high prominence overlooking the surrounding country. Although not a very large town, it is rapidly developing, and will soon become an important commercial center. Its schools are well provided with suitable buildings and efficient teachers, and are in a state of prosperity. The schools of the county, for the most part, are equal to the average. Oxford has good railroad outlets, being situated on the LaFayette, Muncie and Bloomington railroad, and is within two miles of the junction of this road with the C. L & 0. Railroad, for Chicago and Cincinnati.

Fowler, the present county seat, was first laid out in February, 1872 by Moses Fowler and Adams Earl, Esqrs., of LaFayette. Originally covering a plat one-half mile square, it has since been increased to one mile square. It is situated exactly in the center of the county, and on the Cincinnati, LaFayette and Chicago railroad, or what is popularly called the Kankakee Route. The county seat was removed from Oxford and located here in 1874, after a bitter legal litigation with the former place.

The first court was held in December, 1874, in the new and elegant court house, mainly built by private means and enterprise. The town is improving rapidly, and already possesses a number of prominent business firms, a bank doing a thriving business, a fine hotel a newspaper office, a large and commodious graded school building, and two church edifices.

Earl Park, located northwest of Fowler, on the same road, is another fast growing town. This town was laid out by Adams Earl and A. D. Raub, Esqrs., and bids fair to take rank with the foremost towns of this section of the State The streets are beautifully hid out and graded they are eighty feet wide, and have a row of line shade trees bordering on each side and through the center, a feature rarely met with in the west, and which will ultimately render these streets beautiful and pleasant beyond description.

Benton County is divided into 11 Civil Townships as follows:
Bolivar, Center, Gilboa, Grant, Hickory Grove, Oak Grove, Parish Grove, Pine, Richland, Union and York.

Benton County was organized February 18, 1840.Fowler has not always been the County Seat. May of 1843 that a County Seat was selected and called Milroy in honor of one of the first commissioners, but Indiana already had a town of that name, so the County Seat was renamed Oxford which was first settled in 1847 by H. T. Howard. In 1871, the town of Fowler was laid out and on March 20, 1873, the Courthouse at Oxford was condemned, precipitating a battle between the two towns.

On July 10, 1874, the County Seat was moved to Fowler, which has held the distinction ever since.


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Benton County

The Tennessee General Assembly created Benton County on December 19, 1835, from portions of Humphreys and Henry Counties. Officials organized the county in February 1836 in a small log cabin at the site of a local post office in what is now West Camden. Initially, the county name honored Thomas Hart Benton, a leading Jacksonian Democrat, but in 1852 the state legislature approved an act that retained the original name but honored “David Benton, an old and respected citizen” of the county.

The county lies partially in the western valley of the Tennessee River and partially in the plateau of West Tennessee. Its eastern boundary is the Tennessee River, whose shoreline includes a part of Kentucky Lake. The northernmost section of the county is hilly, with deep, broad valleys numerous steep bluffs overlook the river. Near the village of Eva is Pilot Knob, one of the highest elevations in West Tennessee at some 650 feet above sea level. Otherwise the county is topographically rolling and heavily forested.

The county has a considerable prehistory at the time of its first settlement by blacks and whites, the Chickasaws claimed the area as a hunting range and maintained a few scattered habitations. Following the Jackson Purchase, settlers from Virginia, the Carolinas, and other eastern states arrived. Black settlers generally came as bondsmen of the whites, although several free blacks lived in the county during the antebellum period.

Benton County remains essentially a rural entity with several small towns and villages. Named for Camden, South Carolina, the site of a Revolutionary War battle, the county seat of Camden was established in 1836 on the high ground above Cane Creek, a tributary of the Tennessee River. The courthouse occupies the center of the public square, though in recent years businesses have moved to the west and northwest sections of the town. Benton County’s first banking institution, the Camden Bank and Trust Company, opened in 1889. Benton County supports two radio stations and an airport, and Camden has several churches, factories, and financial institutions. U.S. Highway 70 and U.S. 641 provide transportation links for Camden and Benton County. Located twenty miles south of the town, Interstate 40 can be reached via U.S. 641.

Big Sandy, named for the river on which it borders, owes its existence to local railroad development from about 1860. Its present incorporation dates from 1903. This prosperous rural town enjoyed considerable growth from the area’s extensive tourism. Within a radius of forty miles, there are thirty-five resorts, restaurants, and boat docks.

Eva, a village named for Eva Steele, was originally known as Bartlett’s Switch and began as a result of railroad development. Eva faces Kentucky Lake and provides a small river craft landing and a park. These attractions, along with the town’s proximity to Nathan B. Forrest State Historical Area and to Lakeshore, the United Methodist campground, make it attractive to tourists and local citizens.

Locked in the hills of northern Benton County, the village of Faxon was established in 1881 and named for its postmaster, George B. Faxon. It is located on the Bass Bay Road, seven miles east of Big Sandy several fishing facilities are located nearby.

Holladay, a village fifteen miles south of Camden in the rolling landscape of Birdsong Valley, began as a small settlement in the 1840s but had its firm beginning in 1887 with the establishment of a post office honoring the village’s principal merchant, John M. Holladay. One of the county’s most notable schools, the Holladay Independent Normal, operated there.

Principal county loyalty rested with the Confederacy during the Civil War, although a firm, but subdued Unionist element existed in the county. Troops under General Nathan Bedford Forrest destroyed the large supply depot at Johnsonville, across the river from Pilot Knob, in November 1864 in a notable engagement. In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps expanded upon an earlier local historic park at Pilot Knob to create the Nathan B. Forrest State Park.

Tennessee took a leading role among the southern states in the passage of woman suffrage when the state legislature enacted a limited suffrage bill on April 17, 1919. Five days later, Mary Cordelia Beasley-Hudson of Benton County cast the first female ballot in the state in the Camden municipal election.

Politically the county has been overwhelmingly Democratic throughout its history. It was the birthplace of Thomas C. Rye, governor of Tennessee, 1914-18.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) changed the eastern landscape of the county and improved cultural life. The TVA attracted a small, but consistent, industrial development and boosted the local economy. Electrical power is distributed by the Benton County Board of Public Utilities in Camden.

Benton County has always had a strong religious commitment. The earliest congregation organized the Cypress Creek Baptist Church in November 1821. County denominations include Baptist, United Methodist, Church of Christ, Pentecostal, and Roman Catholic.

The Camden Chronicle, established in 1890, embodies the best local newspaper traditions, reporting county events and boosting economic development. The Benton County Library organized in 1942. Led for three decades by Ruth Priestley Lockhart, the library developed into one of the foremost small libraries in the state. The Benton County Genealogical Society, chartered in July 1986, has been active in the preservation of the county’s heritage and its public and private records. The county is well served by a general hospital in Camden and several medical practitioners. Its 2000 population was 16,537.

Benton County Historical Society

The Benton County Historical Society (BCHS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, publishing, and otherwise preserving and disseminating the history of Benton County. The BCHS arose from a June 22, 1954, meeting of twenty-six people at the Masonic Youth Center in Rogers (Benton County). The records preserved over the years show that the attendees came from all townships of the county. At this meeting, temporary officers of the yet unnamed group were elected as follows: J. Wesley Sampier (chairman), Ray Henry and Louise Plank (vice chairs), and Huey Huhn (secretary/treasurer). These temporary officers had to nominate a slate of officers and draw up a constitution and by-laws. Word of mouth and notices in the newspapers promoted the first public meeting, which took place on October 5, 1954, at the Benton County Courthouse. The first permanent elected officers included Alvin Seamster (president), Vera Key (vice president), Sabra Davis (second vice president), and Huey Huhn (secretary/treasurer).

In September 1955, the first issue of the Benton County Pioneer was published. The lives of the earliest settlers were preserved in family stories, but the focus was soon broadened to include events occurring up to the present. Another concern of the early BCHS was to place markers at the locations of important historical events. In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill establishing what is now Pea Ridge National Military Park, and the BCHS sponsored the Pea Ridge Memorial Association in January 1961 as a means of raising money for memorial services each year at the anniversary of the Battle of Pea Ridge. Other historical sites marked in Benton County include Old Telegraph Road, Dunagin’s Farm, Eagle Hotel, Potts’ Hill, Camp Walker, McKissick’s Springs, Camp Stephens, Elm Springs, War Eagle Mills, Cross Hollows, the site of the Skirmish at Maysville, and Osage Mills.

Revenues from the sales of publications other than the Pioneer, along with membership fees, have funded the other activities of BCHS, including the society’s publishing program. The Obituaries of Benton County, Arkansas by Barbara P. Easley and Verla P. McAnelly are BCHS bestsellers. Other popular publications are reprints such as the 1962 Pioneer issue dedicated to the Battle of Pea Ridge and Goodspeed’s History of Benton County, Arkansas, as well as new publications such as the Skirmishes around Bentonville and Sugar Creek.

Following the first public meeting in October 1954, BCHS began a decades-long era of meetings at different locations. On December 2, 1991, the BCHS board accepted an offer to have a permanent home at the Peel Mansion Museum. The actual move to the new location occurred in May 1994. Two groups ultimately ended up using the facility: the Northwest Arkansas Genealogical Society and BCHS. Some years later, the Benton County Cemetery Preservation Group moved into the same building. BCHS moved from the Peel Mansion Museum in 2005 to take residence on the lower level of the conference center at Compton Gardens. In late 2008, a structure believed to be the 1866 Bentonville (Benton County) school was discovered encased within a house scheduled for demolition. The Peel/Compton Foundation purchased the property and donated it to the BCHS for a permanent home.

For additional information:
Benton County History. Rogers: Benton County Heritage Committee, 1991.

Warden, Don. “Celebrating a Half Century of Preserving Benton County History.” Benton County Pioneer 49 (Third Quarter 2004): 17, 19.

Benton County, Mississippi

Benton County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 8,729. Its county seat is Ashland. Local lore has it that residents convinced the post-Civil War Reconstruction government that Benton County was to be named for US Senator Thomas Hart Benton, but the name actually honored Confederate Brigadier General Samuel Benton from nearby Holly Springs.

Benton County is included in the Memphis, TN-MS-AR Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Benton County Name

Benton is named for US Senator from Missouri Thomas Hart Benton. Thomas Hart Benton nicknamed "Old Bullion" (March 14, 1782 - April 10, 1858), was a US Senator from Missouri and a staunch advocate of westward expansion of the United States. He served in the Senate from 1821 to 1851, becoming the first member of that body to serve five terms. Benton was an architect and champion of westward expansion by the United States, a cause that became known as Manifest Destiny.


Benton County History

Benton County is another Mississippi county organized during the reconstruction times, being organized from parts of Marshall and Tippah counties, July 15, 1870, during the administration of Governor Alcorn. Its name honors the memory of General Samuel Benton, who was killed in the War for Southern Independence at the battle of Ezra Church, near Atlanta, July 28, 1864. Its early annals are identical with those of the region from which its territory was carved.

Ashland, the county seat, is situated at the center of the county and is a small incorporated village of 200 inhabitants, named for the home of Henry Clay. Besides Ashland, there are a number of other small towns in the county, the more important of which are Lamar and Michigan City on the Illinois Central railroad and Hickory Flat and Winborn on the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham division of the San Francisco & St. Louis system. The Illinois Central line cuts across the northwestern corner of Benton County, and the latter railroad through its southwestern corner. Ashland, the county seat, has no railroad connection.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 409 square miles (1,058 km 2 ), of which, 407 square miles (1,054 km 2 ) of it is land and 2 square miles (5 km 2 ) of it (0.46%) is water.

The headwaters of the Wolf River meander and braid their way north and west across northern Benton County from Baker's Pond, the river's source spring (highest origin of continuous flow) in the Holly Springs National Forest approximately 1 mile southwest of where US Highway 72 passes into Tippah County, Mississippi. The Wolf passes into Fayette County, Tennessee between Michigan City (on the Mississippi side) and La Grange, Tennessee.

Benton County is located in the southeastern portion of Washington state at the confluence of the Columbia, Snake, and Yakima rivers. The land, part of the semi-arid Columbia Basin, lies in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains and is naturally dry. But the soil is fertile and supports native plants such as bunch grasses and sagebrush. This vegetation in turn supported the deer and elk that Native Americans hunted, and later, the cattle and sheep of non-Indian settlers. Irrigation began in the 1890s with water drawn from the Columbia River. Farm crops then flourished, including wheat, alfalfa, grapes, strawberries, and potatoes. That same Columbia River was one factor that caused the federal government to choose Benton County for a secret wartime plant, the Hanford Works, that would develop plutonium for the atomic bomb. After the war, Congress created the Atomic Energy Commission, which took over operation of the 600-square-mile Hanford Atomic Reservation, and work continued on government projects that included the use of nuclear energy to generate electricity. Today the county's two main industries are nuclear power and agriculture. Wineries are growing in importance.

Influx of Settlers

The first inhabitants were the Yakamas, Umatillas, Klickitats, and Wallulas. These native people fished for salmon and steelhead in the rivers, hunted elk and deer in the hills, and gathered seeds, roots, and berries. The "Indian Wars" of the 1850s involved some of these tribes, but the fighting took place in other parts of the state. After the wars were over and the tribes began to be settled on reservations, more large scale settlement by non-Indians began.

In 1858, a gold rush to British Columbia brought the first influx new settlers, as rushers traveled through on their way north. A ferry service developed in the northern end of the county in the area that would be known as White Bluffs. By the 1870s, ranchers occupied formerly empty spaces with large cattle herds. Ben Rosencrance homesteaded one of the first ranches near the mouth of the Yakima River where the future town of Richland would develop. John B. Schwitzler and Jade Schwitzler raised large herds of horses in the southern part of the county.

During the 1880s, steamboats and railroads connected what would become known as Kennewick to the other settlements along the Columbia River. The Northern Pacific built a new station in the western part of the county at the future Kiona, in 1888. Now that farmers could get their produce to market (the main crops were corn, wheat, alfalfa, potatoes, and fruit, especially apples), more were encouraged to settle in the area. Colonel William F. Prosser and his wife Flora settled in the western part of the county. Lewis Hinzerling built a flour mill nearby. In 1905, Benton County was carved out of the eastern portions of Yakima and Klickitat Counties. The new town that had grown up around Hinzerling mill, Prosser, was chosen as county seat.

Watering a Dry Land

Benton County has very little rainfall, and some farmers had been successful at dryland farming. Irrigation came to the county in the 1890s and brought many changes. The Yakima Irrigating and Improvement Company built the first canal in the 1890s. The canal carried water from the Yakima River to Kiona. The Northern Pacific Irrigation Company installed pumps and ditches to irrigate the Kennewick Highlands, to provide water for orchards, in the 1900s. In 1905, the Benton Water Company completed a canal from the Yakima River to north Richland. Pacific Power & Light was the company that supplied electricity for the irrigation pumps.

Once there was a reliable water source, orchards and vineyards sprung up all over the Kennewick area. Strawberries were another successful crop. Canals also fed Richland and White Bluffs. When electricity arrived in the 1910s, irrigation improved even more because electric pumps filled the canals.

In 1906, the Hanford Irrigation and Power Company was formed. The town of Hanford rose seven miles downriver from White Bluffs. In 1910, fire destroyed the business district but the town bounced right back with more businesses and farms.

Getting From Here To There

Water transportation provided regular passage of the mail and shipping goods to market. Regular ferry service connected White Bluffs with the rest of the state. Ferry service also connected the Plymouth area to Umatilla and other Oregon communities on the other side of the Columbia River.

Railroads brought more change to the county. In 1908, the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway completed a railroad along the north bank of the Columbia River at the southern part of the county near the town that would become known as Plymouth. Several miles down river, the small town of Paterson developed around the railroad station on the same route. The Oregon-Washington Railroad and Navigation Company decided to build a new railroad across the Yakima River from Kiona in 1907. The new community of Benton City sprang up around it. The railroad came to White Bluffs in 1912 and to Hanford in 1913.

Herbert A. Hover, president of the Kennewick Land Company, began promoting the acres of land southeast of Kennewick in anticipation of a big boom. Many families moved to this new development southeast of Kennewick, including George Finley. Both men would have communities named for them, as the small towns of Hover and Finley expanded in anticipation of a big building boom. However, the railroad chose another town for the terminal. Also a new bridge was built between Pasco and Kennewick. Both these events ended the boom in Hover and Finley.

Another development was the discovery of oil resources in the Rattlesnake Hills. The largest hill in this range, Rattlesnake Mountain, dominates the county landscape, with its highest peak reaching some 3,560 feet. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s various companies drilled in this area for oil and natural gas. There were no large findings and the Great Depression put an end to exploration.

In the western part of the county, Prosser was growing. Irrigated fields brought more farmers to the area. At the turn of the century, there were already numerous real estate offices, banks, and mercantile establishments. A permanent court house was built in 1926. Prosser boasted three newspapers, which were consolidated in the 1920s into the Prosser Record-Bulletin. Area farmers produced several varieties of apples with great success.

Growth in the county was slow but steady. During the Great Depression, many people lost their businesses. Plymouth became a ghost town. The railroad never did come to Benton City and the community shifted to an agricultural base. Irrigation changed the residents from sheep ranchers to orchardists. People were struggling to recover when along came World War II.

World War II and the Hanford Reservation

Early in the war years, the U. S. Army selected Pasco, across the river from Kennewick, for a new Army air base. A major shipping and warehouse facility was also built. Pasco couldn't handle the influx of people, so Richland and Kennewick provided housing. Many new businesses sprang up to support them as well. In the western part of the county, patriotic residents contributed enough money to build the new Prosser Memorial Hospital. But this boom turned out to be only the calm before the storm.

In 1942, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Manhattan District, surveyed the northern part of the county for a secret government project. In 1943, the government ordered everyone living in the town sites of Hanford and White Bluffs to evacuate. Shortly thereafter, a huge government construction project began, known only as the Manhattan Project. Thousands of people moved to the Eastern Washington desert. No one knew what they were building, just that it would help the war effort. Only when they heard the news of the devastation caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6, 1945, did the workers know what they had built. "Our bomb clinched it!" read the Richland Villager.

After the war was over, everyone expected that the Hanford Engineer Works, named for the former town, would be shut down. It proved not to be the case. The Cold War demanded the nation develop its nuclear capability. Government contractors at Hanford developed the reduction-oxidation process, a new chemical separation process that saved scarce uranium. Two evaporators were built to reduce the amount of liquid in waste products so that it took up less space. Six new nuclear reactors and the plutonium-uranium extraction (PUREX) plant were completed. Other processes were developed to produce isotopes, especially cesium, strontium, and promethium. During this post-war boom, the small community of West Richland was born on the other side of the Yakima River. The town absorbed many of the new residents moving into the area. A new shopping complex was built in Uptown Richland. A huge trailer park was built in North Richland to help alleviate the housing shortage.

Industrial Growth

Other factors caused a boom in the area too. In the Plymouth area, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started building the McNary Dam on the Columbia River in 1947. The dam, dedicated in 1954, brought new waves of workers to the area and added more electricity to the power grid. The reservoir that formed behind it deepened and widened the river channel, providing improved navigation for barge and ship traffic.

The reservoir also covered up most of the land that was known as Hover. Displaced residents moved to Finley and students were absorbed into that school district. Unlike the residents who were forced to leave Hanford and White Bluffs, the residents of Hover were offered fair compensation for their land and received plenty of warning that they had to leave. Residents could also purchase any of the buildings on their property and move them.

Manufacturing Comes to Finley

Several new manufacturing businesses developed in the old Finley area (south of Kennewick) during the 1950s and 1960s. Several factors made the area desirable. Abundant cold water was available for industrial purposes. There was access to three transcontinental railroads, a well-developed electrical power grid, and a deep water shoreline on the Columbia. Allied Chemical built a plant in 1953 to produce chemicals for paper mills. California Spray Chemical Company built a fertilizer plant in 1959. In 1969, Collier Carbon and Chemical Company erected a storage and distribution center for different types of organic fertilizers. The firm also installed a large rail yard and dock to accommodate large shipments.

In 1966, Sandvik Special Metals opened its doors in the Finley area. Its initial purpose was to manufacture zirconium tubing for the nuclear industry. Later it expanded to titanium manufacturing, which it has fabricated into special lightweight, accurate, and strong shafts for golf clubs, mountain bikes, pool cues, tennis rackets, and racquetball rackets. Other industries that built in this area include Philips Pacific Chemical Co., Liquid Air Inc., Kerley Chemical, and the Gas Ice Corp.

Nuclear Technology Continuing

Technology played an important role in the continued growth of Richland and Kennewick. The N Reactor was the first dual-purpose nuclear reactor, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium as well as electrical power. The reactor fed electricity into the power grid for the first time in 1966. Battelle Northwest National Laboratories took over the laboratory facilities at Hanford in 1965. Battelle had an international reputation for research and development and was responsible for many innovations. Battelle developed the UPC code that is printed on every package of retail goods.

The Fast Flux Test Facility, a breeder reactor, was another exciting project constructed throughout the 1970s by various U.S. Department of Energy contractors. Its advanced technology allowed it to reuse its own fuel, for continuous production of power, without addition of new fuel. This was all done on the atomic level as atoms of different properties combined with other atoms to form energy. During this time, the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) built three nuclear power reactors several miles north of Richland. But then the partial melt-down accident at Three-Mile Island in Pennsylvania caused officials to re-think reactor construction. Only one of the three reactors, WPPSS Plant No. 2 (Columbia Generating Station) was ever completed, and it provided approximately 1,100 megawatts of electrical power to the grid.

Though Richland was the site of most of the nuclear-related research, Kennewick would pick up the slack, housing the workers and providing much needed services. Much of the retail business of the area would go to Kennewick, such as the Columbia Center Mall completed in 1969. Most agricultural development is around Kennewick, since Richland is hemmed in on all sides by water and by the Hanford reservation. Potatoes, asparagus, grapes, apples, and especially wheat have been big producers in the Kennewick area.

Recent Developments

In 1987, the U.S. Department of Energy signed what is called the Tri-Party Agreement, a 30-year plan to clean up the legacy of wartime nuclear and chemical waste. Deteriorating fuel rods would be moved from their precarious storage area near the Columbia River. Toxic chemicals will be pumped from leaky storage tanks into more permanent non-permeable storage tanks. New methods of cleaning up and neutralizing toxic waste spills will be studied for incorporation into all manner of industrial complexes.

In 1989, Washington State University expanded an existing facility in Richland to accommodate a full branch campus. Now it was possible for county residents to earn complete bachelor's degrees and master's degrees without leaving the area. The WSU Irrigated Agriculture and Research Extension Center, located 10 miles north of Prosser, is the world's largest irrigated experiment station.

In 1993, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory opened in north Richland. This new laboratory is part of Battle Northwest Laboratories. Richland continues to promote scientific operations and research.

Most of the county's court trials, jail space, and legal offices are located in Kennewick, since most of the county's population is in the southeast part of the county, but Prosser remains the county seat. The assessor's office and other important government functions are still conducted there. Prosser enjoys a prime location on a major river (the Yakima) and a highway interchange that invites tourists to come and enjoy its growing wine businesses. Columbia Crest, the state's largest winery, is located at Paterson on the Columbia River.

There have been many other little towns and train stations in the county, but most had vanished by the end of the twentieth century. In 2004, there were only five incorporated cities in the county: Richland, Kennewick, West Richland, Benton City, and Prosser. Kiona, Plymouth, and Paterson are unincorporated residential areas with few services. Finley and Hover are now nothing more than the names of school districts in Kennewick. Benton City and West Richland have more substantial populations but remain largely residential areas whose residents commute to Kennewick or Richland for shopping and entertainment.

The county has been through many changes through the decades, but, as it began, its heart remains at Richland and Kennewick.

Wheat field in Horse Heaven Hills, Benton County, 1995

Photo by Elizabeth Gibson

Benton County, Washington

Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture

Kennewick residences

Benton County landscape (Hanford townsite)

Courtesy East Benton County Historical Society

West Kennewick (Benton County) landscape, spring 1995

Photo by Elizabeth Gibson

Columbia Generating Station (WPPSS Plant No. 2) (1970), near Hanford, 2000

Courtesy Energy Northwest

Yakama Teepee, Yakima River near Prosser, 1898

Photo by E. E. James, Courtesy Library of Congress (Neg. L93-72.4)

Main Street, Kennewick, 1905

Courtesy East Benton County Historical Society

Benton County Fair, Kennewick, 1907

Main Street, White Bluffs, 1918

Courtesy Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project

Columbia River railroad bridge between Pasco and Kennewick, March 2003

Northwest Benton County Physician Services LLC

Northwest Benton County Physician Services LLC is a Medical Group that has 14 practice medical offices located in 1 state 5 cities in the USA. There are 36 health care providers, specializing in Family Medicine, Neurology, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, Nurse Practitioner, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Cardiovascular Disease (Cardiology), Pulmonary Disease and more, being reported as members of the medical group. Medical taxonomies which are covered by Northwest Benton County Physician Services LLC include Acute Care, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Adult Health, Interventional Cardiology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Podiatrist, Family, Pulmonary Disease, Surgery and many more.

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Centerton (Benton County)

The city of Centerton, named for its location at the center of Benton County, was first established as a railroad stop and as a processing center for Benton County’s apple industry. The city declined in size by the middle of the twentieth century due to earlier troubles in the apple and railroad industries, but the rapid growth of Benton County brought about by the poultry industry and by Walmart Inc. has made Centerton a successful city in the twenty-first century.

Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood
Northwest Arkansas was claimed as hunting territory by the Osage, who lived in Missouri, at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. Local historians believe that the Osage regularly visited the McKissick Spring, an early landmark of what is now Centerton. After Indian Removal, the land was acquired by Diacleson Jackson, who received a land grant on March 10, 1843, but may not have ever lived in Benton County. Jackson sold the acreage containing the spring to James McKissick, for whom the spring then was named. McKissick had moved to Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1835. From 1846 until his death in 1848, McKissick served as commissioner to the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muscogee), and Seminole tribes who were relocated to what is now Oklahoma.

A Methodist church and a log schoolhouse were built near the spring before the Civil War. Both took the name Center Point because of their location in Benton County. The nearest post office was in Seba, several miles north of the spring.

Civil War through the Gilded Age
Two divisions of Union troops camped at McKissick Spring on March 5, 1862, on their way to the battlefield at Pea Ridge (Benton County). Following the Civil War, the apple orchards that had been planted earlier in the century became established, and growers began exporting their products to a larger area. Distribution of apples was made easier when the Arkansas-Oklahoma Railroad Company created a line from Rogers (Benton County) to Grove, Oklahoma, with a stop at what is now McKissick Spring. The line was completed in 1898, and the city was laid out on January 8, 1900, by surveyor Stephen T. Fair. When the community sought incorporation, citizens learned that the name Center Point was already being used by a city in Howard County, so the name was changed to Centerton.

Early Twentieth Century
Even before the city was incorporated in 1914, it was growing rapidly. A branch of the Bank of Bentonville was established in 1905, and, by 1907, the city had four apple evaporators, a vinegar plant, and several apple storage sheds, as well as two general stores, a blacksmith, a drugstore, a lumberyard, and two doctors. The city rapidly added a cooperage shop producing white oak barrels for storing and shipping apples, two hotels, and a Masonic lodge. The log schoolhouse was replaced with a wood-frame school in 1911 about five years later, that building burned to the ground, but a brick schoolhouse was in place by 1917.

Centerton acquired the nickname “Apple Capital of the World” when its produce won prizes at the World’s Fair in Paris, France, in 1900. Four years later, at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, the Coffelt apple (named for the Centerton farmer who had developed the hybrid) won top honors. The Appleby factory in Centerton also built a cannery for tomatoes grown in the central part of Benton County.

Apple diseases led to a decline in the local crop even before the Depression caused a downturn for the city. The Bank of Bentonville branch closed in 1932, and the railroad ceased operating through the city. In 1936, Centerton was surviving as a small village, according to local historian J. Dickson Black. Local farmers sought to diversify during the Depression, branching out into dairy and poultry. Drilling for natural gas began during the 1930s, and electric service and telephone service were established for Centerton. Private wells were supplemented or replaced by water purchased through the city of Bentonville (Benton County), especially after Beaver Lake was completed in the 1960s. A fish hatchery was built by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission originally named Centerton Fish Hatchery, its name was changed in 1997 to the C. B. “Charlie” Craig State Fish Hatchery.

World War II through the Faubus Era
The economy gradually improved in the Centerton area during and after World War II. The success of the poultry industry in northwest Arkansas, along with the establishment of what is now Walmart Inc. in Bentonville in 1950, brought new jobs into the region. A volunteer fire company was established in Centerton in 1960. To raise funds, the fire department began an annual festival, Centerton Day, which continues to be held the last Saturday of July each year. The Centerton school district was consolidated with Bentonville schools in 1962.

Bemco Incorporated Aircraft Equipment moved to Centerton in 1959. Parts manufactured in this facility were used in Mercury space capsules in the 1960s.

Modern Era
A new city hall was built for Centerton in 1979. The previous year, the Bank of Bentonville reopened its Centerton branch, which had closed during the Depression. On June 7, 1988, the bank was robbed of more than $3,000 by a man carrying a sawed-off shotgun. Jesse Campbell was arrested for the crime the same day, along with his wife Martha and accomplice Jack Beebe. All three were later convicted.

By 1991, most of the business district had moved from downtown Centerton to state Highway 102. Buell’s Greenhouses in Centerton raise poinsettias, geraniums, impatiens, and other plants, many of which are sold through Walmart Inc. Churches in Centerton include Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal Holiness, Trinity Mission, and the New Life Christian Center. Centerton Gamble Elementary School (part of the Bentonville school system) had 725 students in 2010. Between 1990 and 2010, Centerton’s population grew dramatically, from 491 to 9,515.

For additional information:
Benton County Heritage Committee. History of Benton County, Arkansas. Rogers, AR: Benton County Heritage Committee, 1991.

Black, J. Dickson. History of Benton County. Little Rock: International Graphics Institute, 1975.

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