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Saline County

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November 2, 1835

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    Saline County was formed on November 2, 1835, and named for the salt water (brine) springs in the area. Construction of the landmark Saline County Courthouse began in 1901 with the laying of the cornerstone by Dr. Dewell Gann Sr., a popular Benton physician and master of the Benton Masonic Lodge No. 34. The structure was completed in 1902 and has been in continuous use ever since. It is the third courthouse to have been used by the county.
    Settlers entered the area twenty years before the county's creation, when William Lockhart (sometimes spelled Lockert) and his family arrived in 1815 from North Carolina. The Lockharts settled on the banks of the Saline, where the Southwest Trail crossed the river four miles below Benton. The Lockharts were the only settlers until 1817, and the population remained small in the early years. Allen M. Oakley established a salt works in 1827, followed by William E. Woodruff's competing operation. The salt from these works supplied almost all of the salt used in Arkansas Territory, and some was exported to other states. In 1831, Lockhart was granted the exclusive rights to build and operate a toll bridge over the Saline, although those who wanted to ford the river could still do so free of charge. The same year, the first post office was established at Saline Crossing with Lockhart as postmaster. The county had small pottery works by the late 1800s, but this changed when John F. Hyten established the Hyten Pottery Works. His son and successor, Charles D. "Bullet" Hyten, renamed the company Eagle Pottery. Its pottery became renowned throughout the world.


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Arkansas Dept of Health

Arkansas Dept of Health
Division of Vital Records, Slot 44
4815 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 661-2174
Fax: (501) 663-2832
  • Vital Records is responsible for the collection and issuance of birth and death certificates and marriage and divorce coupons.
  • Birth and death certificates serve two purposes. They are the definitive legal documents of identity and they collect important medical information about the two most important events – birth and death.
  • Marriage and divorce coupons are so called because they are removed from the bottom of marriage and divorce certificates, the original of which is retained in the offices of the county clerk of courts; these coupons contain limited information.

Arkansas State Archives

Arkansas History Commission
One Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
The History Commission, the official state archives, is a facility in which those interested in Arkansas history may engage in research. The staff does not undertake research requests from the public. The Research Room is open from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Monday through Saturday. It is closed on state holidays. If you are traveling long distances, please call to confirm hours/days of operation at 501.682.6900.

Arkansas Genealogical Society

  • The purpose of the society is to promote family history research, to educate persons in genealogical research methods and the use of historical records, to publish articles pertaining to Arkansas ancestors, and to preserve and make accessible historical, genealogical, and biographical sources pertaining to Arkansas.
  • AGS has contributed to the genealogical collection of books and other materials at the Arkansas History Commission and State Archives, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, and at other libraries and archives with genealogical collections. Books sent to AGS to be reviewed in The Arkansas Family Historian are always donated to a library that does not possess a copy. AGS sometimes purchases and donates special resources, such as the films of the Draper Manuscripts at the Arkansas History Commission.
Circuit Clerk & Recorder's Office
200 North Main St. Room 113
Benton, AR 72015
Phone (501)303-5615
County Clerk
215 North Main Street
Benton, AR 72015
Phone: 501.303.5630
Fax: 501.776.2412
Saline County History and Heritage Society, Inc.
Kendall Thornton, Editor
P.O. Box 1712
Benton, AR 72018-1712
Gann Museum of Saline County
218 South Market Street
Benton, AR 72015

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