Benton County Courthouse
The first Benton county courthouse
at Vinton was a log structure. However, it had no roof and no floor. Since this
made court particularly difficult when it rained, residents of the court
eventually moved to a local log home for the session.
The second courthouse
stood unfinished for many years because of a dispute over the location of the
county seat. It was finally completed in 1852, but was destroyed by fire in
1853. The county records were rescued by three courageous men who were
seriously burned and died from their injuries three months after the blaze.
In December 1856, a
courthouse dedication was held to celebrate the completion of the third
courthouse. This $13,000 building would be replaced by a $105,000 courthouse in
1906. This fourth courthouse stands today with its 112-foot high tower
containing an illuminated clock and a 1500-pound B-flat bell. The exterior is
made of Buckeye gray sandstone. Extensive repairs were done on the roof and
other areas of the building in 1974. It is now listed on the National Register
of Historic Places.