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Benton County Apartments for Rent

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Before Wal-Mart became Wal-Mart, it was Sam Walton’s five-and-dime in Bentonville, Arkansas, in Benton County. That was in 1950; Walton opened his first real Wal-Mart store in Rogers, also in Benton County, in 1962. Today, the Wal-Mart corporate headquarters are still located in Bentonville, the county seat.

Benton County’s population, according to the most recent census, is 221,339. The county was formed in 1836 and named after Thomas Hart Benton, a senator from Missouri. Those who might like to visit and toast Sam Walton or Senator Benton should be advised to bring their own champagne from home; alcohol sales are prohibited in Benton County, except in establishments with a private club liquor license.

Located in the northwest corner of Arkansas, Benton County borders Missouri and Oklahoma and today is one of the fastest-growing and most economically-vibrant counties in the nation. The county was originally a Native American hunting ground; in the late-18th and early-19th centuries, the Osage Indians frequented the area on hunting forays. The Louisiana Purchase required major land cessions from the Osage as well as the Cherokee, marking the last major Indian occupation of the area. Ironically, in 1837 the Cherokee passed through the county as they marched along the Trail of Tears.

Rapid growth and a booming economy began in the 1960s and continued into the last decades of the 20th century. Between 1990 and 2000, Benton County’s population grew 57 percent, largely driven by a 900-percent increase in Latino immigration to the area. In addition to Wal-Mart, top employers in the county include J. B. Hunt Transport, Arvest Bank Group, McKee Foods, Peterson Farms, Simmons Foods, Franklin Electric Company, Gates Rubber Company and La-Z-Boy.

Beaver Lake, completed in 1966 at a cost of more than $46 million, covers almost 32,000 acres and provides the county with flood control, electricity and a regional water supply. Bella Vista Village, a retirement community, attracted a large number of residents and has become one of the largest planned communities in the country.

The 11,744-acre Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, bought by the state in 1979, is Arkansas’s largest and the county’s only state park.

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