101 W Central People's Bank / Bank of Bentonville
The People's Bank building was built in 1887 by Mr. I. B. Gilmore who was an officer at the bank. At the time it was built it was said to be the most beautiful building in the county, having been built in a Renaissance Revival design. A decorative parapet sat above the corner entrance (above the current broken pediment and urn). When it was built, it had two storefronts facing Central Avenue but the building has been unrecognizably altered.
One of the most exciting events to have happened in Bentonville's early days occurred at this building in June 1893, when Henry Starr, Kid Wilson and four members of their gang robbed the People's Bank building. (See the Events section for a full recounting of the bank robbery)
In the 1890's, the upstairs housed W. A. Dickson Attorney of Law, Watson the Optician (room 1), and J. A. Combs Physician & Surgeon. Also, in the 1890's, the basement of this building was used as a meat market, and was also Boggs Cafe. At the far south end of the building on Main Street was Kit Campbell's Barber Shop in 1919.
After People's Bank in the early 1900's this became the First National Bank. On February 28, 1934, the Bank of Bentonville opened here and stayed at this location until 1962. In the 1960's and 70's, this was Benton County Savings and Loan. Following is a list of people who have had their businesses on the second floor of this building over the years: Dr. Richard M. Atkinson (Physician), Maurice W. Chastain (Physician), Charles E. Hurley (Physician), McGill & McGill (Lawyers), Floyd L. Rees (Lawyer). At 103 W. Central was Vibert E. Owens (News Dir.), 103 1/2 Wilbur T. Dodson (Shoe Repair) , Tobert Williams (Shoes), and Clayton N. Little & Enfield (Attorney). In 1951-1956 101 N. Main was home to D. W. Peel Insurance Agency. At 101 1/2 Marley & Robbs Real Estate Insurance occupied the upstairs area in the 50's.
This is what the bank looked like back in the 1890's - This image came from the old Elk Horn Barber Shop
Bank of Bentonville during the late 1950's or early 1960's
Confederate Reunion 1898 - Bentonville, Arkansas This photo came from the old Elk Horn Barber Shop.
Panoramic view looking at the southwest corner of the Bentonville Square in Bentonville, Arkansas