Bentonville Post Office History Attributed to Mary Noe article in the Weekly Vista
Back in the 1830 when Arkansas was still a territory it was part of Washington County. The closest post office to my understanding was in Fayetteville. When Arkansas became a state in 1836 Benton County split from Washington County to become its own county. In 1836 the town of Bentonville was laid out, but the name of the post office was not Bentonville, but called Osage. The area before it became a state was called Osage, or Osage Prairie. But the name Benton County and Bentonville were chosen to honor Thomas Hart Benton who helped Arkansas become a state. So Osage was the first post office in Benton County. The name of the post office continued as Osage until it was changed to Bentonville in 1843.
We need to remember that back in the early days of the county mail wasn't delivered. You had to go get it and in Bentonville the mail was probably keep in a local store it pigeon holes. Early postmasters didn't receive a salary but received an equal share of the sale of stamps at there post office. Since a lot of the time the post office was the center of the community, many time retailers would want have the post office to bring people into their stores. Mail has brought to the community by horse sometimes only once a week.
Postmaster in Bentonville were:
Osage Postmasters John B. Dickson 1836 to 1841 Samuel B. McClain 1841 to 1843 - When the name was changed to Bentonville
Bentonville Postmasters Samuel B. McCain 1843 to 1845 - Bentonville was 1 of only 5 post offices in Benton County Joseph B. Dickson 1845 to 1847 James Rogers 1847 to 1850 John W. Montgomery 1850 to 1850 Francis M. Moore 1850 to 1853 Wm. L. Featherston 1853 to 1858 Thomas Austin 1858 to 1858 James M. Vestal 1858 to 1860 - Just before the Civil War Bentonville was one of 13 post offices in the county. Wesley F. Woolsey 1860 to 1860 George G. Epperson 1860 to 1866 - During the Civil War there is no clear record on how the postal service operated. We do know that the postmaster served in the Confederate Army from July of 1861 to Feb. of 1866. We do not know who acted as postmaster during this time, or if there was even a postmaster. Richard H. Wimpey 1866 to 1866 - After the Civil War Mr. Wimpey was appointed as the postmaster. He was a Union sympathizer and served with Union Forces. Where there were many post offices in the county before the war. Afterwards there were only three one being Bentonville. John N. Curtis 1866 to 1867 - In 1866 Bentonville was the only post office in the county to sell any stamps. They some a whole $7.07 worth in stamps in 1866. The other post offices would just collect the postage and write paid on the envelope, or hand stamp it. John E. Plummer 1867 to 1867 - By 1867 stamp sales had increased to $535.00 Thomas Young 1867 to 1868 Leroy Noble 1868 to 1868 - In 1868 the first half of the year the postmaster was given a salary of $50 a quarter. The second half of the year the salary was increased to $72.50 John E. Plummer 1868 to 1868 Willis Nickman 1868 to 1869 Richard F. Whiteside 1869 to 1870 - After the Civil War there were about 13 post offices in the county. John W. Stroud 1870 to 1871 Benjamin F. Davis 1871 to 1878 - By 1873 we know that the quarterly wages of the postmaster had been raised to $107.50 Edgar H. Looney 1878 to 1881 - By 1880 there were 27 post offices in Benton County. Benjamin F. Hobbs 1881 to 1885 Edgar H. Looney 1885 to 1890 - It appears in an 1889 photo it shows that the post office was housed what is now the Wal-Mart Museum. Wm. H. Conine 1890 to 1894 Sophie Coate 1894 to 1898 - She was the first woman postmaster in Bentonville. The location of the post office at that time was given SE30-20-20. But later reports often gave location of post office as distance from the train depot. By 1890 Bentonville was 1 of 27 post offices in the County Elijah O. Leflors 1898 to 1914 Hugh J. Floyd 1914 to 1923 Edward S. Miller 1923 to 1936 - In 1935 first permanant post office was built in Bentonville at a cost of $50.000 Ernest A. Allfrey 1936 to 1940 Esmond L. Williams 1940 to 1944 Mrs. Lulu A. Williams 1944 to 1945 Esmond Williams 1945 to 1961 Mrs. Lula A. Williams 1961 to 1962 Robert E. Russell 1962 to 1971 Louis H. Beck 1971 to