The first main road that passed through Benton County were what we referr to today as Old "Wire Road. At first these were not more than trails made by migrating animals and Indians, which had been make just large enough to accomodate a wagon. The Old Wire Road came through Missouri into what is now Gateway, pass the Elkhorn Tavern. Though what is know now as Rogers. Then on through Cross Hollows (near Present day Lowell).Then it ran parall to Highway 71 to Ft. Smith, then on to the great southwest. The road was original laid out by the government and at that time was called the "State Road."
Part of the reason for creation of the road in the late 1830's was for a road used to move 17,000 Cherokee Indians from their home in Georgia and Tennessee to a new home in Oklahoma. This forced exodus of Indians from their homeland was called "The Trail of Tears." It was called this because during the trip many of the Indians died from exposure and cruel treatment and disease. In 1840 when all the Indians had been reloacated the road was turned back over to the state for them to maintain.
This road was also used as a road to move cattle from Texas to Kansas City to sell. Taverns and ponds were built along the route along this route to accomadate the drovers. Large stock yards were also built for handling the stock, because it had to be inspected before entering into Missouri. But many time the Inspectors were paid to hold the cattle until the buyers could get a better price for the cattle. So of the tavern / inns that became know in this area were: Elk Horn Tavern, Troutt's Stand, Callahan's tavern, Cross Hollow and Mud Town. Ond settler told of watching herd of cattle pass their home that were so large, it would take hours for them to pass. During this same time period long wagon trains heading for California or Texas would pass these same farms.
In 1858 the Butterfield Overland Stage line was set up to improve mail service between Kansas City and California. It also included passenger service on the line. It pretty much ran along the Fayetteville Road (Also at this time called Stage Road). There was only one stop of the stage line in Benton County. The only stop was at Callahan's station where people could get a bite to eat or drink, or a place to stay for the night. They also had a wagon yard where horse could be changed out. This was located in what is now Rogers, believe to have been located aboutwhere the "Office of Human Concern" sits today (on East Spruce St.) The trail at this point probably swung a like more to the east at this point to pass Callahan's Station. The Butterfield Stage line operated up to just before the Civil War. An 1881 newpaper talked about the remains of the Callahan's station could still be seen at that time, apparently after being burned during the Civil War.
In 1860 a telegraph line was set up by the federal government between St. Louis and Ft. Smith. The contract to build the line was given to Missouri & Western Telegraph Company. Construction was funded by the sale of stocks. After the battle of Pea Ridge in 1862 The Union Army took control of the line to Fayetteville. This allowed them to pass along information on Confederate movment. The Confederate keep cutting the line or tapping into the line to hear communications. Union had troops who would regularly check the line and replace wire where the enemy had cut it. When the war was over the line s were removed but the poles were left standing. Around the time of the Civil War this road was called "Telegraph road, but apparently that was to formal later becoming know as the the "Wire Road" as it's know today.
In a 1906 article a gentleman name J. F. Walker was digging a trench to connect sewer pipe to his house at the southwest corner of Arkansas and Cherry Streets. While digging the trench the workman uncovered the old original "Wire Road Trail." The road had been covered to a depth of several feet by this time. But it was easy to trace where the wagon ruts where they had worn down into the bedrock. In some place north and south of Rogers the road is the same as the old trail. But in most location the road has been altered considering by section lines, farms, fence lines and town plats. In the times before moderm highways old "Wire Road" was the main road for travel throught Benton County.
There was another major road going through Benton County but not as well known. The road cross the west side of the county along Cherokee Nation. The road was established by the government to go from Ft. Scott, Kansas to Ft. Smith, for the porpose of establishing communication between the two locations. This road passed through Maysville, Cherokee City and Silvan. This Road was also called "Old Line Road."