Rogers - Benton County From the The Arkansas Gazette, Little Rock, November 20, 1919
By the time this article appears in print, Rogers, the metropolis of Benton County, will have marketed 300,000 bushels of apples for the 1919 season, which is equivalent to 500 cars. This does not include the by-products which consist of vinegar, cider, dried apples, canned and preserved apples, the manufacture of which reqired another hundred cars. Previous to this a tremendous strawberry and cherry crop was marketed during the 1919 season, yet Rogers claims to be primarily the market point for a large area of agricultural and dairy products.
It is a thriving little city of 4,000 properous, home-loving people, endowed with the comforts of the large cities, including splendid water, light and sewer systems that were built with a view of serving a town many times the size of Rogers.
It is located on the main line of the Frisco railroad, about 200 miles northwest of Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, 333 miles southwest of St. Louis, 350 miles northeast of Dallas, Texas. It is located in Benton County, about 20 miles from the Oklahoma line, and 11 miles from the Missouri line. Right in the heart of the Ozark mountains where the hills stretch off to one side and the Ozark plateau to the other. In the mountains to the east are abundant springs which furnish the city with its water supply. The water is pumped from two springs, one that affords enough water for a town of 72,000 people, furnishing 1,220,000 gallons daily.
Diamond Springs provided drinking water to the city of Rogers for decades. The Frisco Spring provided water for the Frisco railway.
The city has excellent schools. A high school building, practically new, costing over $30,000. There are two ward school buildings, besides the old Rogers Academy, valued at $40,000, which is now used by the public schools. The high school is one of the best in the State and is accredited with all the universities of the South. It has a four-year high school course and a well equipped laboratory. Not only this, but Rogers is located only 20 miles from the University of Arkansas.
Rogers High School located on West Walnut St.
For those seeking church connections, Rogers has much to offer as practically every denomination is represented, and several of them are endowed with splendid edifices, three of which are equipped with pipe organs. The denominations represented are, Methodist, South Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Holiness , Christian Science, Episcopal, Christian and Roman Catholic. Special effort is made to take care of the young people of the community in various ways.
Industrially Rogers plants are adapted to working up the raw materials produced in the territory adjacent thereto. As an example, it might be stated that the largest vinegar factory in the world is located at this point. It began grinding apples the 15th of August and will continue until the first of December. The factory has ground 20,000,000 pounds of vinegar apples this year, paying to the farmers in Benton and Washington counties, $350,000 for cull apples. The plant at Rogers has 45 tanks with a storage capacity of 1,500,000 gallons of vinegar. It employs a force of 75 people in Rogers. The seven plants will have more than 3,000,000 gallons of vinegar to supply the trade in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Many fruit evaporating plants are located in and around Rogers, as well as a canning factories, which employ during the busy season, hundreds of women. Other industries include, two large flour mills, a cooperage plant, creameries, broom factories, sawmills, and lime manufacturing plants, and a large sweet potato storage and curing plant, as this section has become an important sweet potato producing territory. In connection with the local ice factory a large cold storage plant is operated and this year is filled to capacity with fancy apples which are being carried for spring delivery in nearby cities.
Rogers is also an important jobbing center, due to its advantageous location. The largest wholesale hardware concerns in the state have their warehouse and headquarters here. There is also a large wholesale grocery company. In addition wholesale dry goods and grocery concerns in St. Louis and Kansas City have local display and ware rooms with resident representatives. There are numerous commission firms here doing a jobbing business, each with its own packing facilities and employing many people in this industry. Here also is located the home office of a large co-operative insurance society, which does a nation-wide business and employs some 75 people who make their homes in Rogers. This institution has had built a magnificent office building, modern in every respect, and which is one of the show places of the city. Here also is located the home office of the largest Marketing Association in the southwest, and is the means of making Rogers the mecca for fruit buyers from all parts of the United States. There are numerous stores of practically every description, carrying uptodate and attractive stocks, two weekly newspapers, one daily, giving telegraph news, several hotels, hospital, a new $70,000 federal building, a new union station, six garages, and men representing the various professions. The city has a modern and paid fire department which contributes much to the low fire insurance rates in effect here.
The Mutual Aid Union / Progessive Life Insurance Building in Rogers
There are three banks located here, one of which is housed in one of the handsomest banking buildings in the State. The aggregate deposits of local banks is $1,500,000 and is steadily increasing.
Rogers is the center of a territory to which it distributes. This territory runs north and east and there are many small towns and prosperous merchants who contribute much toward the prosperity of this city. Most of these points are inland towns and are reached by truck lines which radiate in all directions from Rogers. These trucks go out daily, laden with consignments from local jobbing houses and come in heaped with produce, fruits, cream, and various other products of the nearby farms. Thus has the dairy and poultry and egg business become one of the most important in this section, which has excellent marketing facilities. During the months of February and March, 1919, there were 36 cars of poultry and eggs shipped to the north and east. The produce business has proved so profitable that more and more of the farmers are going into it, with the intention of marketing through the produce houses in Rogers. According to the Agricultural Department at Washington, this is the finest poulty country in the United States. The country surrounding Rogers is an ideal agricultural country. Corn, wheat, oats, alfalfa, clover, timothy, orchard, and blue grass are grown profitably and sold at good prices. Live stock is one of the principal pursuits. There are hundreds of car loads of cattle, sheep, and hogs shipped annually. The hills to the east afford excellent grazing facilities for stock. Pure bred cattle and dairy farms surround the city. The cream sold daily in Rogers amounts to $150 and for a month this makes $4,500 for cream alone.
Property in Rogers is very active, and the demand for houses and for homes for rental purposes is great. Every desirable house is occupied and there is not a vacant store room in the city. A building program is being inaugrated which will provide additional homes for the many families seeking to locate here. A $250,000 modern motel is now being planned and construction will be commenced as soon as details can be worked out, as all the hotel facilities are now much overtaxed. Practically every fraternal organization is represented here, and several have comfortable and cheerful lodge and club rooms. There are various Masonic bodies located here, including the Knight Templar Commandery.
Here is an early photo of the Lane hotel, finished shortly after this article was published. It has also been known as the Arkansas Hotel and Harris Hotel.
The Rotary Club with a membership of 45, is full of interest for the betterment of the city and has helped much in its advancement since its organization. The co-operation among the business men is one of the assets of Rogers, because they are all co-operating for the promotion of the city.
The city has miles and miles of cement walks, beautiful residences, unusually good telephone and telegraph service, every advantage of a city and the friendliness of a small town, ideally situated in the heart of the Ozarks with mild winters and cool summers.
Land values in and about Rogers have a great range in price. The writer of this article bought 360 acres during October, 1919, situated within three miles of Rogers at $12.50 an acre, yet the same land improved, at a greater distance from town is selling as high as several hundred dollars per acre. There is wonderful opportunity in the undeveloped land within the trade territory of this city. This section of the country in contour is considerably broken, but the hilsides are peculiarly adapted to fruit growing, while the valleys are exceedingly fertile, the soil being alluvial and on the entire plateau around Rogers is known as the Springfield soil, a light loam, with some heavy red clay soil under the surfaceand is considered an excellent soil for growing small fruits and fruit trees of every description. Not only is the climate here well adapted to fruit raising, but is splendid for stock raising, as the winters are short and usually mild and permit of long pasturage. Average summer maximum temperature 86. Average summer minimum temperature 65. Average winter maximum temperature 48. Average winter minimum tenperature 28. Average rainfall in eight years, 39 inches. Average snowfall in eight years, 17 inches.
This territory surrounding Rogers has long been believed to be rich in mineral deposits. This fall, for the first time, the development of these mineral possibilities has really been undertaken, when a party of Tennessee capitalists came to Rogers, bringing with them the necessary equipment and began the work of developing a copper prospect that had previously been leased. The ore being mined is extraordinarily rich and mining will no doubt be one of the chief industries of this section in the future. Large tracts of virgin timber lay east of Rogers, yet undeveloped, and the present high price of lumber is bringing about the development of these tracts. Numerous small lumber mills are being constructed and one large company has begun the erection of a big mill which will transport its supplies from Rogers by truck and bring the finished product which will be principally hardwood for furniture and wagon making to Rogers by truck.
The section around Rogers is the summer playground for thousands of tourists. Hotel, club houses, camping grounds have been provided for these, who are chiefly auto travelers. Many beautiful spots exist along the White river and other streams in the vicinity of Rogers, where those in search of sport may gratify their aim. Let it suffice that once these scenic beauties attain renown, there will be countless seekers after rest and sport, who will make this their annual vacation ground, and ere the primitive mark is erased by the growing popularity of this picturesque section, make up your mind to spend awhile amongst us. If you have a true appreciation of the places where nature's bucket of beauty has been allowed to splash over and leave an outstanding mark for men to marvel at, you will not be disappointed when you visit Rogers. It will be of peculiar interest to the prospective visitor here to know that work has already commenced on the greatest system of improved, rock based, hard surfaced highways ever undertaken by any county in this state. These roads radiate in all directions from Rogers, and not only will every stream be bridged and every town in the county connected by these roads, but they will also connect with Missouri roads at three different points on the northern boundary and with Oklahoma roads at two points on the western border.
One of the fantastic views that could be found just outside of Rogers. This image is taken from Eden's Bluff looking into the White River valley. Today you would see Beaver Lake.
There are many spots to be visited that are rich in historical value. The famous Pea Ridge battleground, where souvenirs of that memorable battle yet abound. Caverns used by the early Spaniards as depositories for gold and silver are sources of never ending interest to the visitor.
Thus, in closing, may we not say that the people who live in Rogers and Benton County, are so thoroughly convinced of the superiority of this section of the country, from the standpoint of natural beauty, of agricultural advantages and of commercial opportunity, that we dedicate this page to the humble duty of carrying to you a brief outline of the reasons for our satisfaction, and a message of invitation to pay a brief visit to our community, if you are so disposed, and see for yourself, the many advantages we have to offer. For the tourist and vacationist, we have tried to give some idea of those scenic beauties with which our section abounds. For the farmer, or prospective farmer, there is a picture of peace and plenty. For eveyone, there is health, happiness, and prosperity, in proportion to the effort of the individual. The diversity of our soils and surroundings afford a wide range of selection.