There is an interesting story about a Rogers and Bentonville rivalry that you won't likely find in any of the local history books. The story may be a fairytale or a fact. We do know that around 1903-1904, there were meetings in both Bentonville and Siloam Springs about splitting the county into a east and a west division, with Rogers being the county seat for the east, and Siloam Springs for the west. We do know that these meeting happened because there were newspaper stories about it. The smaller communities in the county objected, and the talk of two county seats went by the wayside.
When Arkansas became a state in 1836, Bentonville became the county seat of Benton County. All the county records were kept in the courthouse which at that time was located where Mid Town Center is today. Eventually, Rogers had grown much larger than Bentonville, and many in Rogers thought the county seat should be moved to Rogers. There was rumor that Rogers citizens were going to raid the county courthouse and take all the county records to Rogers. These rumors became so regular that a night watchman was posted at the Benton County courthouse so that if anyone attempted to take the records they could alert others.
The Bentonville people believed they had discovered which week the Rogers citizens had planned to take the records. A call went out for volunteers to watch the courthouse around the clock. Finally the day came when Rogers was supposed to make a run to "seize" the records. According to the rumors, they were supposed to come into town with two four-house teams of wagons to haul off the goods.
That night the courthouse was filled with excitement and armed men. Locals were advised to stay at home. The night watch at the courthouse was doubled at this time. As the night went on, nothing happened, but Bentonville residents still kept guard over the courthouse for the rest of the week. It was suggested by some that this was all a big hoax. Some people believed that Bentonville's preparedness was what kept this event from happening. We will probably never really know if there was a plan by Rogers citizens to seize the county records.
This is what Bentonville may have looked like during that day