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As the city of Bentonville marks its 150th anniversary this year, I’m proud to help recognize such a significant milestone. I recently submitted remarks to the Congressional Record, the document of the official proceedings of Congress, highlighting this occasion and praising some of the features that make this community so unique, dynamic and successful. As a resident of Northwest Arkansas for several decades now, I’ve seen firsthand the impact of the city’s growth on the entire region and its ability to attract visitors and new residents alike for the enhanced quality of life and opportunities it offers.

I was pleased to present Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman with a signed copy of the Congressional Record as part of the State of the City Community Recognition program celebrating its past, present and future.

Presenting the Congressional Record to Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman

The following remarks are printed in the Congressional Record:

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Bentonville

I rise today to recognize Bentonville, Arkansas’s 150th anniversary.

Founded in 1873, Bentonville has a long and vibrant history. In 1837, a site was designated as the county seat for Benton County. Then in January 1873, residents filed a petition with Benton County to incorporate as the Town of Bentonville. On March 28, incorporating documents including a petition, map, and transcripts of the court hearing were certified, and in April, the certified incorporating documents were officially filed with Benton County.

The county and the town, which became the county seat, were named in honor of Senator Thomas Hart Benton, from Missouri, in recognition of his advocacy for westward expansion of the United States that resulted in Arkansas’s admission to the Union.  

Over the years, this community has grown and flourished, becoming a hub of commerce and culture in the region. It officially became a city in 1905 and was known most for the agricultural activity that characterized its economy and lifestyle. Just a few decades later, its economic footprint began to change. By 1950, Sam Walton had opened the original Walton’s 5&10 store on the Bentonville Square and helped transform the city as the company continued grow, expanding its influence both locally and globally. 

Bentonville is also home to the stunning Crystal Bridges Art Museum, which houses a world-class collection of American art. The museum's architecture and natural surroundings make it a must-see destination for art lovers throughout the U.S. and around the world. 

The Natural State is blessed with over 100,000 miles of streams and rivers, 600,000 acres of lakes, hundreds of miles of trails and over 3.2 million acres of public land, and Bentonville is a great example of a community that embodies the opportunity these outdoor amenities hold. The city has become a premiere cycling destination with over 181 miles of dedicated trail across Bentonville and neighboring cities in the county. These paths have become a key cultural and economic driver and represent the strong recreational quality of life that thrives in the region.

Given its rapid growth, I’ve been proud to work with local leaders and support their efforts to improve infrastructure and allow citizens to enjoy these trails or access the unique opportunities available in the community and throughout Northwest Arkansas. 

Congratulations to the entire Bentonville community on the milestone of 150 years and counting. I applaud the City of Bentonville Public Art Advisory Committee members for their hard work and dedication in organizing the celebratoryevents. They have brought pieces of the past together in a commemorative logo that defines the history, small-town feel and culture that is Bentonville. The state flower of the apple blossom shares the story of the city’s history as a one-time top apple producer. I’m pleased to see the excitement in recognition of this occasion and wish the community the very best as it continues to grow, help define Northwest Arkansas and serve as wonderful place to live, work and explore.