One of the most colorful characters in American history – Thomas Hart Benton — is responsible for the thriving central Arkansas community’s name. Located halfway between Little Rock and Hot Springs along I-30, Benton makes a perfect home base for those wanting to visit both communities while partaking of Benton’s charms as well.
The discovery of bauxite ore, the source ore for aluminum, is the reason this area of Saline County was settled. This is only place in the United States where it has been feasible to commercially mine the aluminum. The industry took hold in this area in 1899 with top output coming during World War II, when demand increased because German subs were sinking foreign ore ships. The mining thrived for many, many years before the high grade, low silica bauxite ore gave out.