This institution of learning was established in 1874 by Prof. J. R. Roberts. Its first session was opened in Buttram’s Chapel, two and one-half miles east of the present academy buildings, and there the school was continued five years. Then, after a cessation of one year, the school was reopened at its present location, where the first academy building was erected in 1880. This building was 24×40 feet in size and two stories in height, with a school room and cloak room in each story. The school was chartered as an academy with a full course of instruction in 1884. In 1887 and 1888 an additional building, 50×60 feet in size and two stories in height, was added to the former, making the whole building as it now stands contain seven school rooms and a sufficient number of cloak rooms, the whole having a capacity for the comfortable seating of 250 students. The building is constructed of brick, and in its construction convenience, safety and ventilation were studied, rather than showy architecture. The academy is located on Pea Ridge, an elevated plateau of country nine miles northeast from Bentonville, in Benton County, Ark., and five miles northwest from Avoca, a station on the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad. From the latter place it has a daily mail, and a tri-weekly one from Neosho, Mo. The healthfulness of the location is unexcelled, while the morals of the community are proverbial. There are in close proximity two dry goods stores and one drug store; five churches within two miles of the school, and two Sunday-schools within 100 yards of it. Eleven graduates have gone out into the world to testify of the character of the school since it was chartered as an academy. A good library of valuable books is connected with it.

Board of Trustees: J. R. Roberts, president; J. A. Steward, secretary; S. B. Smith, Dr. H. H. Patterson, John Hall and P. W. Roberts, of Pea Ridge, Ark.; also George T. Lincoln and R. J. Laughlin, of Bentonville, Ark.; J. D. James, of Alma, Ark., and W. B. Dean, of Wills Point, Tex.

Faculty: J. R. Roberts, A. M., principal; J. A. Steward, principal intermediate department; Miss Nannie Roberts, principal primary department; J. W. Osborn and P. S. Jones, assistants; Miss Lillie Dale, instruction in instrumental music; T. A. Coffelt, M. D., lectures on anatomy, etc.

Benton County may well be proud of this institution, with its successful operation, and eminent satisfaction given.

Back to: Benton County, Arkansas History

Source: History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.