Bentonville Anti-Horse Thief Society Monument
Backstory and Context
In the 19th century, before the invention of the automobile, horses were important for personal transportation as well as for farming and businesses. Therefore, horse theft was a crime at that time. To deal with this serious offense, in March 1853, the Bentonville Anti-Horse Thief Society was formed.
The society has been operational for over 150 years. According to Ohio History Central, if the thieves were captured by Anti-Horse Thief Society’s members, the thieves were hung without any trials. Furthermore, this society provided a ten-dollar reward for whoever caught the thieves.
This society still operates as a social club, though horse thievery is no longer a problem. In 1961, the Anti-Horse Thief Monument was placed in Bentonville as a tourist attraction and a reminder of the town's history.