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In1853, the Anti-Horse Thief Society was established. Its mission was to retrieve stolen horses and bring the thieves to justice. In 1961, this monument was placed in Bentonville, home of Anti-Horse Thief Society.


  • Bentonville Anti-Horse Thief Society Marker
  • Bentonville Anti-Horse Thief Monument
  • Horse Thief Hanging

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.

"Bentonville Anti-Horse Thief Society" Ohio History Central, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2015