Bentonville Anti-Horse Thief Society


You may not be a joiner, but this still might be the organization for you. It was formed in 1853, before the Civil War, and apparently is still extant.

In the pre-automobile days, horse thievery called up the furor of the good people of Bentonville, Ohio, tucked away on State Route 41 in Adams County, and trustees of the Bentonville Anti-Horse Thief Society paid a fine bounty of $10 for the capture of a thief or a stolen horse, which was split among the captors. The money came from dues paid by members.

Now that horse thievery has diminished, the organization is more of a social club, with an annual banquet held the last Saturday of April each year.

Note that behind and below the sign and the flag is a white sculptural outline of a man on horseback, lit by tiny lights, one assumes, at night. (Sorry, it’s too oblique to see in this photo.)

Yeah, we went through Bentonville yesterday, but it was too interesting not to post….


  1. Marquis says:

    Isn’t this a drinking society now? I think that it was once featured on NPR.

  2. Sammy says:

    Aren’t we members of a drinking society, at least generally?