About the Museum
Built in 1893, the office of Dr. Dewell Gann, Sr., is the only known bauxite building in existence, making it an architectural landmark. The building was constructed by patients who could not afford to pay for services he had rendered to them. The soft stone was dug from a farm nearby, sawn into blocks with a handsaw and allowed to harden for six weeks. On an inside wall is an imprint of Dr. Gann’s foot, made from the time he spent sitting waiting for patients in a rocker with his foot propped against the wall. The building served as the Gann Medical Office until 1946 when it was given by Dr. Dewell Gann, Jr., to the City of Benton to be used as a library and, later, a museum.
Located next to the museum is the Gann residence.
The Gann Museum has an extensive collection of Niloak and other pottery, Native American Artifacts, memorabilia and history of Saline County, as well as artifacts and memorabilia of Dr. Gann Sr. and Jr. The Gann Museum also plays an important role in Saline County by creating a physical link to its heritage. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, the 138thbuilding in the state so recognized.
If you would like to view the Museum’s Nomination Form it is below:
For more information about the Gann Museum visit:
Bauxite, the ore from which aluminum is made and the official state rock of Arkansas, became one of the most famous parts of Saline County in its early years. The area was fueled by Alcoa and Reynolds, both of which mined bauxite in large quantities to make aluminum. It was the bauxite found in the area…View
Displayed in the Gann Museum's front room are Dr. Dewell Gann's artifacts and information about his life. Artifacts in the museum include his medical books and desk. The office is set up like his office was when he was seeing patients in the Gann building. Dewell Gann Sr. was born on March 31, 1859, near…View
Early Saline County
A pioneer, also known as a settler, is a person who has migrated to an area and established permanent residence there, often to live in the area. Many pioneers were farmers. Those who did not farm usually ran their own businesses. At this time land was available for homesteading and most of it was very cheap…View
Featured in the Gann Museum is a section of artifacts from the Native Americans of the Quapaw and Caddo tribes that once resided in the area. The Quapaw of this area were first recorded in historical documentation in 1673 by the French who called them by the name "Arkansas" meaning “People of the South Wind”. It…View
Niloak Pottery is made from kaolin, a clay that is found in Benton, Arkansas. Charles Dean Hyten grew up making pottery and eventually took over his stepfather's business. He used a pottery wheel in the production of niloak, swirling different clays until he formed different types of vases, urns, jugs and other items. Niloak took off when…View
Tom Staner – The Hanging on the Courthouse Lawn
One of the most interesting exhibits on display at the Gann Museum is a story of two murders. On January 24, 1877, Hattie Staner and neighbor, Parcell Taylor were murdered in the Staner residence with a poker from the Staner's fireplace. It was said that their nephew, Tom Staner had been acting strange that day.…View
218 S Market St
Benton, Arkansas 72015
(501) 778 – 5513
The Gann Museum is located in Benton, Arkansas at 218 S Market.
The application below can be filled out and returned to the Gann Museum of Saline County to become a member.
Donations checks are to be made out to the Gann Museum of Saline County and to be received at the Gann Museum on 218 S Market Street in Benton, Arkansas.
Your gift or membership helps maintain the Gann Museum collections and supports on-going research, archiving collections, maintenance and operations of the Gann Museum. Give or donate today! We thank you in advance for your charitable contribution and would like to remind you that the Gann Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and that all contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Contact us at (501) 778 – 5513 or stop by 218 South Market Benton, Arkansas 72015.
Thank you for joining us in our efforts to preserve Saline County’s history!
There are many other interesting places to visit and things to see in Benton. To find out what is going on around the city visit the links below.
- The Benton Event Center
- Benton Area Chamber of Commerce
- The Saline Courier
- Benton Mural
- The City of Benton
For more information regarding the Gann Museum visit the links below.