This weekend my parents, nephew, daughter, and I visited The Shoppach House here in Benton, Arkansas. It is a Historical Landmark and is also a rare opportunity to be able to visit the place, as it’s never open. I had the pleasure of talking to a nice elderly woman who gave me quite a story of the house and the Union Army that occupied it. A few men and women from the ‘Sons of Confederate Veterans David O’Dodd Camp 619’ were there, dressed in period clothing, as well as in Civil War uniforms. They had a cannon that they were firing off every hour and were also showing guns, bullets, and other pieces from the Civil War Era.
The Shoppach House is the oldest structure in central Arkansas and was once owned by a German immigrant farmer, John F. Shoppach. He and his wife, Siddy, had 11 children, 6 of them survived passed infancy.
The house was built in 1852; the local Native Americans made the bricks that were used to build the house. John F. Shoppach died at the age of 52 in 1861.
In 1863, Union Army Soldiers occupied most of Benton. Some of them camped across the street from the Shoppach House; Fort Bussy was just down the street where the water towers now stand today. In September 1863, Union Soldiers commandeered the Shoppach House.
‘Built in 1852 of bricks made on the site, this is the oldest house standing in Benton. In April, 1861, Saline County’s Company E, First Arkansas Infantry, Confederate States of America, was presented with a battle flag made by the ladies of Benton. The ceremony was held in the Shoppach house yard, following which the company left for Virginia, where it took part in the Battle of Bull Run, and subsequently, other major battles. When Benton was occupied by the Union Army in 1863, Union Army officers took quarters in the Shoppach house.’
Also, behind the Shoppach House is the Pilgrims Rest Church built in the 1860’s and
the DeToni Post Office built in the 1940’s.