Saline County was formed on November 2, 1835, from parts of Pulaski and Hempstead counties. Its name comes from early salt works in the area that supplied salt to all of Arkansas and shipped salt to Tennessee, Louisiana, and east Texas. The salt sold for $1.50 per bushel. The county seat is Benton. The landscape of Saline County is hilly terrain in the north and rolling hills in the south. At one time Arkansas accounted for 97% of the country's production of bauxite, used to make aluminum and most of that came from Saline County. The ore was discovered in 1887. Ups and downs in the aluminum industry have caused more diversification in the recent years and small manufacturing and service companies have added to the economy of the county. Benton, the county seat, is geographically in the center of the state and within minutes of metropolitan amenities, enjoys the small town comfort along with national forest recreation and natural beauty. The Saline River runs through the county offering good fishing. The Gann Museum of Saline County is composed of large bauxite boulders and contains a collection of antiques and memorabilia on the county's history. The county courthouse, a stately southern building, has been the setting for several scenes from the 1972 movie "White Lightning" starring Burt Reynolds and using many local residents at extras in the film.