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Howard County


Howard County was formed in 1873 from parts of Hempstead, Sevier, Polk and Pike Counties. Center Point was the County Seat. In 1905 the county seat was moved to Nashville. The Arkansas & Louisiana Railroad ran from Hope to Nashville. The present day courthouse was built in 1938.

Howard County is made up of 384,000 acres or about 600 sq. miles. Of the 384,000 acres, Weyerhaeuser Company owns 189,000.

There are approximately 800 miles of roads in Howard County.

The total population of Howard County is 14,300. Rural area population is 6,604. There are four incorporated cities in Howard County.

Dierks, population, 1230, first known as Hardscramble
Mineral Springs, population 1264, first known as Saline
Nashville, population 4878, earlier known as Mine Creek & Hell's Valley
Tollette, population 324, known as Blackland Township

Smaller unincorporated communities:

Saratoga first known as Crackers Neck
Umpire was named for a baseball game between Galens & Bethel.
Billy Faulkner, from Mena, was the "Umpire"

Athens, first known as Athens, then Venetia Grove, Ft. Logan and then Athens

Official census includes:

Year Population Year Population

1880 9,917 1940 16,621
1890 13,789 1950 13,342
1900 14,076 1960 10,878
1910 16,898 1970 11,412
1920 18,565 1980 13,459
1930 17,489 1990 13,569
2000 14,300

Farming was the main source of income, the major crops were cotton, corn, peaches and cattle.

Now, Howard County has several large industries that provide approximately 4,500 jobs. The major industries are:

Frigidare Home Products James Hardy Gypsum
Jan-Eze Planting Mission Plastics
Pilgrims Pride Tyson's
Trucking Industries Weyerhaeuser Company

The total number of county employees is 86. County Road Dept. has 20. Sanitation has 20.

Communities not to be forgotten that had schools, churches, cemeteries and stores:

Northern Hills

Baker Springs Burg Pates
Bethel Galena Three Chutes
Blue Ridge Mineola Flower Springs

Central Plains

Antioch County Line Mt. Carmel Salem
Blue Bayou Fellowship Muddy Fork Sardis
Briar Creek Greens Plains Pleasant Valley Temperancevill
Center-Rosedale Kolb Town Polk Wakefield
Chapel Hill Longview Possum Hollow Bethany
Welcome Corinth Madison Twp Pump Spgs.
York's Chapel

Southern Prairies

Blackland Midway Sorghum City
Bluff Springs Schaal
Buck Range Shiloh


Independence County


Independence County was created in October 1820 from part of Lawrence County. Its name comes from the Declaration of Independence. The landscape of the county is rolling hills, foothills of the Ozarks, except for river delta farmland in the southeast section. The county seat is Batesville. Agriculture is the economic base of the county, primarily is cattle and poultry production and processing. Some manufacturing is located near Batesville. The scenic White River coming into Batesville has the typical Ozark bends, riffles, shoals and pools surrounded by forest, rock, and hillsides. It is famous for its excellent trout fishing. When it leaves Batesville, it becomes mostly a flatland river. The river brought settlers to the county in the early 1800’s. The Pioneer Cemetery is the oldest recognized and preserved cemetery in Arkansas. During the Arkansas Sesquicentennial, a three-foot tall bell made in 1858 for the courthouse was permanently installed in a specially designed limestone structure on the courthouse lawn. Similar limestone from Batesville was used to build the State Capitol. Batesville has one college, Lyon College, a private Christian college established in 1872. The college has an annual Ozark Scottish Festival & Highland Games each year that attracts many visitors to the area.


Izard County


Izard County was formed on October 17, 1825, as the 13th county of the Territory of Arkansas from parts of Independence County. It was named for George Izard, the second Governor of the territory. Melbourne is the county seat. The landscape of the county is rugged and mountainous. Izard County courthouse holds lots of history. It was built of brick and concrete faced with shaped, quarried native limestone and sits on a six-foot mound surrounded by a matching limestone retaining wall. A doughboy statue commemorating World War I county veterans, a historical marker, and a small hexagonal band shell sit on the courthouse ground. There still remains an original painting hanging in the courthouse warning “$5.00 fine to spit on floor, no exceptions.” The Ozark hill country is good for raising cattle, and timber, and silica sand is found in the rivers. Small manufacturing has boosted the economy. The White River forms the southwestern border and provides recreation and fishing. A world-famous trout fishing river, the White, brings cold water from the depths of Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes, gradually warming near Batesville. The Strawberry River is a good stream for floaters and on this river is located Horseshoe Bend, a resort retirement community featuring lakes, golf course, health spa, tennis facilities, and a shopping center. The rugged hill country offers hunting and natural Ozark beauty. Two highways, No 9 and No 58, both offer scenic beauty. Calico Rock, a quaint old town, sits on the bluffs above the White River and offers its small-town charm. Many tourists visit Izard County each year recognizing that the county has a fragile environment, easy to destroy but impossible to replace.


Jackson County


Jackson County was formed on November 5, 1829, from part of Independence County. It was named for Andrew Jackson, then first-term president of the United States. Newport is the county seat. The County Seat has been changed five times. Litchfield (1831) Elizabeth (1839), Augusta (1852), Jacksonport (1854) and Newport (1892). The landscape of Jackson County is rich delta farmland in the north, central, and south and rolling hills in the extreme western part. The economy of the county is agricultural, chiefly, rice, soybeans, corn, milo, beef cattle, and catfish. Other industries, aluminum, wood products, manufactured goods and food processing are active. The White River, running across the southwestern part of the county, is one of the premier trout streams in the South. The Black River forms the western boundary and offers good cat fishing. The Wildlife Management Area, with acres of bottomland shared by four other counties, offers hunting that is popular to this area. In June each year a port fest, Rollin’ on the River Festival, is held and has been recognized as one of the top 100 festivals in the nation. Family fun and entertainment abound. Many tourists visit this area each year.


Jefferson County


Jefferson County was created by the Territorial Legislature on November 2, 1829, from parts of Arkansas and Pulaski counties and was named for Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President. Pine Bluff is the County Seat. Jefferson County’s new courthouse was constructed on the spot where its predecessor, built in 1838, had stood until destroyed by a fire in 1976. The 1838 courthouse is the only courthouse known to have caused a river to be changed. During the 1908 flood of the Arkansas River, the Judges’ chambers, jury room, part of the courtroom, and the Sheriff’s and Assessor’s offices were purposely torn off and dumped into the river to keep the rest of the building from caving into the river. After the flood, the course of the river was changed to save the courthouse, and now channel Lake Pine Bluff. The landscape of the western third is pine-covered, rolling hills, and the eastern two-thirds is rich, fertile Delta farmland. Jefferson County is known for the fertile quality of its soil and has always been one of the leading cotton producers in the state. Its economic development is strongly tied to railroads and the Arkansas River. Its largest employers are International Paper Company, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, and the Pine Bluff Arsenal. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and two units of the state prison system makes state government a heavy contributor to the economy. The Arkansas River runs through the county and provides great bass fishing anywhere in the county, attracting several fishing tournaments. Jefferson County has an updated county jail and juvenile detention center. Pine Bluff is the state’s fourth largest city where a number of historically important homes can be found. There are two museums, the Arkansas Railroad Museum and the Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Museum. The Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area is flooded each fall to attract ducks. Hunting in the county is a popular sport and attracts visitors from all around the country.


Johnson County


Johnson County was formed in November 1833, from Pope County and was named for Benjamin Johnson, one of Arkansas’ early jurists. Clarksville is the county seat, which was the location for the state’s first school for deaf children in 1851, the same site of today’s University of the Ozarks. The landscape is rugged terrain in the northern half and rolling farmlands, forested ridges, isolated mountains, and lakes in the southern half. The entire northern half of Johnson County is Ozark National Forest that has two wildlife management areas. Little and Big Piney Creeks in the northeast corner and White Rock in the northwest offers hunting, fishing, canoeing, hiking and camping. The southern half of the county is river valley farm country where peaches, cattle, vegetables, soybeans, and grains are grown. Diversified industry is scattered over the county. Johnson County has an annual Peach Festival that started back in 1936, that attracts visitors from all over the country. Johnson County with its Mountains, Rivers and Forest provide scenic beauty for every season.


Lafayette County


Lafayette County was created in October 1827, from part of Hempstead County after the Quapaw ceded their land to the United States in 1818. The county was named for Marquis de Lafayette for his service to the American colonies in the Revolutionary War. The county seat is Lewisville. The landscape is rolling hills, largely forested. Much of the land today is owned by large timber companies, which manage trees for harvest and re-growth. Lake Erling is included in the Lafayette County Wildlife Management Area and is jointly managed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and International Paper Company for public use. Two other lakes, Lake June and Spirit Lake, also offer fishing, water sports and picnicking. The Red River along the western boundary of the county offers excellent fishing. Poultry is big in the northwestern portion of the county while truck farms in the northeast send tons of fresh vegetables to larger markets. Lewisville, the county seat that is over 150 years old, celebrates its historic remnants of the plantation days. The burial ground of James Conway, Arkansas’ first Governor is located in the Conway Cemetery. The Lafayette courthouse square is the only one in Arkansas containing a cemetery. Located on the east side of the square, the oldest tombstone is that of John Steele, dated March 9, 1860. Close by is the tombstone of First Lt. Egbert B. Steele of the First Arkansas Cavalry, C.S.A., dated November 1873.


Lawrence County


Lawrence County was created on January 15, 1815, by the Missouri Legislature, which had jurisdiction over the region until Arkansas became a territory in 1819. The county seat is Walnut Ridge. The county was named for Capt. James Lawrence, a naval officer killed in the War of 1812. The landscape of Lawrence County is flat-topped rolling hills in the western half and flat fertile delta river bottomland in the eastern half. The economy is made up of agriculture, with rice, soybeans, and milo as leading crops. Cattle, poultry, and light manufacturing also contribute to the economy. There are three highways that make it convenient to ship in and out of the county. Three rivers, the Strawberry, Spring, and Black flow through the county. Lake Charles along with Lake Charles State Park offers fishing, hiking, picnicking and water sports. The park consists of 645 acres with 96 campsites scattered among the trees. The Shirey Bay-Rainey Brake Wildlife Management Area is a 10,500 acre tract between the Strawberry and Black Rivers and is managed primarily for water fowl. It also has excellent fishing. Thirty-one of the state’s present counties were carved from the original Lawrence County. The original courthouse was at Powhatan and was destroyed by fire in 1885. The archives were saved because they were stored in a stone vault and today they are a part of the Powhatan State Park Museum’s regional archive. In 1963 the two districts at Powhatan and Walnut Ridge were consolidated. Some of the oldest records in Arkansas that were written by quill with homemade ink is now stored at the abandoned 1888 courthouse in Powhatan.


Lee County

Lee County was formed on April 17, 1873, from parts of Crittenden, Monroe, Phillips and St. Francis counties. The county was named for General Robert E. Lee. The county seat is Marianna. The landscape of Lee County is rolling hills in the northern tip and rich delta flat farmland in the center. Crowley’s Ridge runs through the northern tip. The Mississippi River makes up the eastern border of the county, and half of the St. Francis National Forest, the smallest forest in the nation, is situated in the southeastern section with excellent hunting and fishing. Altogether Lee County has 25 lakes and 320 miles of manmade shoreline. The Louisiana Purchase State Park consists of 37.5 acres of headwater swamp. The John Patterson Memorial in Marianna marks the birthplace of the first non-native American born west of the Mississippi. His favorite riddle: “I was born in a kingdom (Spain), raised in an empire (France), attained manhood in a territory (Arkansas), and now am a citizen of a state, and have never been 100 miles from where I was born.” The economy is mainly agriculture. Rich cotton and other typical delta crops are grown here. The Crowley’s Ridge area grows fruit crops and pecan trees. Processing agricultural products and light manufacturing has helped the economy.


Lincoln County 


Lincoln County was formed on March 28, 1871, from parts of Arkansas, Bradley, Desha, Drew and Jefferson counties. It was named to honor Abraham Lincoln, the slain United States President. Star City is the county seat. The Landscape of Lincoln County is rolling hills in the west and rich, flat, farmland in the east. Bayou Bartholomew runs through the center of the county, dividing it geographically and agriculturally. In the western part of the county, timber, poultry, tomatoes, cattle, and swine are produced and, to the east, rice, cotton, and beans. Cane Creek State Park provides quality recreational opportunities. Small manufacturing gives a great boost to the economy. In May each year, Lincoln County residents sponsor a May’s Springfest on the courthouse lawn. The annual rodeo and county fair bring many visitors to the county. Also, in August, Gould holds its Annual Turtle Derby, featuring its fastest turtles and its prettiest girls.


Little River County

Little River

Little River County was formed on March 5, 1867, and was named for the river forming its northern and eastern boundaries. Ashdown is the county seat. The landscape of Little River County is rolling, pine-covered hills. The economy of the county is primarily made up of timberland that has a large variety of hardwoods and rapid- growth pine timber. Agricultural activities include ranching, pecans, soybeans, peanuts, and rice. Georgia-Pacific produces paper at a high speed, rolling off more than 45 miles of sheets of paper as wide as some of the city streets. Millwood Dam located on the Little River was originally built for flood control. The average depth of the lake is eight feet with 20,000 acres of submerged timber that brings the bass fishermen from far and near. This area is home to the bald eagle and mallard ducks and also provides habitat for the American alligator. Recreational facilities for camping, swimming, and picnicking are very poplar. Rich history abounds. The Will Reed Farmhouse, a restored pioneer cabin at Alleene gives visitors a glimpse of how early settlers lived. Cerrogordo (big hill) was an Indian trading post and stop on the trail west. Spaniards mining salt deposits in the 1700’s gave it the name. The county courthouse with its octagonal dome rising above the two-story red brick building houses lots of history. The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Logan County






Logan County was created on March 22, 1871, from parts of Franklin, Scott, Johnson and Yell counties. The county was named to honor James Logan, a pioneer who was in both the territorial and first state legislatures. The county seat is Paris. The landscape of Logan County is rolling farmland, forested ridges, isolated mountains, and lakes. Logan County holds a wealth of natural and scenic beauty including the highest point in Arkansas, Mt. Magazine, which is 2,753 feet high. It rises from the Ozark National Forest where, on a clear day, you can see 40 miles. The mountain is also within the boundaries of the Mt. Magazine Wildlife Management Area. A part of the Ouachita National Forest extends into the county, making it one of only two counties in the state to include two national forests. Camping, hiking, picnicking, swimming, and many recreational activities are plentiful. Just north of the forest is Blue Mountain Lake, an impoundment on the Petit Jean River, with hunting in addition to water activities. Located in the county is Subiaco, a Benedictine abbey that was established in 1878 and thrives today as a monastery and academy for young men. The courthouse with its impressive columned porticoes on the front and sides with the octagonal clock tower, houses early history of the county.


Lonoke County


Lonoke County is the only county in Arkansas whose county seat bears the same name, named by a railroad surveyor that used a massive red oak tree as a landmark. Lonoke County was established on April 16, 1873. The County is still a primarily agricultural county. The Joe Hogan Fish Hatchery, the Smoke Hold Natural Area, Toltec Mounds State Park, and Camp Nelson Confederate Park are areas of interest in the County. The Lonoke County Courthouse was built in 1928. This building is the third courthouse we have had due to fire and rebuilding. The Lonoke County Courthouse Square is located at 301 North Center Street in the City of Lonoke.


Madison County


 Madison County was formed on September 30, 1836 from part of Washington County and was named in honor of James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. It has an area of 836 square miles.

Two former Governors have come from Madison County: Isaac Murphy (1 864-1868) and Orval Faubus (1955-1967). The first session of the county court was held in the barn of Evan S. Polk, a little northwest of the present town of Huntsville. Later sessions were held at the house of John Sanders until July 22, 1839, when Huntsville was declared the permanent county seat. The first courthouse was a hewed log structure about thirty feet square, erected at a cost of $150. A brick courthouse was built in 1815 and served until 1863 when it was burned by Federal troops. After the war, sessions of the court were held at the home of John Vaughan and in the Masonic hall until a new courthouse was completed in January 1871. It was destroyed by fire December 1, 1879, and the next courthouse was completed in October 1882.

Long before settlers began arriving from Europe around 1826, the area that is now Madison County was home to many Native American tribes, including cliff dwellers whose artifacts have been found in caves and shelters along the county's waterways. The same natural resources that drew them to the area appeal to modern residents and visitors. The King's River in Madison County was the first stream in Arkansas to receive legislative recognition and protection. Also protected is the Sweden Creek Falls Natural Area in the Boston Mountains. An eighty-foot waterfall maintains moist conditions where ferns grow naturally. Two wildlife management areas are located in the county, Madison County WMA and White Rock WMA. Both offer excellent hunting. War Eagle Creek also flows through the county offering family recreation with fishing, canoeing and camping. The rugged Ozark National Forest land attracts hikers and campers with its beauty. Withrow Springs State Park is located four miles north of Huntsville and offers camping, swimming and hiking suitable for the whole family.

Poultry and cattle are raised on farms throughout the county. Some residents commute to more industrialized neighboring counties for work. Butterball Turkey Co., and Labarge Electronics are the two major industries in Huntsville. St. Paul has no industry but used to be the hub of major railroads years ago. When the timber industry left, the railroads left with them. St. Paul is located in the southern part of Madison County and was the home of Ralph Baker who served as sheriff from January 1, 1973 - January 5, 1998. At the time of his death his tenure in office was tied with only one other sheriff in the state.


Marion County


Marion County was created November 3, 1835, from Izard County, first called Searcy County, was renamed in 1836 in honor of Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War General. Yellville is the county seat. Prior to its occupation by white settlers, this County Seat was an Indian village. It is one of the oldest settlements in Arkansas and has been under the flags of Spain, France, the United States, the Confederate States of America, the Territory of Louisiana, the Territory of Missouri, and the Territory and State of Arkansas. The landscape of Marion County is the rugged and mountainous, Ozark Mountains, inhabited for years by bluff-dwelling Native Americans and, later, by European settlers. One third of the county is under water that offers many water activities. Ranger Boat and Flippin Bass Boat Manufacturers are located in the county. Part of the Buffalo River runs through the county and features camping, hiking, canoeing, hunting, and fishing. The Lower Buffalo Wilderness Area is the state’s largest wilderness area. Bull Shoals Lake has 19 parks scattered around its 1,000 mile shoreline. The Ozark villages are populated by crafters from spring to late fall that brings a large number of visitors to this area.



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This page was last updated 12/28/10