Entries - Entry Category: Counties - Starting with C

Calhoun County

Located in south-central Arkansas, with its southernmost border about twenty-five miles from the Louisiana state line, Calhoun County has the smallest population of Arkansas’s seventy-five counties, with a population density of fewer than nine persons per square mile compared to fifty-six for the state. Hampton is the only town with more than 1,000 residents. Thornton, Harrell, and Tinsman are the only other incorporated communities. The economic base is timber, sand, and gravel. Sixty-eight percent of the workforce is employed in manufacturing. Pre-European Exploration There are about 350 archaeological sites known in Calhoun County, testifying to the habitation of Native Americans in the region for thousands of years. Two prehistoric mounds—Boone’s Mounds and the Keller Site—believed to be from the Coles Creek …

Carroll County

Changing boundary lines, the massacre of a California-bound wagon train, and the power of healing springs have extended Carroll County’s impact far beyond its borders. While retaining its rural status, Carroll County has successfully merged its history with the changing times to create a county that draws a diverse group of residents as well as tourists. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Louisiana Territory, Missouri Territory, and finally Arkansas Territory were names given to the land that became Carroll County. The Osage hunted the land until they ceded their rights to northwest Arkansas in an1808 treaty. In 1818, the United States government established a reservation for the Western Cherokee. The northwest boundary of the reservation ran diagonally through what is now …

Chicot County

    Chicot County is the southeasternmost county in Arkansas. It is bounded by Louisiana to the south and the Mississippi River to the east. The county is located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta; therefore, it is a prime location for agriculture, with some of the richest soils in the state. Because of this, the county continues to have strong ties to the land and is consistently one of the largest producers of cotton in Arkansas. With Lake Chicot as the largest natural lake in Arkansas and the largest oxbow lake in North America, the county provides residents and tourists with ample opportunities for year-round fishing. According to the 2010 Census, the county had a population of 11,800, …

Clark County

Clark County was founded on December 15, 1818, as part of Missouri Territory. One of the original five counties composing Arkansas Territory when the territory was established in 1819, Clark County included all or parts of at least fifteen counties in present-day Arkansas and parts of six counties in what is now Oklahoma. The county was named for Missouri territorial governor William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The county is part of two of Arkansas’s natural regions—the Ouachita Mountains and the Gulf Coastal Plain—and its physical characteristics made the area ideal for farming and hunting. Before Europeans arrived, Native Americans, particularly the Caddo, inhabited the land containing heavy forests, abundant game, rich soil, clear streams, and salt. Archaeological …

Clay County

Clay County is a predominantly rural area with small cities and towns. Light industry in the area supplements the agriculture-based economy. Hunting, fishing, and boating are the area’s primary recreational offerings. Clay County lies within the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain. The county is divided into unequal halves by Crowley’s Ridge, following a northeast to southwest direction. In general, soils in the county range from sandy to clay and gravel, and lignite deposits can be found along Crowley’s Ridge. Eastern Clay County has petrified wood, pieces of which can be seen outside the courthouse in Piggott and have even been used to make tombstones. The St. Francis, Cache, Black, and Current rivers flow through the county. Approximately twenty-two percent of the …

Cleburne County

Although it was the last of Arkansas’s seventy-five counties to be formed, Cleburne County has proved to be a tourist mecca for the state. Thousands of Arkansans and visitors are attracted to Greers Ferry Lake and the Little Red River for fishing, swimming, and other water sports. Even before the lake was formed, summer visitors were attracted to the mineral springs in Spring Park in Heber Springs, the county seat, and to the waterfalls and unique rock formations in the surrounding hills. Cleburne County has a generally rugged terrain with elevations ranging from 270 feet above sea level in the river bottomland of the southeast part of the county to 1,400 feet in the northwest section. The valleys have some …

Cleveland County

Cleveland County was formed in 1873 as Dorsey County, named after Republican congressman Stephen Dorsey, but the name was changed to honor President Grover Cleveland on March 5, 1885. The Saline River bisects the county from near the northwest corner to near the southeast corner. Moro Creek forms much of the western boundary. When the area was first explored, trees covered a major part of the county. Much of the economy centered on their harvest. The timber industry is still fairly important to the county. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood Fossils of sea crustaceans have been found along Salty Branch, as it is known locally, which crosses Arkansas Highway 8 just east of Highway 97. According to an 1818 Quapaw …

Columbia County

  Natural resources have been the mainstay of the Columbia County economy, from cotton in the nineteenth century; timber, oil, and gas in the mid-twentieth century; and later bromine. The county’s fortunes have also been closely tied to the evolution of Southern Arkansas University (SAU). Columbia County, named after the female personification of America, wielded significant political influence in Arkansas during the first half of the twentieth century, with family and business ties to governors Thomas McRae, Sidney McMath, and Ben T. Laney, Lieutenant Governor Lawrence E. Wilson, State Auditor T. C. Monroe, U.S. representatives Robert Minor Wallace and Wade Kitchens, and businessman Harvey Couch. Columbia County is typified geographically by low, rolling hills and is heavily forested. Pre-European Exploration …

Conway County

Conway County was established by an act of the territorial legislature on October 20, 1825, from land taken from Pulaski County. It was named for Henry Wharton Conway, a member of the Arkansas Territory’s delegation to Congress. At the time, it comprised 2,500 square miles and included most of the present Conway, Faulkner, Van Buren, White, Cleburne, and Perry counties and part of Yell County. Located in the Arkansas River Valley, Conway County’s geographic structure ranges from the ridges of the Ozark foothills in the extreme northwest to the rich lowlands near the Arkansas River—a quite varied topography. The county’s native hardwood and pine forests have been a resource for the timber and recreation industries. Cotton was grown in the …

Craighead County

Craighead County is located in northeast Arkansas and was created as Arkansas’s fifty-eighth county in 1859. It is unusual not only in the circumstances of its creation and naming but also in that it has two county seats, Jonesboro and Lake City. The unique formation called Crowley’s Ridge runs through its center. Along with Jonesboro and Lake City, Craighead County also includes the towns of Bay, Black Oak, Bono, Brookland, Caraway, Cash, Egypt, and Monette. It is the home of Arkansas State University (ASU), one of the state’s largest universities. Pre-European Exploration Of significance for early habitation of Craighead County is Crowley’s Ridge, a crescent-shaped outcropping running roughly from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to Helena-West Helena (Phillips County). It rises 250–500 …

Crawford County

Crawford County is situated in northwest Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains. The Boston Mountains on the north and the Arkansas River Valley on the south provide a diverse landscape and play an important role in the economy of the past and present. The county is centrally located within the nation, thus allowing desirable north-south and east-west transportation networks to support industrialization, manufacturing, and tourism growth. Pre-European Exploration The area that became Crawford County has been inhabited since the end of the Ice Age, about 12,000 BC. Paleoindians hunted and gathered wild plants and other resources, residing in open air campsites and occasionally using rock shelters. Agricultural settlements began to be established during the Mississippian Period (900—1600 AD). Pictographs(paintings on rock …

Crittenden County

Crittenden County is located in east-central Arkansas. Its eastern and southern boundaries are the Mississippi River. To its west are Lee, St. Francis, and Cross counties. Mississippi County and Poinsett County form its northern borders. According to historian Margaret Woolfolk, “Crittenden is entirely on the bottom land of the Mississippi River….Total thickness of the sediment exceeds 100 feet.” Because of its astonishing fertility, the area became an obvious location for agricultural development. In the modern era, it has also become a major transportation thoroughfare. European Exploration and Settlement Artifacts found in Crittenden County—including effigy pipes, stone ear plugs, and ornaments—testify to a long habitation of the area by Native Americans. Some archaeologists place the location of Pacaha, visited by the …

Cross County

Cross County is one of the state’s leading producers of soybeans and rice, the location of the only copper tube mill in Arkansas, and the home of two state parks: Village Creek State Park and Parkin Archeological State Park. Created during the Civil War, the county was largely shaped by railroad development during the Gilded Age, with small industry and tourism becoming more of a focus in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Geologically, the county is divided roughly into thirds. Crowley’s Ridge, a glacial age erosional remnant covered with a unique loessal topsoil, traverses the county north to south, rising seventy-five to 100 feet above ancient deltaic alluvial floodplains on either side. The eastern third is drained primarily …