Entries - Entry Category: Counties - Starting with L

Lafayette County

  Lafayette County has always been important to the history of Arkansas, but it was particularly so from its first four decades as a territory through the Civil War. This was partly because one of its residents, James Sevier Conway, was the state’s first governor, but his neighbors, family, and friends, as well as the fertility of its soil, have also continued to contribute to the state’s development. European Exploration and Settlement Before the arrival of Europeans, the area’s inhabitants were mostly of the Caddo tribe. The last Caddo village on the Great Bend of the Red River was abandoned around 1778, twenty-five years before the Louisiana Purchase added this land to the United States, though the Caddo continued to …

Lawrence County

The “Mother of Counties,” Lawrence County once covered a majority of north Arkansas, an enormous stretch of land ultimately forming thirty-one counties. Present-day Lawrence County straddles the Black River, a natural boundary separating the lowlands of the Mississippi Delta from the foothills of the Ozark Plateau. Long dominated by cotton production, this agricultural county now produces rice, soybeans, corn, and sorghum. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood The Osage Indians hunted in what would become Lawrence County, although they had no settlements there. The eastern portion of the county may have been visited in 1541 during a side trip of the expedition of Hernando de Soto. Arkansas became United States territory with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Named for War of …

Lee County

  Located in the Delta, Lee County is bounded on its east by the Mississippi River. Two navigable rivers, the St. Francis and the L’Anguille, flow through the county. Marianna, the county seat and largest town, sits on the L’Anguille. Though the county’s fertile land and timber resources built its rural agricultural landscape, its emphasis on agriculture translated in a severe population decline as agricultural modernization occurred in the middle of the twentieth century. European Exploration and SettlementHernando de Soto and his men were probably the first Europeans to enter what is now Lee County in August 1541. The expedition likely descended the St. Francis River and entered the chiefdom of Quiguate, which the Spaniards described as the largest of …

Lincoln County

Lincoln County lies in southeastern Arkansas, bordered on the northeast by the Arkansas River. Bayou Bartholomew bisects the county from northwest to southeast, dividing the land between the bottomland of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (the Delta) to the east and the Coastal Plain. The mainstay of the economy is agriculture. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood By the time of European exploration and settlement, very few Native Americans lived in Lincoln County, though the Quapaw technically owned the land that is now Lincoln County. County histories indicate the possible existence of a Quapaw village near the Arkansas River on land that was later settled by the McLain, Lee, and Douglass families, who established homes there in 1827 in a community called …

Little River County

Carved out of parts of Sevier County and Hempstead County, Little River County was established in 1867 by an act of the Arkansas legislature. The new county gave citizens a shorter and easier journey to their county seat of government. Because of the area’s close proximity to the Little River, which flows into the Red River near Texarkana (Miller County), it took the name of Little River County. This county is located in the southwest corner of the state and is surrounded by Sevier, Hempstead, Howard, and Miller counties in Arkansas and by counties in Texas and Oklahoma. The two rivers form major parts of the boundary of Little River County. The land in and around Little River County is …

Logan County

Logan County, located in the Arkansas River Valley in northwest Arkansas, is one of ten counties in Arkansas having two county seats: Paris and Booneville. Other incorporated towns in the county are Magazine, Blue Mountain, Caulksville, Ratcliff, Subiaco, Scranton, and Morrison Bluff. Although Logan County was not created until 1871, the area that is now Logan County has had a significant impact on the development of western Arkansas dating from territorial days. Some of the oldest settlements in western Arkansas were located in what is now Logan County. During territorial days and throughout the century, Roseville, a busy port on the Arkansas River, played a vital role in river transportation of goods and passengers. Settled around 1830, Booneville was the …

Lonoke County

  The county and its seat of government having the same name distinguishes Lonoke County from other counties in the state. Lonoke received its name from a “lone oak” tree that George P. C. Rumbough used for a landmark while surveying for the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad. In 1873, the Arkansas legislature was forming and locating counties, and a petition was introduced to the legislature to form the county of Lonoke. Governor Elisha Baxter signed the act on April 16, 1873, creating Lonoke County from the parent counties Prairie and Pulaski. The existing territorial land is divided into three sections. The northern region, in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, consists of gently rolling hills and valleys; the towns …

Lovely County

Created and abolished because of treaties, Lovely County in Arkansas Territory existed for only a year. While hostilities played a part in the county’s creation, an 1828 change in the western boundary of Arkansas Territory led to its quick demise. Many Native American tribes inhabited the land that became Lovely County. The Osage hunted the hills and fished in the streams and rivers until 1808, when their claims were given up in the Treaty of Fort Clark. The Cherokee traded their land east of the Mississippi River for land in the west in 1809. President Thomas Jefferson offered the Cherokee the former Osage hunting ground in the area between the Arkansas and White rivers in exchange for their land in …