Entries - Entry Category: Counties - Starting with P

Perry County

Perry County is in the Ouachita Mountains with the Arkansas River Valley flanking its eastern border and the Fourche La Fave River traversing it from west to east. It has six sub-basins and fourteen watersheds that include 836 acres of streams and lakes. The beauty of the mountains, rivers, and lakes is evident at every turn. The soil is rich alluvial in the river bottoms, and the uplands have loam with a clay foundation. The county has more than 287,000 acres of woodlands. Timber companies and the U.S. Forest Service are the major landowners. Despite its central location in the state of Arkansas, the mountains and watercourses made early settlement difficult. Flood control and better roads have made the county …

Phillips County

  Phillips County is part of the Delta region of Arkansas. Located where the St. Francis River empties into the Mississippi River, its significance touches on nearly every aspect of the state’s history. In the twentieth century, Phillips County was known for devastating flooding, harsh racial confrontations, and the development of blues music. Phillips County’s soil consists of alluvial deposits from the Mississippi River, making it prime agricultural land. The southern edge of Crowley’s Ridge provides higher land once used by Native Americans. Helena’s location on the Mississippi River gave it the potential to be an important transportation hub, although it eventually was overtaken in importance by Memphis, Tennessee. Pre-European Exploration Because of its location, the area was well populated …

Pike County

Pike County sports a greater geological diversity that any other part of the United States. It is also home to the Crater of Diamonds State Park, an ancient volcanic crater and the eighth largest diamond deposit in the world. This is the only site where the public can search and keep what they find. Pre-European Exploration through Early European Exploration About 100 million years ago, during the Mid-Cretaceous period, the Gulf of Mexico extended to the middle of Pike County. The southern half of the county was under water. A volcanic explosion occurred during this period, leaving a crater of about eighty acres in area. The turbulent rotations of the earth caused diamonds to be pushed up to the surface …

Poinsett County

Poinsett County is located in Arkansas’s northeast corner. The St. Francis River travels north to south in the eastern portion of the county, and the L’Anguille River begins at the north boundary and runs south through the center of the county. Crowley’s Ridge, a highland anomaly that begins in southeast Missouri and terminates near Helena (Phillips County), runs through the center of the county. On the eastern side of the ridge is the rich, alluvial land of the Delta, which primarily hosts cotton farming, while on the western side is prairie land used mostly for the cultivation of rice. European Exploration and Settlement When the first permanent settlers arrived in what was to become Poinsett County, a few communities of …

Polk County

Polk County, located on the western edge of Arkansas, was the home of the comedy team of Lum and Abner, country singer T. Texas Tyler, and the controversial Commonwealth College. All of Polk County is in the Ouachita Mountains. Rich Mountain is the site of the historic Queen Wilhelmina State Park. Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood White settlement in Polk County began about 1830. At that time the region was part of Sevier County. Polk County, named for President James K. Polk, was separated from Sevier County by the legislature on November 30, 1844. The 1860 census gave the Polk County population as 4,090 whites and 172 black slaves. Slaves were not widely used in Polk County because the mountainous …

Pope County

Pope County lies in northwest Arkansas, halfway between the state capital and the cities of Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and Fayetteville (Washington County). The county is geographically diverse, with the Ozark National Forest covering most of the northern portion, while the southern portion is located in the Arkansas River Valley and includes the cities of Russellville and Atkins. The county also is home to Arkansas Tech University. Pre-European Exploration Several examples of prehistoric rock art, or pictographs, dating from the Mississippian Period and perhaps earlier are found in Pope County. Four sites containing such paintings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, although to protect them from being disturbed, their precise location is not identified. In 1541, Spanish …

Prairie County

Prairie County, located in central Arkansas, has two county seats, Des Arc and DeValls Bluff. An important agricultural center, Prairie County has a rich history as the state’s throughway for mail routes, steamboats, and trains. European Exploration and Settlement European exploration of the area began as early as the late seventeenth century. While the area became intermediately occupied by both the Spanish and French, the county remained vital to trade expeditions. The earliest recorded Euro-American settlement of Prairie County is debatable but can be placed in the late eighteenth century. French traders traveled up and down the White River in the early 1700s. Bear oil and skins, abundant in this area at the time, were sought-after commodities in the New …

Pulaski County

Pulaski County has a diverse population, economy, natural setting, and social structure. Its balanced economy results from state and local government, business and industry, and finance and nonprofit sectors. Three of Arkansas’s six natural divisions converge in Pulaski County—the Ouachita Mountains, the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (the Delta), and the Coastal Plain—representing the state’s wealth of flora, fauna, and geological features. In the geographic center of Arkansas, Pulaski County is one of the state’s five original counties and has been at the center of state government, politics, business, art, and culture for almost two centuries. Pre-European Exploration The Plum Bayou culture flourished in central Arkansas between AD 600 and 1050, as can be seen in sites such as the Toltec Mounds …