In the nineteenth century, Izard County served as a gateway to settlement across northern Arkansas and was the parent county of seven other counties. Later, Izard County's virgin yellow pine forests provided lumber to other parts of the state.
According to some historians, John Lafferty, a native of Ireland, traveled up the White River in 1802 to what became known as Lafferty Creek. He built a log cabin and attempted to claim 640 acres following the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, but his claim was denied because he had not lived on the land for ten years. In spite of this setback, Lafferty and his family established the county's first settlement at Lafferty Creek in 1810.
In 1825, the territorial government split off part of Independence County, naming the new county for Governor George Izard. Adding Osage (1827) and Cherokee (1828) lands, Izard County covered most of north-central Arkansas. In 1833, western Izard County was divided into Van Buren, Carroll, and Johnson counties. Later, sections of Izard County were split off to become Marion (1836), Fulton (1842), and parts of Baxter (1873) and Stone (1873) counties.
Izard's first county seat and post office (then called Liberty, now Norfork in Baxter County) were established at the mouth of the North Fork River at Jacob Wolf's trading post. Sheriff John Adams and Clerk John Houston (brother of Sam Houston) were the first elected officials. The county seat was moved to Athens in 1830 and to Mount Olive in 1836. Mill Creek (later renamed Melbourne) became the county seat in 1875. Courthouses there burned in 1889 and 1937. From 1938 to 1940, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from Camp Sage (near Sage) built the current courthouse. It is the only courthouse in the country partly heated by a wood-burning furnace.
|Prosperity A. R. P. Church|
Although technically in Wheeling, Fulton County, Many Izard County residents have roots in this church.
|Izard County Cemeteries|
|History of Izard County|
From "Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas" by Goodspeed Publishing Company 1889
|Lost & Found|
Post your "Lost and Found" items here.
Izard County E-Mail List on Rootsweb
Izard County Query Board on Rootsweb
Izard County Query Board on Genforum
Izard County Cemetery Lisitings on Interment.net
Izard County Arkansas Vital Records
Izard County Clerk
P.O. Box 327
400 Court Street
Melbourne, AR 72556-0327
Phone: (870) 368-4328
Fulton County |
Sharp County |
Independence County |
Stone County |
Izard County Trails To The Past is in need of submissions. If you had family in the county we would love to have you submit pictures and family stories. We also need persons with research materials as volunteers to do look-ups for our visitors.
Arkansas Trails has several counties up for adoption. If you would be interested in adopting a county or project look at the Counties List. If you find one that you would like to adopt e-mail the State Administrator.
Trails To The Past has several states and other projects available. To see what states and other projects might be available click the Trails To The Past Logo above.
[ Being a County or State Administrator is fun and rewarding. If you have an interest in the history of Arkansas and the genealogy of it's residents please consider it. If you think "there is no way I can do this" there are many people ready, willing and able to help you. It's not near as difficult as you might think. ]
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Last Updated, Thursday, 13-Sep-2012 10:49:58 MDT
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© Monday, 20-May-2013 05:31:08 MDT by Izard County Administrator