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October 27, 1825

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Billie Walsh

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George IzardIn 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.
Township Range Map of Izard County
PDF File     Requires a PDF viewer.


Izard County Historical and Genealogical Society

Izard historians to hear McCollum and Honey describe the Down Memory Lane books

BROCKWELL, AR. - The Izard County Historical and Genealogical Society will meet on Sunday afternoon, October 11, 2015, at the Izard County Senior Center south of Brockwell, Arkansas, on Highway #9 at 2 P.M. The meeting is open to the public.
Mrs. Betty Hope McCollum and her daughter, Diane Honey, will be the guest speakers for the session. They are the authors of the Down Memory Lane series of books and will discuss the process involved in producing the books. They will have their current book and also older issues for sale at the meeting. This series of books is an excellent source in preserving the history of individuals, families, and of the Izard County area in past years as told in the words of the main character of each story.
Mrs. McCollum stated, “Many years ago, my cousin, Sue Chrisco, and I put together Marriage Books #1, #2, and #3 of Izard County. The information for these was copied from the earliest existing books as the really old books had been destroyed by fire. Then sometime in the early 1980’s, we interviewed our mothers, not with the intent of making a book, but we just wanted to know what their lives were like when these two sisters were growing up, along with two more sisters and six brothers in Zion, Arkansas. This was the Tomlinson family consisting of Will, Clementine, Ewing, Owen, Ernest (who died in WWII one day before his 21st birthday), George, Waldon, John, Pearl and baby Lucille. After interviewing our mothers and typing the stories, we let others read them. Then we began getting requests for us to interview other people, so we did. When we had about twenty stories, we decided to put them into a book. After publishing Book #1 we still had several stories remaining, so we decided to continue the interviews and make another book. Thus was the beginning of the Down Memory Lane books of which we have completed twelve and are currently working on #13.”
“Sometime during this period, the late Fred Blankenship of Melbourne asked Sue and me to start up the cemetery preservation project in Izard County. At that time Sue decided to do that project, and I continued with the DML books. After putting out #11, my daughter, Diane Honey, began helping me. She prints and binds these books. We feel by doing this project, we are preserving Izard County History and giving people a view of history as it actually happen in the lives of these people. We hoped that someone in other counties would do a similar project to preserve history in north central Arkansas.”
“I am active in the Melbourne Methodist Church. My sister, Shirley Hill, and I deliver backpack snacks once a week in Melbourne. I am a Hospice volunteer, and I work every Wednesday and one Saturday a week at the Manna House in Melbourne, of which I am the Secretary.”

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Izard County Cemetery Lisitings on

Izard County Arkansas Vital Records

Izard County Clerk
P.O. Box 327
400 Court Street
Melbourne, AR 72556-0327
Phone: (870) 368-4328

Surnames on Our Family Tree

Adjacent Counties

Fulton County | Sharp County | Independence County | Stone County | Baxter County

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