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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 Roger Harvell

Brockwell, AR - The Izard County Historical and Genealogical Society will meet on Sunday afternoon, January 10, 2015, at the Izard County Senior Center at 2 p.m. south of Brockwell, Arkansas, on Highway #9. The public is welcome to attend, and refreshments will be served.
Roger Harvell, a society member, will be the guest speaker for the session. He has a vast knowledge of his family history, Izard County history, and the history of the Civil War era. He is a native of Izard County being the son of the late Reverend Owen Harvell and the late Sibyl Walker Harvell. His Izard County roots run back to the time before the county existed. His maternal Walker line was in this area when it was still a part of the Missouri Territory.
After his Air Force retirement, Roger became a computer programmer for a company in Little Rock. He became acquainted with George Fisher, the editorial cartoonist for the Arkansas Gazette, who encouraged him to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a cartoonist. He worked in North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, and in Greenville, South Carolina, drawing cartoons for area newspapers.
Harvell’s interest in genealogy grew when he came into possession of his father’s research. After mapping the Harvell family lands in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee from original land transactions and at courthouses, he realized how geography plays an important role in genealogy. He completed a project showing all the original landowners of Izard County of which the Bureau Of Land Management has record. The book he published is titled “Izard County, Arkansas From the Beginning: Original Land Ownership Maps” available from Arkansas Research, Inc. in Conway, AR.
Harvell is very active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and participates in reenactments throughout the state with his Civil War replica cannon. He lives on the family homestead at Lunenburg and does contract work for several newspapers

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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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