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Arkansas County

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13 December 1813

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    The first of the state's 75 present-day counties to be created, Arkansas County was formed on 13 December 1813 and is named after the Arkansas Indian tribe.
    In 1686, Henri de Tonti established Arkansas Post at the Quapaw village of Osotouy. Over the years, the post relocated because of flooding from the Arkansas River, but its position was strategic for the French, Spanish, Union, and Confederate military. Spanish soldiers and British partisans clashed at the post in 1783 in Colbertā's Raid, the only Revolutionary War action that occurred in Arkansas.
    Created by the Missouri Territory legislature in 1813, Arkansas County comprised about two-thirds of what is now Arkansas and part of eastern Oklahoma. More than half the state's counties were formed from this original county. In 1819, when Arkansas Territory was created, Arkansas Post became its capital.
    On November 20, 1819, at Arkansas Post, native New Yorker William Woodruff printed the first issue of the Arkansas Gazette. On April 1, 1820, the legislature appointed Woodruff public printer. He printed the newspaper at Arkansas Post until November 24, 1821. When the capital was moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1821, Woodruff moved his office there.
    In July 1855, the county clerk was ordered to move the records to DeWitt, the new county seat. The removal of the county seat from Arkansas Post to DeWitt, which was more centrally located, necessitated a new layout of land and new roads throughout the county.
    St. Charles was the location of a June 17, 1862, Civil War naval and land battle that disabled the Union USS Mound City; the shot that damaged the ship is considered one of the deadliest shots fired in the war.
    The most important event in the county during the Civil War was the January 9, 1863, capture of Fort Hindman at Arkansas Post by Union forces under General John McClernand. The number of Union troops in this engagement is unknown.


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Arkansas Dept of Health

Arkansas Dept of Health
Division of Vital Records, Slot 44
4815 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 661-2174
Fax: (501) 663-2832
  • Vital Records is responsible for the collection and issuance of birth and death certificates and marriage and divorce coupons.
  • Birth and death certificates serve two purposes. They are the definitive legal documents of identity and they collect important medical information about the two most important events – birth and death.
  • Marriage and divorce coupons are so called because they are removed from the bottom of marriage and divorce certificates, the original of which is retained in the offices of the county clerk of courts; these coupons contain limited information.

Arkansas State Archives

Arkansas History Commission
One Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
The History Commission, the official state archives, is a facility in which those interested in Arkansas history may engage in research. The staff does not undertake research requests from the public. The Research Room is open from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Monday through Saturday. It is closed on state holidays. If you are traveling long distances, please call to confirm hours/days of operation at 501.682.6900.

Arkansas Genealogical Society

  • The purpose of the society is to promote family history research, to educate persons in genealogical research methods and the use of historical records, to publish articles pertaining to Arkansas ancestors, and to preserve and make accessible historical, genealogical, and biographical sources pertaining to Arkansas.
  • AGS has contributed to the genealogical collection of books and other materials at the Arkansas History Commission and State Archives, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, and at other libraries and archives with genealogical collections. Books sent to AGS to be reviewed in The Arkansas Family Historian are always donated to a library that does not possess a copy. AGS sometimes purchases and donates special resources, such as the films of the Draper Manuscripts at the Arkansas History Commission.
Court Clerk
101 Court Sq.
Dewitt, AR 72042
Phone (870)946-4219
Fax (870)946-1394
County Clerk
101 Court Sq.
Dewitt, AR 72042
Phone (870)946-4349
Fax (870)946-4349
Grand Prairie Historical Society
PO Box 355
Gillett, AR 72055
Grand Prairie Genealogical Society
c/o Stuttgart Public Library
2002 S. Buerkle St.
Stuttgart, AR 72160

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