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Cleveland County

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April 17, 1873

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    The Arkansas legislature established Dorsey County as Arkansas's 71st county on April 17, 1873, naming it for Stephen W. Dorsey, the U.S. Senator from Arkansas. When he was indicted for defrauding the Post Office, they renamed it on March 5, 1885, for Grover Cleveland, the newly elected President of the United States.
    The most important event in what became Cleveland County during the Civil War was the Battle of Marks' Mills on April 25, 1864. Union general Frederick Steele's forces in Camden (Ouachita County) sent 240 wagons escorted by troops commanded by Colonel Francis Drake to Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) for supplies. Confederates led by General James Fagan learned the wagon train was expected to cross the Saline River at Mount Elba en route to Pine Bluff and ambushed the Union forces near the Marks settlement. The Confederate attack was successful and led to the capture of the entire wagon train. Union casualties were about 1,500, while Confederate losses were 293. This Union loss caused Steele to withdraw from Camden and return to Little Rock (Pulaski County).


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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
20 Magnolia St.
Rison, AR 71665
Phone (870)325-6902
Fax (870)325-6144
County Clerk
20 Magnolia St.
Rison, AR 71665
Phone (870)325-6521
Fax (870)325-6144
Cleveland County Historical Society
P. O. Box 192
Rison, AR 71665

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Adjacent Counties

Grant County | Jefferson County | Lincoln County | Drew County
Bradley County | Calhoun County | Dallas County

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