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St. Francis County

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October 13, 1827

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    The county was formed on October 13, 1827, and named for the St. Francis River. A temporary county seat was set up at the home of William Strong until a permanent one was established at Franklin. However, in 1840, the county seat was moved to Madison. In 1855, the seat was moved again to Mount Vernon, but the courthouse burned the following year, and Madison again regained its role. In 1862, to prevent government records from falling into Union hands, they were moved from the courthouse at Madison to a location in the nearby woods. However, the woods caught fire, and the records were destroyed. In 1874, the county seat was moved to Forrest City after a vote on the matter; the citizens of Madison, however, refused to part with county records, thus leading some citizens of Forrest City to go there one evening and steal the safe containing the records. However, the frame building that served as a courthouse at Forrest City was burned a few months later in an attempt to destroy records revealing certain criminal acts.
    The first permanent white settlers, along with their slaves, arrived in St. Francis County from Tennessee and Kentucky, settling along the high ground of Crowley's Ridge. Noteworthy settlers include Samuel Fillingen and John Johnson, the latter of whom was a representative in the territorial legislature.


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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.
Circuit Clerk
313 South Izard St.
Forrest City, AR 72335
Phone (870)261-1715
Fax (870)261-1723
County Clerk
313 South Izard St.
Forrest City, AR 72335
Phone (870)261-1725
Fax (870)630-1210
Saint Francis County Historical Society
P.O. Box 2048
Forrest City, AR 72335
Stuart Towns
Meets at
St. FRancis County Museum
419 Front Street

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Adjacent Counties

Cross County | Crittenden County | Lee County | Monroe County | Woodruff County

Last Updated, Friday, 16-Jan-2015 07:24:03 MST
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