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Van Buren County

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November 11, 1833

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The county was formed on November 11, 1833, and named for Martin Van Buren, President of the United States, who was Vice President at the time of the county's formation and Arkansas's admission to the union. The first county seat was Mudtown–so named because any appreciable amount of rain resulted in ankle-deep muddy streets. Mudtown later became known as Bloomington. This community was near Lafferty's home, and the county's business was conducted in the home of Obadiah Marsh. Soon after the county's formation, a one-room log structure, constructed by the men in the community in a "log raising." The county seat was moved to Clinton in 1842, and again a log-raising event produced a one-room courthouse. Several years later, a two-story white frame columned courthouse replaced the log structure. Bushwhackers burned the courthouse in 1865. The local Methodist church was used as a makeshift courthouse until a new two-story frame courthouse was erected in 1869. The county's present native stone courthouse was constructed with the WPA's assistance in 1934.
    Perhaps the most important settler in this part of the county was John L. Lafferty, who came to Arkansas from Georgia. Lafferty owned a large plantation near where the three branches of the Little Red once ran together. Lafferty was the guiding force in the creation of Van Buren 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.
Circuit and County Clerk
451 Main Street
Clinton, AR 72031
Phone (501)745-4140
Fax (501)745-7400
Van Buren County Historical Society & Museum
211 3rd Street
P.O. Box 1023
Clinton, AR 72031

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Adjacent Counties

Searcy County | Stone County | Cleburne County | Faulkner County | Conway County | Pope County

Last Updated, Thursday, 28-Mar-2013 09:13:52 MDT
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