Area History

Crittenden County – Part of A Growing Nation

The flags of Spain and France flew over the area which became Crittenden County after being visited by explorers from those two European nations. In 1803, what was later to be identified as Crittenden County, became a part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase. Crittenden is located in east-central Arkansas on the west bank of the Mississippi River. Triangular in shape, its eastern and southern boundaries are channels of the Mississippi, some of which now are abandoned; it is bounded on the west by Lee, St. Francis, and Cross Counties, portions of which were initially part of Crittenden. Poinsett and Mississippi Counties adjoin the county on the north.

After becoming a part of the United States, the area became part of the Territory of Arkansas. Crittenden was the 12th county to be carved from that territory and came as a result of an October 22, 1825, act, by the Territorial General Assembly which was to become effective January 1, 1826. The act was signed by Governor George Izard. Initially the northern boundary was the Arkansas-Missouri line and the southern boundary was about four miles north of today’s Marianna. The eastern boundary was the Mississippi River and the western, the St. Francis River. Subsequently, other counties were carved from this acreage. Crittenden County was named for Robert Crittenden, a Kentucky lawyer who was the first secretary of the Territory of Arkansas. Crittenden served many times as acting governor of Arkansas.

In an election held August 7, 1826, commissioners were chosen to locate a county seat and selected Greenock, a small town located east of today’s Clarkedale. Due to the impassable roads leading to Greenock, Marion became the county seat in 1836.

The first census of the county was taken in 1810, and covered the two townships, Hopefield and St. Francis, that existed at that time. A total of 188 persons were counted. There were 1,272 enumerated in the first county-wide census in 1830. Because much of the land in the county had been given to individuals by the government of Spain, many of the legal descriptions of property still reflect the Spanish Grant numbers.

Hopefield – Second Town in the State of Arkansas

Crittenden County boasted the second town in Arkansas – Hopefield, which was located on the west bank of the Mississippi from directly across from Memphis. The early settlers of the county found a good income source in harvesting timber to sell steamboats for fuel. More extensive timber harvesting came with the location of large and small lumber firms throughout the county. By 1900, there were more than 500 sawmills within a 100-mile radius of Memphis, and that city claimed the titles of the world’s largest hardwood market and the world’s second largest lumber market.

As the timber was harvested, the lumber firms were replaced by agricultural developments and Crittenden became the primary agricultural county that it continues to be today with wheat, soybeans, cotton, and rice the major crops produced. Mechanization of farming has resulted in the elimination of many small size farming operations, larger acreages being required to profitably meet the costs of farm equipment and chemicals. In recent years, Crittenden has been developing as a major transportation and distribution center.

Announcements

Used Tire Disposal

Tire disposal is available for both businesses and residents.

The hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 to 3:30.

There is no charge at the time of service, but there will be bills sent out quarterly for each tire.

The tire prices are: $1.75/passenger tires; $5/semi-truck tires; $26/ implement tires.

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