During the Civil War, Arkansas was a Confederate state, and the battles of Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove were fought in the state. In addition, the city of Little Rock was occupied by Union troops for much of the war.
Baxter County, AR, located in the Ozark Mountains, has a rich and vibrant history that dates back thousands of years. The area was once home to Native American tribes, including the Osage and the Cherokee, who utilized the abundant natural resources and fertile land. European explorers began to arrive in the early 19th century, with John Cooper settling in the area in 1813 and becoming the first permanent white settler in what is now Baxter County.

In the mid-19th century, Baxter County experienced rapid growth with the establishment of several small communities. The county was officially formed in 1873 and named after Elisha Baxter, governor of Arkansas at the time. The economy of Baxter County initially relied heavily on agriculture, particularly tobacco and cattle farming. Small-scale mining operations for lead and zinc also emerged, providing additional economic opportunities.

The turn of the century brought significant change to Baxter County, as transportation and infrastructure development accelerated. The construction of railroads in the early 1900s opened up new markets for agricultural products and allowed for easier travel between communities. This led to an influx of settlers and boosted economic growth. During World War II, the construction of Norfork Dam on the White River further transformed the county's landscape, creating Lake Norfork and providing hydroelectric power and recreational opportunities.

In recent decades, Baxter County has seen continued growth and diversification. The manufacturing, healthcare, and service sectors have become important contributors to the local economy. With its stunning natural beauty, including the Ozark Mountains and the clear waters of Lake Norfork, Baxter County has also become a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from near and far. Today, the county continues to evolve while preserving its deep-rooted history and natural heritage.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Baxter County, Arkansas.

  • 1835: Baxter County is established as part of the Arkansas Territory.
  • 1873: The town of Mountain Home is founded.
  • 1883: The first courthouse is built in Mountain Home.
  • 1923: The Norfork Dam is completed on the North Fork of the White River.
  • 1940s: The Twin Lakes area, including Bull Shoals and Norfork Lakes, becomes a popular tourist destination.
  • 1965: Mountain Home becomes the county seat of Baxter County.
  • 1991: The Bull Shoals Dam is completed.