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The first Walmart store was opened in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962 by Sam Walton, who went on to build one of the largest retail chains in the world. Today, Walmart is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, and is one of the largest employers in the state.
Clay County, located in northeastern Arkansas, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1873. Originally settled by Native American tribes, including the Osage and the Quapaw, the area was later explored by European descendants in the early 19th century. The county's name honors John M. Clayton, who served as the U.S. Secretary of State during the mid-19th century.

In the mid-19th century, Clay County saw a significant influx of settlers, primarily from southern states, who were attracted by the fertile land and opportunities for agriculture. The county's economy became centered around cotton production, with plantations and large farms dominating the landscape. Slavery was also prevalent during this time, and as a result, the Civil War had a significant impact on Clay County, as the region was heavily divided between Union and Confederate sympathizers.

After the Civil War, Clay County struggled to recover economically, but the construction of railroads in the late 19th century provided new opportunities for trade and transportation. The towns of Corning and Piggott emerged as important commercial centers, with industries such as timber, farming, and manufacturing contributing to the county's growth.

Throughout the 20th century, Clay County faced its fair share of challenges, including the Great Depression, which brought widespread poverty and hardship. However, the construction of roads and improved infrastructure in the following decades helped stimulate economic development and improve the quality of life for residents. Today, Clay County remains an important agricultural region, with a strong focus on rice and soybean production, as well as timber and manufacturing industries. The county also boasts natural attractions like the St. Francis River that provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and tourism.

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

  • 1850 - Clay County officially established as a county in Arkansas.
  • 1851 - Piggott becomes the first settled community within Clay County.
  • 1868 - County seat moved from Clayton to Piggott.
  • 1873 - The first public school in Clay County is established in Piggott.
  • 1887 - Railroad constructed through Clay County, boosting economic development.
  • 1911 - Rector is incorporated as a city within Clay County.
  • 1930s - Clay County significantly impacted by the Great Depression.
  • 1944 - Current courthouse completed in Piggott, replacing the previous one.
  • 1960s - Floods caused by heavy rainfall severely affect Clay County.
  • 1990s - Clay County experiences a population decline due to economic changes.