In the early 20th century, Arkansas became a major producer of rice, thanks to the development of new varieties of rice that could thrive in the state's humid climate. Today, Arkansas is one of the largest producers of rice in the U.S.
Craighead County, located in the northeastern part of Arkansas, has a rich and diverse history that dates back to the early settlement of the region. The county was established on February 19, 1859, and was named after Thomas Craighead, a prominent Arkansas legislator.

The area that would later become Craighead County was originally home to Native American tribes, including the Osage and Quapaw. European settlers began to arrive in the early 19th century, attracted by the fertile land and abundant resources. The first permanent settlement in Craighead County was established in 1813 by Benjamin Crowley and his family near what is now Crowley's Ridge State Park.

In the mid-19th century, Craighead County experienced significant growth with the arrival of the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad in 1873. The railroad helped to connect the county to other major cities and facilitated the transportation of goods and people. This led to the establishment of several new towns, including Jonesboro, the county seat, and a significant increase in population.

Over the years, Craighead County has become a hub of education, commerce, and agriculture. It is home to Arkansas State University, which was founded as the First District Agricultural School in 1909 and has since grown into a major institution. The county's agricultural sector has also thrived, with cotton, soybeans, and rice being major crops cultivated in the fertile Delta region.

Today, Craighead County continues to grow and develop, with a diverse economy and a vibrant community. It has preserved and celebrated its rich history while embracing progress and innovation, making it a dynamic and attractive place to live and work.

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

  • 1859 - Craighead County is established as the 32nd county in Arkansas.
  • 1861-1865 - Craighead County residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1873 - The city of Jonesboro is incorporated.
  • 1883 - Arkansas State University (formerly Arkansas State College) is founded in Jonesboro.
  • 1910 - Crowley's Ridge State Park is established as a recreational area.
  • 1942-1945 - During World War II, the Japanese American internment camp, Jerome War Relocation Center, is located in the northern part of Craighead County.
  • 1973 - The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center is opened in Piggott.
  • 1998 - The Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library opens its doors.
  • 2011 - A devastating EF-4 tornado hits the city of Jonesboro, causing widespread destruction.