Arkansas was one of the first states in the U.S. to enact a statewide prohibition on the sale and consumption of alcohol, passing the law in 1915. Prohibition was repealed in the state in 1933, shortly after the end of the nationwide prohibition era.

Arkansas County, located in the southeastern part of Arkansas, has a rich history dating back to the prehistoric era. It is believed that Native American tribes like the Quapaw and the Caddo once inhabited this land. European explorers such as Hernando de Soto and Robert La Salle visited the area in the 16th and 17th centuries, but it was not until the early 18th century that permanent settlements began to establish.

The county was officially formed in 1813 during the Arkansas Territory period. At that time, it covered a vast area that included present-day Arkansas, Monroe, and Phillips Counties. The county seat was established in Arkansas Post, an important trading center and the first capital of the Arkansas Territory. Arkansas Post played a significant role during the Civil War as a strategic supply depot for the Confederacy but was eventually captured by Union forces in 1863.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Arkansas County thrived mostly due to the agricultural industry. Cotton plantations became a dominant force in the local economy, relying heavily on the labor of enslaved African Americans. However, following the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, the economy of Arkansas County faced challenges as it adapted to new labor systems and the industrialization of agriculture.

In the modern era, Arkansas County continues to be primarily agricultural, with a major emphasis on rice farming. The county is also known for its rich wildlife, as it is home to several wildlife refuges and recreational areas that attract outdoor enthusiasts. Today, Arkansas County preserves its historical heritage through various museums, historic sites, and festivals, showcasing the significant contributions of its residents throughout history.

  • 1813 - Arkansas County is established as the first county in the Arkansas Territory.
  • 1815 - The county seat is permanently established in Arkansas Post.
  • 1821 - Arkansas County becomes part of the new state of Arkansas.
  • 1863 - Arkansas Post falls to Union forces during the American Civil War.
  • 1873 - The county seat is moved from Arkansas Post to De Witt.
  • 1912 - The area of Arkansas County is greatly reduced with the creation of new counties.
  • 1953 - The Arkansas River Flood damages many areas in the county.
  • 1974 - The last remaining residents from the original Arkansas Post community move to Gillett.
  • 1990 - The construction of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge begins in the county.
  • 2020 - Arkansas County celebrates its bicentennial anniversary.