Historical Markers in
Howard County, Arkansas

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 Prohibition was repealed in the state in 1933, shortly after the end of the nationwide prohibition era.
Howard County, Arkansas, located in the southwestern part of the state, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Caddo and Quapaw, who left behind evidence of their presence in the form of burial mounds and archeological artifacts. In the 18th century, French explorers and traders began to visit the region, establishing peaceful relations with the native inhabitants.

The county itself was created in 1873 from parts of Pike, Polk, Hempstead, and Sevier counties. It was named after James Howard, a prominent politician and lawyer from Little Rock who had actively supported the county's formation. The county seat, Nashville, was established shortly after and named after Nashville, Tennessee. The development of Nashville and other towns in the county was closely tied to the timber industry, which played a significant role in the county's economy for many years.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Howard County experienced rapid growth and development as railroads were introduced to the area. The arrival of the Kansas City Southern Railroad in the early 1900s opened up new opportunities for trade and transportation, further boosting the county's economy. The timber industry continued to thrive, and the county became known for its vast forests and lumber mills.

However, like many other areas in rural America, Howard County faced economic struggles in the later part of the 20th century. Changes in the timber industry, as well as the decline of rail transportation, led to a decline in economic opportunities and population. Today, the county continues to preserve its rich history through various historical sites and museums, and its natural beauty attracts visitors who enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, and camping in the beautiful Ouachita National Forest.

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

  • 1818 - The land that is now Howard County was acquired as part of the Arkansas Territory.
  • 1836 - Howard County was established as a county in the state of Arkansas.
  • 1846 - The county seat was established in Nashville.
  • 1904 - The discovery of oil in the county led to a boom in population and economic growth.
  • 1915 - The construction of the Nashville, Ashdown and Rio Grande Railroad brought further development to the county.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression led to a decline in the county's economy.
  • 1950s - The county's economy rebounded with the establishment of poultry production and processing industries.
  • 1970s - The discovery of natural gas reserves provided another economic boost to the county.
  • 1990s - The county experienced population growth and increased diversity.