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The Battle of Helena, which took place in Helena, Arkansas, in July 1863, was one of the largest Civil War battles fought in the state. Union forces were able to repel a Confederate attack, which helped secure control of the Mississippi River for the Union.
Lee County, Arkansas, located in the southeastern part of the state, has a rich history that dates back to prehistoric times. Archaeological evidence suggests that the region was inhabited as early as 10,000 BC, with indigenous tribes such as the Quapaw and Osage tribes later occupying the area.

European exploration of the region began in the 16th century when Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto explored the Mississippi River. However, it was not until the early 1800s that European settlers began to establish permanent communities in the area. In 1857, Lee County was officially established, named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Throughout its history, Lee County has been heavily influenced by agriculture. In the 19th century, the county became a major producer of cotton, with large plantations and slave labor playing a significant role in its economy. The Civil War had a devastating impact on the area, with many plantations destroyed and the economy facing significant challenges during the Reconstruction era.

The early 20th century brought various changes to Lee County. The arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s stimulated growth and opened up new opportunities for trade and transportation. The county also experienced a wave of migration during the Great Depression as people sought employment opportunities in northern industrial cities. Today, Lee County remains an agricultural community, with farming, particularly the production of crops such as soybeans and rice, being a major source of income and employment for its residents.

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

  • 1873 - Lee County is established on April 17, 1873.
  • 1896 - The county seat is moved from Salem to Marianna on November 3, 1896.
  • 1907 - The Lee County Courthouse is built in Marianna in 1907.
  • 1927 - Lee County is severely impacted by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.
  • 1941 - The Pine Tree Army Airfield is established near Marianna to train military pilots during World War II.
  • 1954 - The Lee County Cooperative Clinic is founded in Marianna in 1954.
  • 1996 - The Lee County Museum is opened in Marianna to preserve the county's history.
  • 2000 - The population of Lee County reaches its peak at 12,580 in the 2000 census.
  • 2011 - The Marianna Municipal Airport is closed and replaced with a new airport in nearby Forrest City.