Greene County Arkansas
Centennial Edition Section 1
6--Section 1, Centennial Edition Paragould Daily Press, Monday, August 29, 1983
|The administration of justice has always been one of the primary respon-sibilities of county government, through which the court system and its many records are administered. This is said to have been the first grand jury to meet after the new Paragould courthouse was completed in 1888. Since a grand jury included only 16 men, it is thought that the elected county officials may have also posed for this picture. No identifications are available.||Through the years, the county
transportation system has been one of the chief and most loudly voiced
concerns of rural residents. While this fact hasn't chan-ged much, the
county's roadworking equipment has. In this 1921 picture, taken while
the crew was working on Rocking Chair Road in Center Hill, John Grooms
is guiding the tractor-drawn grader as Tom McKelvey furnishes the
The friend posing on the tractor wheel is not identified.
|County Government has many functions|
| County governments are an arm
the state, created by the state legislature for the administration of certain functions thought to be handled better at the local level.
The administration of justice through a system of county-based criminal and civil courts has always been the primary function of county government. In fact, the basic structure of county government is outlined in the state constitution's Judicial Department Article, providing a basis for the titles "county judge" and justice of the peace."
Those titles are still used for the
county's chief executive and members
of its legislative assembly, but through the years the focus of the duties conferred upon the men and women holding those titles have changed.
The most significant change came less than 10 years ago, with the adoption of Amend-ment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution of 1874. Before Amendment 55, county governments could exercise only those authorities specifically granted to them by the constitution or the legislature. But Amendment 55's "home rule" section allows counties to exercise all local authority not specifically denied by the constitution or by state law, a total change in legal perspective.
The legislative act creating Greene County included five sections -- defining the boundaries of the new county, outlining procedures for transferring pending legal matters from Law-rence County, locating the temporary county
seat at Benjamin Crowley's house authorizing the justices of the peace and the constables who had been elected when the area was part of Lawrence County to continue their duties in the new county and authorizing the governor to appoint a temporary clerk and a temporary sheriff pending the election of officials for the new county.
It is not known whether the temporary appointments did not include the county judge because that office was not important enough or to important for gubernatorial intervention.
This stylistic lettering has been used on
After a series of courthouse fires which destroyed virtually all county
records accumulated during Greene County's first 43
Upper left photo courtesy of: Bill Hunter
Page 7 Section 1
Transcribed from the 1983 Centennial Edition by : PR Massey
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