History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889

History of Benton County


Hon, Jesse Turner's address at Alma, July, 4, 1876.
The first seat of justice of Crawford County was located temporarily at the house of John Jay, on the south side of the Arkansas River, half a mile above the point on the river now known as Crawford Old Court House. The commissioners appointed by act of the General Assembly of October 22, 1821, to [p.496] make permanent location of the seat of justice, were Clark Sanders, John McLain and John Wilson, who, it is believed, made the location near the present residence of Mrs. John D. Arbuckle, about three miles west of Crawford Old Court House. An act of the General Assembly of October 24, 1821, enlarges the boundaries of the county on the southwest, and an act of October 30, 1823, made some changes of boundaries in what is now the Cherokee Nation, but did not materially enlarge or diminish the area of the county. By an act of October 30, 1827, all that portion of the county of Crawford known as “Lovely's Purchase,” and certain adjacent territory not previously apportioned to any county in the territory, the boundaries of which were particularly described, was created into a separate county of “Lovely.” The county of Lovely embraced the greater part of the Cherokee Nation, and (it is believed) the present counties of Washington, Benton and Madison, and must at that time have contained nearly or quite 5,000 inhabitants. The Western Cherokees, by treaty with the United States of 6th of May, 1828, having ceded to the latter their lands north of the Arkansas River, included in the treaty of 1817 and convention of 1819, embraced mostly in the present counties of Pope. Johnson, Franklin and Crawford, for which the United States ceded to the Cherokees the county embracing Lovely County and some other territory adjacent thereto (the present Cherokee Nation), the General Assembly, by act of October 22, 1828, attached the Indian country thus acquired from the Cherokees to and made it a part of Crawford.

History of Benton County
page 496
A paper by Hon. Ben. T. Duval, read before the State Historical Society in 1882, says: “By treaty made at St. Louis on the 25th of September, 1825, between William Clark, governor of Missouri Territory, and a full and complete deputation of considerate men, chiefs and warriors of the Great and Little Osage Nation, the territory within the following bounds, to wit: ‘Beginning at Arkansas River, at where the Osage boundary line strikes it, at the mouth of Frog Bayou; then up the Arkansas and Verdigris to the falls of the Verdigris; thence eastwardly to the said Osage line at a point twenty leagues north from the Arkansas River, and thence to the place of beginning,’ was added to the United States. Lovely's name does not appear in the treaty. For this cession of territory the United States agreed to pay their own citizens the full value of such property as could be legally proven to have been stolen and destroyed by the Osages, not exceeding the sum of $4,000. This ceded territory was included in the limits of Lovely County-in fact, was Lovely County.

History of Benton County
By an act approved October 20, 1828, it was made the duty of the “clerk of the circuit court of Lovely County to transmit to the clerk of the circuit court of Washington County all records, dockets, vouchers and other papers remaining in his office.”

To Hon. Ben. T. Duval.
Since Lovely County covered a part of the present Crawford. the following letter from Col. Thomas Moore, of Franklin, Tenn., may throw some light on it:

The date 1821 or name Alexander McLean is wrong: for Henry Bradford was clerk in 1821-23.-Ed Bates became judge in 1833.-Ed.
The name “Lovely” in one of the treaties settles that question.-Ed.

I moved with my father's family to Crawford County. Ark., in 1821, and settled five miles above Crawford Court House The names of the lawyers that I remember, who practiced in court at that time, were Col. William Quarles, William Oden, William Cummins and Robert Crittenden. Alexander McLean [p.497] was clerk; and I believe James Woodson Bates was judge of the court. The name of the Cherokee agent was Loveless (not Lovely), and the purchase, I suppose, was made by him and named for him. His widow lived many years near the old Dwight Mission, in the Cherokee Nation, not far from Dardanelle. After the white people commenced settling in the Purchase, commissioners were appointed to lay off a county seat, Gen. John Nicks being one of them. The town was laid off and named Nicksville in honor of him. I was appointed sheriff by the governor of the Territory, and John Dillard, Esq., appointed county clerk. My brother Benjamin was my deputy. We, with our families and my brother, also Dr. J. D. McGee, moved up from Crawford County in March, 1828, and settled in Nicksville (the exact spot where new Dwight Mission was founded). Not long after we moved there court was held there, and only one. I do not recollect the names of the lawyers, except Mr. Robert Crittenden. of Little Rock, and Col. Franklin Wharton. Judge James W. Bates presided. Mr. Wharton Rector was there. I don't know whether he was a lawyer or not. In May, of the same year, an edict came from the authorities at Washington City, that all settlers must leave, for the purchase had been exchanged for the Cherokee lands below, on the north side of the Arkansas River, and all males over twenty-one years of age, who had made an improvement, would be entitled to 320 acres of land to remunerate them for their losses. A rush was made by speculators and others to Loveless County to buy all the claims that they could, etc. So the newly acquired county was soon settled, and Nicksville was short-lived. I fear I have given you but little satisfaction, but it is the best I can do.

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