Pope County Facts and History

Thanks to Betty Allen!

Created 2 Nov 1829 Parent County: Crawford
Progeny Counties: Johnson 1833, Logan 1871, Scott 1833, Van Buren 1833, Yell 1844

County Boundary Changes: Part annexed to Yell 5 Jan 1853, part annexed from Conway 6 Jan 1853, line with Newton defined 17 Feb 1859, with Johnson 19 Oct 1859 and 27 Mar 1871, with Conway 28 May 1874, with Johnson re-established 6 Mar 1875, changed with Johnson 9 Mar 1877

The area of Pope County had belonged to the Osage Indians until a treaty was signed by them in 1808. This treaty, negotiated by Gen. William Clark, gave the United States the territory east of a line from Fort Clark at Fire Prairie on the Missouri River, near Kansas City, south to the Arkansas River at the mouth of Frog Bayou, at Alma, AR.

Pope County was created on 2 November, 1829 mostly from Conway Co., seven years before the Territory of Arkansas became a state in 1836. The first temporary county seat was at the home of John Ballinger on the Arkansas River near Honorable John R. Scott's farm, known as Scotia. The courts were also held at his place during 1829 and 1830. Another early County seat was held at the old Dwight Mission on the Illinois Bayou.

In 1830, the County seat was established at old Norristown and remained there about ten years. But no county buildings were erected.

The first court house was built in 1840 when the County seat was moved to Dover. The log structure was used until it burned during the Civil War. Court was then held in churches until the brick court house could be built on the town square at Dover. It was later sold to the Town of Dover for $100 to be used as a school.

The County seat was moved to Russellville on 16 May 1888. The first house in Russellville was built by P.C. Holledger who settled there on the prairie in 1834. The house was sold the following year to Dr. Thomas Russell for whom the town was named.