The Formation of Union County, Arkansas

Submitted by: Dawn Dykes Petz, 10 February 2002
Written by Ralph O. Weldon, Apr 1990
As presented in Vol. 12, No. 1
Tracks and Traces, May 1990
Union County Genealogical Society

On January 15,1815, The General Assembly of the Missouri Territory divided The District of Arkansas into two counties, Arkansas and Lawrence. Lawrence Co. was the area north of the Arkansas River and Arkansas Co. was the area south of the Arkansas River.

The General Assembly of The Missouri Territory on December 15,1818 created three new counties; Clark, Hempstead, and Pulaski.

On November 2, 1829, the General Assembly of the Territory of Arkansas formed Union County from a portion of Hempstead and Clark Counties.

The boundary description of the act is as follows: Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Territory of Arkansas that all that portion of the county of Hempstead and Clark bounded as follows, viz: beginning on the Louisiana line, where it crosses the military road leading from Natchitoches to Cantonment Towson; thence with said road to the North-east corner of Lafayette; thence a direct line to Big Caney Creek, at a point where the road leading from the town of Washington to Cote a Fabre crosses the same; thence down the said creek to its junction with the Little Missouri; thence down the said river to the Washita; thence north öeast to Saline Bayou; thence to the north-west corner of Chicot Co.; thence due south to the Louisiana line; thence west to the beginning; be, and the same is hereby, erected into a separate and distinct county, to be called and known by the name of the County of Union.

On 26th November 1846, an Act to define the boundary line between the Counties of Lafayette and Union. ăBe it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas, that the range line between range nineteen and twenty west of the fifty principle meridian be, and the same is hereby made and constituted, the boundary line between the Counties of Lafayette and Union in the State.

On 6th January 1853, an act to change the county line dividing Union and Ouachita Counties. ăBe it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas, that the main channel of the Smackover Creek, from the point on said creek, where the range line dividing range sixteen and seventeen west, strikes the same to the mouth of said creek, be, and the same is hereby declared to be the line dividing Union County from Ouachita Co.

On 21st December 1858 an act to add to the County of Columbia a portion of the county of Union. ă Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Arkansas, that from and after the passage of this act, that the boundary line between the Counties of Union and Columbia shall be, and is hereby extended south, between sections four and five, eight and nine, sixteen and seventeen, twenty and twenty-one, twenty-eight and twenty-nine, and thirty-two and thirty-three, to the line of Louisiana, and that all of township nineteen south, and range eighteen west, lying west of said line, and all of township nineteen south and range 19 west, which now belongs to the County of Union, be, and the same is hereby attached to the county of Columbia.

On November 19th, 1862, an act to retrocede portions of Calhoun County to the Counties of Union and Bradley; Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Arkansas, that all that portion of the County of Calhoun lying west of the Ouachita River be, and the same is hereby, retroceded to the County of Union.
CREDITS: Charlie Daniel, Commissioner of State Lands, furnished copies of Acts describing boundary changes. State Senator Bill Moore.

Note: There were some maps included with this article, but I don't have a scanner. Whoever spelled Washita in the original article was using soundex. The proper spelling is Ouachita and is pronounced Wash-uh-taw.

Definitions:
Viz - short for videlicet, used to introduce examples, lists or items.
Retrocede - to cede or give back; return