Genealogy Trails History Group

Mississippi County, Arkansas
Genealogy and History
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Mississippi County
Mississippi County was once a part of Arkansas County, then Phillips County and next Crittenden County, from which it was separated by the Territorial Legislature November 1, 1833, and named Mississippi County from the great river that is her eastern boundary line. The original boundary extended to St. Francis river, and included 1,000 square miles. The first County seat, located opposite the first Chickasaw Bluffs, was called Cornwall.

Cornwall was on the site of an old Spanish encampment and has long since disappeared, and Osceola was adopted soon thereafter.

The first white settlers in the County of which anything is known were Carsons and William Kellums, who were hunters and who lived and hunted peaceably with the Indians. Carson’s Lake Township and Kellums Ridge were named for these men who were there as early as 1812, after the New Madrid great earthquake of 1810. This area was originally part of the Louisiana Territory, and later became part of the Missouri Territory on June 4, 1812.

Mississippi County was surveyed by the government in 1824-25-26, and placed for entry at Helena, Arkansas Land Office at $1.25 per acre. Mississippi County was formed from a part of Crittenden County. In 1833, Osceola was selected as the County Seat, the seat of justice having previously been held at the home of Peter Reeves. Mississippi County had a representative at the General Assembly named John Troy.

In 1836, a committee consisting of John C. Davis, John Buckner, Edwin Jones, Lusty McLung and Frederick Weller (or Miller) selected the small village of Osceola to be the County Seat.

Osceola was originally a collection of log huts on the Mississippi River. The town was named for the famous Seminole Chief who was a visitor among the resident Indian tribes in the area in 1832. Florida history reveals that Osceola was one of five Florida Indian Chiefs sent to Arkansas with the idea of exchanging Arkansas land for Seminole land in Florida.

County population in 1840 was 900 whites and 510 slaves, one school with 25 scholars, and farm products of 3042 cattle, 76 sheep, 5022 hogs, 107,615 bushels of corn, 3908 bushels of potatoes, 22,500 pounds of cotton.

The earliest settlers of Osceola were Edwin Jones, John P. Edrington, Thos. DeWitt, William Bard, E. F. Lloyd, J.W. Whitsworth, J.C. Bowen, Charles Bowen, E.H. Fletcher, John W. Williams, F.R. Lanier, the McGavocks, the Craigheads, and Peter Reeves.
 [The above information is taken from History of Mississippi County, Arkansas by Mabel F. Edrington, 1962.]

Cities, Towns and Other Populated Places
Bassett * Birdsong * Blytheville * Burdette * Dell * Dyess * Etowah * Gosnell *
Joiner * Keiser * Leachville * Luxora * Manila * Marie * Osceola * Victoria * Wilson

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Website Updates:
Oct 2014:  obit for SHAVER
Mar 2014: 1883 Pensioners



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Surrounding Counties
 Dunklin County, Missouri (northwest)
Pemiscot County, Missouri (north)
Dyer County, Tennessee (northeast)
Lauderdale County, Tennessee (east)
Tipton County, Tennessee (southeast)
Crittenden County (south)
Poinsett County (southwest)
Craighead County (west)

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