Arkansas Counties
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Arkansas Counties

The first of the Arkansas' seventy-five present-day counties created, Arkansas County was formed on 13 December 1813, when this area was part of the Missouri Territory.

Johnson County, Arkansas

Johnson County Education, Geography, and HistoryJohnson County, Arkansas Courthouse

Johnson County is a county located in the state of Arkansas. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 25,540. The county seat is Clarksville. Johnson County is Arkansas's 30th county, formed on November 16, 1833, from a portion of Pope County. The county is named for Benjamin Johnson, a Territorial Judge.

Etymology - Origin of Johnson County Name

Johnson county is named for Benjamin Johnson, a judge in the Arkansas Territory. Benjamin Johnson (c. 1665-1742) was an English actor.

Benjamin Johnson was first a scene painter, then acted in the provinces, and appeared in London in 1695 at Drury Lane after Betterton's defection. He was the original Captain Driver in Oronooko (1696), Captain Fireball in George Farquhar's Sir Harry Wildair (1701) and Sable in Steeles Funeral (1702); he was particularly well regarded as the First Gravedigger in Hamlet and as several characters in the plays of Ben Jonson. He also succeeded to Thomas Doggett's roles.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Johnson County History

Johnson county was formed on November 1833, from Pope County and was named after Benjamin Johnson, one of Arkansas' early jurists. Clarksville is the county seat, which was the location for the state's first school for deaf children in 1851, the same site of today's University of the Ozarks. Diversified industry is scattered over the county. Johnson County has an annual Peach Festival that started back in 1936, that attracts visitors from all over the country. Johnson County with its Mountains, Rivers and Forest provide scenic beauty for every season. The Ada Mills Bridge links the Arkansas River between Johnson and Logan counties. It is named for Ada Mills, a former Republican political activist who lobbied for the structure for forty years before its completion.

The notorious bandit Bill Doolin, the founder of the Wild Bunch, was born in Johnson County in 1858 and shot to death on capture in Oklahoma in 1896.

The county is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 683 square miles (1,770 km2), of which 660 square miles (1,700 km2) is land and 23 square miles (60 km2) (3.4%) is water.

The landscape is rugged terrain in the northern half and rolling farmlands, forested ridges, isolated mountains, and lakes in the southern half. The  northern half of Johnson County is Ozark National Forest that has two wildlife management areas. Little and Big Piney Creeks in the northeast corner and White Rock in the northwest offers hunting, fishing, canoeing, hiking and camping. The southern half of the county is river valley farm country where peaches, cattle, vegetables, soybeans, and grains are grown.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Newton County
  • Southeast: Pope County
  • Southwest: Logan County
  • West: Franklin County
  • Northwest: Madison County


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