Skip to Main Content

County History

Arkansas County has the largest land area of any county in Arkansas. It was also the first county.
formed in the state. Stuttgart, one of the two county seats, was settled in 1878 by a German Lutheran
congregation headed by Rev. Adam Buerkle. Stuttgart was named in honor of Buerkle's birthplace in
Germany. Dewitt the other county seat was founded in 1853 to be the county seat of Arkansas County
because of its central location. The name Dewitt was picked out of a hat of name submissions. The name
was submitted by an admirer of Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York.
Rice and soybeans are the chief agricultural products in the county. Rice farming began in the
area around 1900, and today more than 280,000 acres of rice and soybeans are grown annually. Local
farmers also grow wheat, oats, milo, and corn. Fish and cattle industries supplement the agricultural
Hunting and fishing activities have a heavy influence in the county. Fishermen can find a wealth of bass, crappie, catfish, and brim in the numerous lakes and reservoirs within the county and in the
White and Arkansas Rivers nearby. Hunters can enjoy large deer, duck, and turkey populations. The
World Championship Duck Calling Contest and the Wings Over the Prairie Festival are held on Thanksgiving week.
Arkansas County is a treasure trove of natural landmarks and historical markers. Several
museums, monuments, parks, and buildings show the heritage, growth, and history of Arkansas County.
Twenty-six locations in Arkansas County are recognized officially as historic places and can be visited.