Brief History of Clay County, Arkansas

     Clay County, first called Clayton County, was formed in 1873 with Corning as the county seat. It was formed from parts of Greene and Randolph Counties with Western Clay County being formed from Randolph County and Eastern Clay County being formed from Greene County. There seems to be some controversy over which Clayton was the namesake of Clayton County in the beginning. It may have been John M. Clayton or his brother, Powell Clayton. Henry Clay was the person honored when the name was changed in 1875.

According to "History and Traditions of Clay County," compiled by Robert T. Webb, Edited and indexed by Frank Cochran, the people moved the county seat from Corning to Boydsville in 1877. Most of the people lived in the eastern part of the county and it was difficult to travel through the bottoms to Corning.

Changing the county seat did not change the difficulty of crossing the bottoms, but only transferred it to the people in the Western part.

In 1881 the county was divided into two districts with Boydsville the Eastern county seat and Corning the Western county seat. In 1888 the people voted to move the Eastern county seat to Piggott.

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Copyright © 1998 by Cathy Barnes; all rights reserved.