Monroe County was organized under an act of the legislature of Arkansas Territory, approved November 2, 1829, and is located in Eastern Arkansas, between Little Rock and the Mississippi River. A temporary county seat was also provided for in the act, and it was located at the home of the widow of Thomas Maddox. The original county seat was located at Lawrenceville, on Maddox Bay, a point of White River several miles below the town of Clarendon. It had a small frame court house and a log jail. The seat of justice remained here until 1857, when it was moved to Clarendon, where it has remained. Clarendon had been in Phillips County until 1829. A brick court house was erected on the same foundation on which the present one stands and the building was covered when the Civil War began and stopped its completion. After the Federal army took possession of this part of the state, the soldiers took the building down and shipped the brick up the river to De Vall's Bluff and used them in erecting fireplaces and chimneys. During the Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, the town of Clarendon was a cross-point on the military road between Memphis & Little Rock, so, the courts of Monroe County were closed. No sessions of the county court were held after April, 1862, until July, 1865. All other courts in the area were suspended about the same length of time. Clarendon, the county seat of Monroe County, is located on the Eastern bank of White River, near the center of the county north, and south.. Clarendon was first known as "Mouth of Cache", and changed to Clarendon in 1837. The "Mouth of Cache" Post Office was established in 1828. Prominent among the settlers of this area was Samuel Martin, who opened the first store and kept the ferry across the river. He also erected the first steam saw mill. The next store was opened by Henry M. Couch, who came from Tennessee, and by 1856, it was the only one in the town. The earliest known ferry was established by Sylvanus Phillips at "Mouth of Cache" in 1827. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Martin opened and ran the first hotel in the town. Col. James Harris, of Tennessee, brother of Tennessee's former Senator Isham G. Harris, settled at Clarendon in 1856, married the widow Martin, and helped her finish the new hotel she was building.
If you would like to contribute your information to this page or would like to put a page(s) up of This County , please let me know. If you live in or have ties to the state of Arkansas and would like to host an Arkansas County,
contact Bill Couch.