St. Francis County, Arkansas GenealogyEdit This Page

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St. Francis County, Arkansas
Map of Arkansas highlighting St. Francis County
Location in the state of Arkansas
Map of the U.S. highlighting Arkansas
Location of Arkansas in the U.S.
Founded October 13, 1827
County Seat Forrest City


County Courthouse

The St. Francis County Courthouse is located at:

313 S Izard St
Forrest City, AR 72335-3856
(870) 261-1715


When St. Francis County was formed in 1827 the county seat was temporariliy located in the home of William Strong, a prominant citizen, until it could be moved to the new town of Franklin. It remained in Franklin until 1840 when it was moved to Madison. In 1855 it was moved to Mt. Vernon. In 1856 the courthouse burned and the county seat was moved back to Madison until 1874 when a vote was taken to move once again to the rapidly expanding Forrest City that began as a railroad construction camp for Nathan Bedford Forrest.[1]

After the original frame courthouse in Forrest City burned in 1874 a brick building was constructed that was used until the current building was built. Many of the earlier record books in the current courthouse are laminated derivitives. A number of the original books are stored at the St. Francis County Museum, 603 Front Street, Forrest City, Arkansas.

Pioneer Times

Parent County

  • 1827--St. Francis was created 13 October 1827 from Phillips County.  County seat: Forrest City [2]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

The county records have been burned three times. The first time was in Mt. Vernon in 1856. During the War Between the States the records were moved to a frame home in the woods. The woods caught fire and the home and records burned. After the records were moved from the brick courthouse in Madison in 1874 to a frame building in Forrest City, they were burned again, ostensibly by someone trying to destroy criminal evidence.[3] 

Some deeds have been reconstructed back to the 1860's, but most county records begin in 1873 or 1874.  

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties






Local Histories






Vital Records

Societies and Libraries

Web Sites


  1. History of St. Francis County, Arkansas 1954, Fred N. McCollum Sr., Publisher, Robert W. Chowning, Author, Published by the Times-Herald Publishing Company, Forrest City, Arkansas, 1954 pp. 8 and 10. Copy in the Arkansas Room, Forrest City Public Library.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. History of St. Francis County, Arkansas 1954, ibid.


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