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Crawford County

 

Crawford County is named for William H Crawford, who was Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of War.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Washington County and Madison County

E – Franklin County

S – Sebastian County 

W – Sequayah County, Oklahoma and Adair County, Oklahoma

 

Created:   October 18, 1820                   Map of Arkansas highlighting Crawford County

County Seat:

Home of John Jay  1820 – 1822

Fort Smith              1822

McLain’s Bottom    1822

Crawford                1822 – 1836

Whitsontown          1836 – 1837

Crittenden              1837 – 1838

Van Buren              1838 – present

 

County Courthouse – Van Buren

 

Location:  300 Main Street / South 3rd Street

Built:  1841 – 1842

Style: Italianate

Architect:  County Administration

Contractor:  Unknown due to lost records

 

Description:  The building  faces northwest and is a two story white colored brick and wood structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Van Buren. The northwest front has a small portico supported by four columns rising to a balcony on the second story. There is a wide over hanging eave with sloped roof to a square wood cupola with clock at the top. There are north and south wings and an east wing. In the interior are plaster walls. The large courtroom is located on the second story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 21st Judicial District. The architect was the County Commissioners and the contractor was unknown. A fire destroyed the interior of the building on March 23, 1877 and the building was restored. There were four standing walls and the building was rebuilt by contractor M W Drewery with the addition to the original building of the north and south wings. The architect was F Adams. An addition was constructed in 1906. The architect was Frank W Gibbs and the contractor was Waddell & Harrington. In 1940, the building was remodeled and a new wing was added on the southeast side. The architect was Bassham and Wheller of Fort Smith and the contractor was The Hardy Brothers Construction Company of Texarkana. The building was damaged by a tornado on May 3, 2021. On the south side is the old two story County Jail.

 

Note:  On September 8, 1841, notice was published seeking bids for construction of the courthouse. There is no record of the name of the successful bidder as all records were destroyed by a fire on March 23, 1877.

 

Note:  On condition that the Crawford County Court House be permanently located in Van Buren as the county seat, John Drennen and David Thompson donated a public square in the center of the town in 1841-1842.

 

Note:  The Crawford County Courthouse is the second oldest courthouse still in use in Arkansas. The oldestest courthouse is located in Jefferson County (1838).

 

History:  The county was created in 1820 and the home of John Jay on the north side of the Arkansas River was selected as the county seat in 1821. The county seat was moved to Fort Smith and the first courthouse was a building within the fort. The county seat in 1822 to McLain’s Bottom (Roseville) and the second courthouse was a log cabin and then to Crawford Old Courthouse on Arbuckle Island during 1822. The third courthouse was a two story log and clapboard structure. In 1836, the county seat was moved to Whitson (Whitsontown ) on Big Mulberry Creek and court was held in the upper story of the Whitson’s store, and then moved to Crittenden (Pleasant Hill) on Little Mulberry Creek in 1837. In 1838, Van Buren became the permanent county seat. The fourth courthouse was a log house on Water Street near Main Street. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1841 to 1842. The cost of the building remodel in 1940 was $98,000.

 

 

County Courthouse – Van Buren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statue of Hebe

 

 

 

 

Albert Pike School House

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos taken 2010