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Hempstead County


Hempstead County is named for Edward Hempstead, who was a Delegate to the United States House of Representatives from the Missouri Territory.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Pike County

E – Nevada County

S – Lafayette County

W – Miller CountyLittle River CountySevier County and Howard County


Created:  December 15, 1818                Map of Arkansas highlighting Hempstead County

County Seat:        

Washington  1824 – 1938

Hope             1938 – present


County Courthouse – Hope


Location:  400 South Washington Street / West 5th Street

Built:  1939 – 1940

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  McAninch & Anderson

Contractor:  B W Edwards


Description:  The building faces east and is a five story buff colored brick and reinforced concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Hope. The east front has a central projecting entrance framed with concrete friezes. Above the second story, the building is recessed with vertical brick dividers between the vertical windows. There are four molded panels depicting Construction, Mining, Medicine, Justice, Munitions, Electricity, Farming and Brickmaking. The roof line is flat. There are two story north and south wings. The interior has earth-tone tile floors, polished stone dados and staircase framed by Art Deco-style arches. The main courtroom is located on the east side of the third story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the North 8th Judicial District and the County District Court of the 38th Judicial District. In 1994 an addition was added on the north side. The architect was Wittenberg, Deloney and Davidson and the contractor was Ideal Construction Company. In 2012 the addition was expanded.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Hempstead County Courthouse


Old County Courthouse – Washington



Location:  Franklin Street / Henry Clay Street

Built:  1836

Style:  Federal

Architect:  Tilman L Patterson

Contractor:  Tilman L Patterson


Description:  The building faces northwest and is a two story white colored wood frame structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds of the Washington Courthouse State Park. The courtroom is on the first story. The building was restored in 1930. The architect was J N Porter and the contractor was A P Bailey. The Clerk’s Office on the northwest was built by Daniel E Alexander in 1839 and is located on the property.


Note:  The building was used as the Confederate State Capitol after Little Rock in Pulaski County fell to Union forces in 1863. The courthouse is the oldest former courthouse in Arkansas that is still standing.


Old County Courthouse – Washington



Location:  103 Franklin Street / Morrison Street

Built:  1872 – 1874

Style:  Italianate

Architect:  Green & Son of Little Rock 

Contractor:  Ezekial Treadway


Description:  The building faces northeast and is a two story dark red colored brick and wood structure. The building is located on the landscaped grounds of the Washington Courthouse State Park. The northeast front has a slightly projecting center section with entrance on the first story. On the roof is a square cupola. The building served as a courthouse until 1939.


See:  The 8th Judicial District includes Lafayette CountyMiller County and Nevada County.


History:  The county was created in 1818 and Washington was selected as the county seat in 1824 when the county was organized. The first courthouse was a one room building built by Tilman L Patterson, The first courthouse was a two story wood frame structure built in Washington in 1836 at a cost of $1,850 and is still standing. The second courthouse was a two story brick structure built in 1872 at a cost of $21,454 and is still standing. The county seat was moved to Hope in 1939 and the third and present courthouse was constructed.


Note:  Hempstead County was one of the five original administrative districts created in 1809 to 1819 being  Arkansas CountyClark CountyLawrence County and Pulaski County.



County Courthouse – Hope





























Historic Washington State Park



Old County Courthouse 1836 – Washington























Old County Courthouse 1875 – Washington




















Photos taken 2010, 2017 and 2019