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History of the County

Located in northeastern Arkansas, Craighead County has an area of 717 square miles and a population of 107,115 according to the 2017 census.

The creation of Craighead County occurred on February 19, 1859, in the Arkansas Legislature in Little Rock, Arkansas. Senator William A. Jones, representing St. Francis and Poinsett Counties, sponsored an Act to create a new county from parts of Greene, Mississippi and Poinsett Counties. One of the Senators opposed to the creation of a new county was Senator Thomas B. Craighead who represented Crittenden and Mississippi Counties. Senator Craighead did not want to lose a large part of Buffalo Island. The loss of rich farmland and revenue from his section were the main reasons for Craighead’s non-support of the Act.

Senator Craighead was not in the chamber when Jones pushed the bill for final passage. When Craighead was informed of the passage of the bill, he was surprised to learn that Senator Jones had named the new county in honor of him. Senator Craighead followed Jones’ act with a resolution for the naming of Craighead County’s new county seat Jonesboro after Senator Jones.The original Craighead County Courthouse was a two-story frame building. This building was destroyed by fire on February 14, 1869. The fire was set by the Northern biased militia based in the courthouse.

A-frame building just west of Court Square was used to conduct county business until 1876. Craighead County moved its records back across Union Street to a new frame Courthouse. Then, two years later, another fire destroyed the Courthouse, its records and eight other businesses in downtown Jonesboro. Due to these fires, Craighead County’s records are only continuous back to March 28, 1878.

In 1886 a new Courthouse was completed. This building stood until 1934 and was torn down to make room for the present main portion of the Courthouse.The present Courthouse was dedicated on April 3, 1935. The new Craighead County Courthouse Annex was added to the main Courthouse and was dedicated November 5, 1995.This new annex to the Craighead County Courthouse marks a new chapter in the history of Craighead County. It was built on the site of the old Malone Theater and where a Civil War skirmish occurred over 133 years ago.

In 1883, an Act to establish a second county seat in Lake City was put into effect. A courthouse was erected in 1901, and this facility presently serves persons in that area. As the two locations are approximately 16 miles apart, these two locations provide convenient services for all residents of Craighead County.

Craighead County’s industry is strong and well-diversified. Some of the County’s most important products are bricks, chemicals, clothing and shoes, concrete products, dairy products, feed and fertilizer, electric motors, furniture, lumber, wood products, and food products.Southeast of Jonesboro is St. Francis Floodway, which offers fishermen and duck hunters ample sport, as do the rivers, creeks, and bayous in the County.

Arkansas State University, the second-largest state-supported institution of higher education in the state, is located at Jonesboro. From a small agricultural college founded in 1909, Arkansas State has grown into a major University. Its beautiful 800-acre campus is designed so that students of the University can walk from one academic building or service area to another in 10 minutes or less.

County Ordinances

Appropriation for Court transfers incurred in 2019
County Ordinance
Appropriation for Court transfers incurred in 2019
Fund 3581, Y20 Accountability Court Grant Mental Health
County Ordinance
Fund 3581, Y20 Accountability Court Grant Mental Health
Fund 3579, 2020 Juvenile Officer Grant Fund
County Ordinance
Fund 3579, 2020 Juvenile Officer Grant Fund
Budget amendment for Sheriff's Office vehicles
County Ordinance
Budget amendment for Sheriff's Office vehicles
Employment policy DOT Drug and Alcohol Use
County Ordinance
Employment policy DOT Drug and Alcohol Use
App Ord, 3009 Early vote workers
County Ordinance
App Ord, 3009 Early vote workers
App Ord, 3009 Medical services
County Ordinance
App Ord, 3009 Medical services
Fund 3577 CY20 Accountability Grant
County Ordinance
Fund 3577 CY20 Accountability Grant
Clean up Ordinance
County Ordinance
Clean up Ordinance
Policy for Vacation-Paid Time Off
County Ordinance
Policy for Vacation-Paid Time Off
Emp policy, Ann date, Exempt Non-exemptk
County Ordinance
Emp policy, Ann date, Exempt Non-exemptk
Travel policy
County Ordinance
Travel policy
Amend Ordinance 2014-3 Exempt Employeee Leave
County Ordinance
Amend Ordinance 2014-3 Exempt Employeee Leave
Amendment Amending 2020 Annual Operating Budget
County Ordinance
Amendment Amending 2020 Annual Operating Budget

 2020 Craighead County Holiday Schedule

New Years Day, January 1st, 2020

Martin Luther King Day, January 20, 2020

Presidents Day, February 17th, 2020

Memorial Day, May 25th, 2020

Independence Day, July 3, 2020

Labor Day, September 7th, 2020

Veteran’s Day, November 11th, 2020

Thanksgiving, November 26th & 27th, 2020

Christmas Holidays, December 24th & 25th, 2020

2021 Craighead County Holiday Schedule

New Year's Day, Friday, January 1, 2021