Clark County was established in 1818, and therefore became one of the five counties in existence at the time the area became known as Arkansas Territory in 1819. Court was held in various places in those early days, such as the home of pioneer settler Jacob Barkman, west of the Caddo River, near what is now Caddo Valley. Later, a county seat was established at Greenville, which was located to the southwest along the Military Road (also known as the Southwest Trail). In 1842 Arkadelphia (previously known as Blakelytown) became the permanent location of the county seat.
The county has not suffered a court house fire and possesses government records created since 1819. Various court records were moved in several phases to the Riley-Hickingbotham Library as a part of the Clark County Records Preservation Project, which began in 1990. The project, a joint undertaking between OBU and the Clark County Historical Association, includes the arrangement, description, and preservation of records once located in the Clark County Court House. The goal of the project is to preserve and make accessible this part of Clark County history.
These numbered files contain loose papers related to criminal cases of the Clark County Circuit Court, 1879-1982. A searchable database of every name within the records for 1879-1951 is available at www.obu.edu/archives/search-archives/. The Clark County Historical Association has published a print index as well. The index includes not only those named in the title of the case, but also witnesses, jurors, attorneys, etc.
Archivists, "Clark County Criminal Court Records" (2017). Guides and Finding Aids. 127.