Desha County

US States / A-G / Arkansas / Desha County

Desha County is named for Benjamin Desha, who was a soldier during the War of 1812.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Lincoln CountyArkansas County and Phillips County

E – Bolivar County, Mississippi

S – Chicot County

W – Drew County and Lincoln County


Created:  December 12, 1838                Map of Arkansas highlighting Desha County

County Seat:

Wellington Landing  1838 – 1841

Belleville                  1841 – 1843

Napoleon                 1843 – 1873

Chicot City               1873 – 1874

Watson                    1874 – 1879

Arkansas City          1879 – present


County Courthouse – Arkansas City


Location:  608 Robert S Morse Avenue / Natchez Street

Built:  1900

Style:  Romanesque

Architect:  Rome Harding of Little Rock

Contractor:  W D Holtzman Company of Little Rock


Description:  The building faces southeast and is a two story white colored brick, wood and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of  Arkansas City. The southeast front has a small porch at the central entrance with large arch and railed balcony on the second story. There are large arched windows on the second story. At the roof line is a large dormer with arched window. On the southwest corner is a high square clock tower with steep roof. On the northeast side is a recessed wing. In the interior, the County Circuit Court courtroom is located on the second story and has a twenty-three foot high ceiling. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial District. The building was renovated in 2005. The architect was Twin Rivers Architecture and the contractor was Arka-Tex remodeling Inc. On the northeast side is the old brick jail and a small white colored outhouse building.


See:  National Register of Historic Buildings – Desha County Courthouse


See:  The 10th Judicial District includes Ashley County, Bradley CountyChicot County and Drew County.


History:  The county was created in 1838 and the court met at the home of William Sexton in Wellington Landing which became the temporary county seat. Belleville was selected as the county seat in 1841. In 1843, the county seat was moved to Napoleon. In 1865, the county leased the Marine Hospital building for use as the first courthouse. In 1873, the county seat was moved to Chicot City. The county seat was then moved to Watson in 1874. The second courthouse, a wood frame structure was built at a cost of $376. In 1879, the county seat was moved to Arkansas City. The third courthouse was built in 1880. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1900 at a cost of $23,269.


County Courthouse Annex – Arkansas City




Location:  604 President Street / Robert S Morse Avenue

Built:  1910 – 1911

Style:  Colonial Revival and Renaissance Revival

Architect:  Clyde A Ferrell

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces southwest and is a two story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds to the east of the courthouse in the center of Arkansas City. The southwest front has a large square central tower rising to a third story. The roof is hipped. The building served as the Arkansas City High School and was converted in 2003 for use as the Courthouse Annex. The architect was Twin Rivers Architecture and the contractor was Southwest Building Concepts, Inc.




County Courthouse – Arkansas City



















County Circuit Court courtroom










Old Courthouse Outhouse – Arkansas City



0390m12    County Courthouse Annex – Arkansas City       













Photos taken 2012