Timeline for Polk County & Arkansas
1541   De Soto explored area.
1673   French missionary, Marquette, visits Quapaw Indians while exploring Mississippi River.  (Quapaw: originally Ugkhaph, later Arkansas. The state was named for this tribe.)
1662   LaSalle claims territory for France.
1686   Arkansas Post, the first permanent white settlement, founded.
1763   France ceded territory to Spain.
1800   Spain ceded territory back to France.
1803   Louisiana Purchase (including all of present day Arkansas).
1804   U.S. Troops enter Arkansas Post, becomes Louisiana Territory.
1812   Area becomes a district of Missouri Territory.
1819   Arkansas Territory (includes what is now Oklahoma) was created.  Arkansas Post becomes territorial capital.  Polk County lies in what was at the time Clark County.
1820   Arkansas Territory has 14,273 inhabitants.  No Federal Census.
1821   Territorial capital moved to Little Rock.
1823   Sheriff's Census taken (records available for Arkansas county.)
1828   Sevier County  formed (includes part of what is now Polk Co.)
1829   Sheriff's Census taken, (no records for Pope & Sevier, totals only for Hempstead, Izard, Lafayette, Phillips & Pulaski.  Complete records available for: Arkansas, Chicot, Clark,Conway, Crawford, Crittenden, Independence, Lawrence, Old Miller, St. Francis, & Washington.)
1829   Hot Spring (no S on end) County formed. (Includes northern part of what is now Polk Co.)
1830   Federal Census available, head of households only.
1840   Federal Census available, head of households only.
1844   Polk County formed and named for incoming President James K. Polk.  County seat named for Vice President--Dallas.
1845   Tax records for Polk County for 1845-1848 are available.
1846   Polk Co. Townships formed: Fulton, Freedom (part moved to Rich Mt. in 1890), Sulphur Springs (annexed to Howard Co. in1873), and White.

1849   Center Township formed (part to Eagle Gap in 1894). Dallas was in Center Twp.
1850   Federal Census available and for first time all in household named.
1851   Tax lists for Polk Co on microfilm for 1851-1853, & 1856 & 1861.
1859   Polk & Montgomery County line changed, giving Big Fork to Polk Co.--by accident.
1860   Polk Co forms new townships: Big Fork (part to Mill Creek in 1908), Cove, Mountain, and Ouachita (part to Eagle Gap in 1894.)   
1860   Federal census available for 1860-1940, with all in household named.
1861  Civil War began.  Companies H & I of the 4th Ark Regiment formed in Polk County.   CLICK Co. H  Co. I
1865   Tax list availble on microfilm for 1865-1867.
1873   Line between Pike County & Polk County defined.
1874   Ozark Twp formed.
1875   Gap Springs Twp formed.
1882   Eagle Twp formed.
1888   Faulkner Twp formed.
1889   Cedar Twp formed.
1908   Mill Creek Twp formed.
*Thanks to Russell P. Baker for some of the information on this timeline.

CLICK for a Polk Co. Township MaP

© Shirley Manning 2004