118 E. Dickson St., Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701 info@washcohistoricalsociety.org (479) 521-2970

County Historical Timeline

1800 to 1850

  • April 30, 1803 – President Thomas Jefferson purchases the Louisiana Territory.
  • November 10, 1808 – Treaty of Fort Clark establishes eastern boundary of Osage Territory, a line running through present-day Washington County.
  • June 4, 1812 – Missouri Territory is created by act of Congress, including what will become Arkansas.
  • July 9, 1816 – Major William Lovely purchases a buffer of land between the Cherokee and the Osage nations, part of which is now Washington County.
  • July 4, 1819 – Arkansas Territory is created, initially including most of present-day Oklahoma.
  • 1819 – First recorded European American visits Northwest Arkansas, although French trappers had very likely visited the area as well when the region was part of French Louisiana.
  • Summer 1826 – Cane Hill area first visited by Cumberland Presbyterians, James Buchanan and Guilford Pylant; they find the McGarrahs and other settlers already living near Vineyard, Evansville.
  • Later 1826 – James Buchanan settles in Cane Hill.
  • February 1827 – Rest of Cumberland Presbyterians arrive in Cane Hill.
  • October 13, 1827 – Lovely County is created by the Territorial Legislature, including the western half of present-day Washington County
  • August 30, 1828 – Cumberland Presbyterian Church organized in Cane Hill with Revs. William T. Larrimore and James M. Blair.
  • October 17, 1828 – Territorial Legislature creates Washington County, with Washington Courthouse as the county seat. It was renamed Fayetteville the next year.
  • 1828 – Mount Comfort community established.
  • February 21, 1829 – First post office in county is established at Vineyard, later renamed Evansville, with Lewis Evans as postmaster.
  • August 27, 1829 – Second post office in county in Fayetteville with Larkin Newton as postmaster.
  • 1829 – Sweet Home community established and later renamed Prairie Grove.
  • 1820s to 1830s – Rhea’s Mill is established.
  • 1831 – Elm Springs community is established.
  • 1834 – Shiloh community, also known as Holcomb’s Spring, is established and renamed Springdale in 1878.
  • April 1835 – School that will become Cane Hill College opens.
  • June 15, 1836 – Congress approves statehood for Arkansas.
  • 1836 – West Fork community is established.
  • 1838 – Sylvia community, later renamed Summers, is established.
  • 1830s – Durham community is established.

1850-1900

  • 1855 – Hood community, later renamed Elkins, is established.
  • 1858 – Butterfield Overland Mail begins transcontinental mail service with route running through Washington County.
  • 1861 – Arkansas, after initially voting to stay in the Union, secedes after the bombing of Fort Sumter.
  • 1868 – Farmington community is established.
  • 1870 – Summit Home, later renamed Winslow, is established.
  • 1874 – College Grove, later renamed Goshen, is established.
  • 1881-82 – St. Louis & San Francisco Railway begins passenger service through county.
  • 1881 – Gunter community, later renamed Brentwood, is established.
  • 1882 – Frog Pond, later known as Rugby, Staunton and finally Greenland, is established.
  • 1884 – Georgetown, later renamed Lincoln, is established.
  • 1880s – Macedonia community, later renamed Mayfield, is established.
  • 1886 – Johnson community established at Jacob Johnson Mill.
  • 1898 – Tontitown is established by Father Pietro Bandini as a community for Italian immigrants.