Harrison landscape.



Boone County, Arkansas was founded on April 9, 1869, making it the 62nd county formed in the state of Arkansas. Becoming part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase, that area was part of the Missouri Territory in 1812 when Louisiana was admitted as a state.

When Arkansas became a territory, the area was part of Lawrence and Izard counties before Carroll County was established in 1833. The land that became Boone County had a small strip in Marion County and a much larger portion in Carroll County. The Arkansas legislature created Boone County from Carroll County in 1869 and added the Marion County portion in 1875.

With almost 592 sq. miles of land and 10.6 sq. miles of water, the county has grown from 7,032 in the 1870 census to now boasting a population of 36,903 during the 2010 census.

Located in the northwest portion of the state, Boone County is located entirely within the Ozark Mountains, with the Boston Mountains to the south and portions of Bull Shoals Lake and Table Rock Lake located in the northeat and northwest corners. With Crooked Creek, a great place for bass fishing, running through the county from south to east.

Some believe Boone County was named after Daniel Boone, but this is not the case. In fact, the original name of the county was Boon and the "e" was added years later. Originally, it was named Boon because it was believed it would be a "boon" for all who moved there.

Col. Marcus LaRue Harrison, for whom the City of Harrison is named, was born in Groton, New York, the son of Marcus Harrison, a Presbyterian minister and anti-slavery activist. Harrison's childhood was spent in various locations in New York, Michigan and Illinois. By 1850 he had settled in Nashville, Illinois.

During the 1850's, Harrison was involved in the railroad business, working for the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad as master of buildings and car repairs. In 1861, Harrison enlisted in the thirty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Regiment as a private. He accompanied that unit to southern Missouri and was made an acting lieutenant of engineers to build defenses around Springfield. During the summer of 1862, he received permission to organize Arkansas Unionist refugees in southern Missouri into the First Arkansas Calvary Regiment. During the war, the Regiment saw action in battles at Prairie Grove and Fayetteville and at other battle sites in northwest Arkansas. As colonel, Harrison commanded the unit throughout its existence. Fayetteville became the headquarters of the unit, which was charged with responsibility for the occupation of Benton, Carroll, Madison, Marion, Newton, Searcy and Washington counties. Pacification of this badly divided region involved countering the activities of guerrilla bands, an endeavor to which Harrison was willing to apply innovative and controversial techniques.

After the war, Harrison played a key role in the promotion of the Pacific and Great Eastern Railroad, a line projected to run from the Missouri boot heel to the western boundary of Arkansas. Harrison took the title of chief engineer for the company and acted as its lobbyist in the state legislature and the U.S. Congress.

As he led a surveying party for his company across the Crooked Creek area of north central Arkansas, Harrison was aproached by a group of real estate promoters to plan a town for them. In return, the promoters named the town Harrison, and a nearby post office was likewise re-designated. After the new town was incorporated, it became the seat of the newly created Boone County.

Failing to secure federal or state aid for his railroad scheme, Harrison accepted an appointment with U.S. Post Office Department. After some time as a special agent in Arkansas, he moved to Washington DC, where he served as chief inspector of the money order bureau until his death on October 27, 1890.

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