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Chicot County, Arkansas

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Chicot County, Arkansas.


Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto came to this area with his expedition in 1542, settling for a time in the village or territory known as Guachoya. The European-American town of Lake Village later developed in the 19th century at Lake Chicot, formed by an oxbow of the Mississippi River. Eighteenth-century French colonists named it Chicot because of the many cypress trees in the waterways. The word is translated to "stumpy, or knobby".

The area along the Mississippi River and major tributaries was developed as cotton plantations, the major commodity crop before and after the American Civil War of 1861-1865. Black slaves formed the labor force, comprising a majority of the population in the antebellum years. Major large cotton plantations included Sunnyside, Florence, Patria, Pastoria, Luna, and Lakeport.

During the war, Union and Confederate forces fought at the Battle of Old River Lake from June 5 to June 6, 1864.

The population of the rural county has declined since its peak in 1940. Earlier in the century, boll weevils threatened the cotton crop, and many blacks left in the Great Migration for opportunity in northern and midwestern industrial cities. In addition, mechanization of agriculture and consolidation into industrial-style farms has reduced the need for farm labor.

Adjacent Counties

Cities & Communities

  • Arkla
  • Bellaire
  • Bowie
  • Carlton
  • Cosgrove
  • Chicot Junction
  • Dermott
  • Empire
  • Eudora
  • Eunice
  • Farmwood
  • Grand Lake
  • Hudspeth
  • Indian
  • Jennie
  • Lake Village (County Seat)
  • Lakeport
  • Lakehall
  • McMillian Corner
  • Planters
  • Readland
  • Ross Van Ness
  • Shives
  • Stuart Island
  • Wellford




Genealogy Trails

Hearthstone Legacy

The Chicot Race War of 1871

National Register of Historic Places

AR Gen Web

USGW Archives