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Our History

CLEBURNE COUNTY, ARKANSAS, the youngest (75th) in the state, was created February 20, 1883, and named for Major General Patrick R. Cleburne.   Major General Cleburne entered the Confederate Service from 1861 as Colonel of the First Arkansas Infantry and attained the rank of Major General.

In this era of political correctness, historical revisionism, and self-imposed, social-censorship, some might argue that Cleburne, the highest ranking of the “tens of thousands of Irish natives who served in the Civil War,” should not be honored because he fought for the South, and thus, it would be said, defended slavery.

Such an argument would be uninformed.  Rather, Cleburne should not just be remembered, but cherished and emulated for his defense of freedom.  Like most men who fought for the South, Cleburne never owned a slave.

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The landscape of the county is rugged: mountainous in the north to rugged, rolling terrain in the south. The Greers Ferry hydroelectric dam, a 40,000 acre reservoir, made way for a recreational boom that has steadily continued since 1963. Thousands of visitors visit this area each year. Fishing, boating, and hunting in the area are big. A visitors’ center, national fish hatchery for rainbow trout, the dam and powerhouse overlook, and a natural trail along with the icy-cold Little Red River filled with trout makes it a popular place. In Heber Springs, a 10-acre city park features seven mineral springs. The beautifully restored courthouse, which sits on the town square, is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Industrial development, cattle and poultry farming, and tourism makes up the economic base of the county. Fishing tournaments, conventions, reunions, and craft shows provide family entertainment for the local citizens as well as many visitors. Saturday nights come alive in Heber Springs with country music.

Cleburne County Historical Society


Find out more about our history by visiting: http://www.cleburnehistory.info/


The Cleburne County Historical Society is now located in the historic Frauenthal House at 210 North Broadway in Heber Springs.  The society offices, a museum and research library are located there. 

The house is on the National Register of Historic Places and is designed in the Craftsman style of architecture. It is a single-story, wood-frame building erected in 1914 for Frauenthal, a prominent businessman and landowner in the early days of the county.  It was designed by an architect whose identity is currently unknown, yet who was obviously well versed in this style of architecture.  The use of a multiple-gable roof, wood-shingle siding and Prairie-style windows distinguishes this house from the more common vernacular examples of the Craftsman style. 

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