The county was established by a legislative act on December 12, 1838 when it was detached from Arkansas and Chicot counties. State representative Stephen Ryan led legislative efforts after south Arkansas County citizens filed petitions declaring their area isolated by the Arkansas and White rivers. The county was named for Captain Benjamin Desha, a War of 1812 hero, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.
The anniversary celebration will get underway at 10 a.m. when Desha County Historical Society President Helen Pennington and Circuit Judge Gibbs Ferguson will present a history of the county and Arkansas Highway Commissioner Robert Moore will talk about growing up in Arkansas City.
Desha County Judge Roy Rodgers originally planned to have the party outdoors under a large tent but due to the prediction Saturday of below freezing temperatures and possible ice, Rodgers said it will be held indoors at the courthouse annex, the old Arkansas City High School. Both the annex and the original courthouse, which locals call “The White House”, will be open for tours.
Refreshments, including a special birthday cake, will be served at the celebration.