The Origin of Carroll County

Carroll County was officially formed on November 1, 1833, and like the first county seat (Carrollton), it was named after the early American revolutionary Charles Carroll, who was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. Charles Carroll had just died on November 14, 1832, and a number of counties and placenames across the country were named in his honor. Charles was born in 1737 to a wealthy family in Maryland, and would later help fund the Revolutionary War, serve in the Continental Congress, and in the United States Senate. He was said to be one of the richest men in colonial America. He died at the age of 95, only a year before the new county in Arkansas would be given his name. Kentucky also has a "Carroll County" with a county seat named "Carrollton". Louisiana had a town named Carrollton that would later become part of New Orleans. Eleven other states also have counties named after Charles Carroll. Carroll County was actually the 27th Arkansas territorial county to be established. The land for Carroll County was originally part of the larger Izard County, named for territorial governer Mark W. Izard.

Some historians have also suggested that Carroll County may have been named in honor of William Carroll, who served as the Governer of Tennessee from 1821 to 1827 and again from 1829 to 1835. As support for this theory, historians point to the fact that a large percentage of the Carroll County, Arkansas population is reported to have emigrated from Overton County, Tennessee during the times of his governership.

The Territorial Legislature act that created Carroll County on November 1, 1833 reads:
"All that portion of the county of Izard west of a line commencing at a point on the State line of Missouri, where the range line between Ranges 16 and 17 west strikes the same, running south with said line twelve miles; thence west six miles to the range line between seventeen and eighteen; thence south with said line to the dividing ridge between Crooked Creek and the Buffalo Fork, thence a direct course to the ridge dividing the waters of the Buffalo Fork and Richland Creek; thence with said ridge to the ridge dividing the waters of the Arkansas and White Rivers; thence west with said ridge to Range 25 west; thence north with said line to the ridge dividing the waters of War Eagle and King's River; thence down said ridge to the post road from Izard court-house, to Washington court-house; thence on a north course to the Missouri Line, so as to include all the waters of King's River; thence east with said line to the place of beginning, shall be constituted and erected into a new county, to be called and known by the name of Carroll County."