Pope County Arkansas
Pope County administrative offices are located at 100 West Main Street, Russellville, AR 72801; phone: 479-968-6064.
The Territory of Arkansas established Pope County in 1829 as its nineteenth county. Named in honor of John Pope, third territorial governor, it was the first county carved from the Cherokee reservation. Ten years earlier, in 1819 Reverend Cephas Washburn established Dwight Mission, a school for the Cherokee Indians on Illinois bayou, west of current Russellville. The first Protestant mission in Arkansas Territory became the first school in the newly formed Pope County. For several years afterward, the mission served as a school for both white and Indian children. While visiting his father, Cephas Washburn, at the Dwight Mission, Edward Payson Washburn began painting the famous "Arkansas Traveler." Pope County's rich Indian heritage included the early home of Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee alphabet.