to the

Desha County

Genealogical Website



My name is Anita Montgomery, and I am the coordinator for the Desha County, Arkansas website.  Mr. Louis Reitzammer recently retired as coordinator at the ripe young age of 91.  An immense thank you to Mr. Reitzammer for his support and patience during the transition.  Please bear with me as I learn and as we transition the website. 



A Missouri-Pacific passenger train makes its way out of Snow Lake in northern Desha County during the 1927 flood that devastated the county.  It was the last train out of Snow Lake.




A Short History of Desha County


January 1839 saw the formation of a new county along the Mississippi River in Southeast Arkansas.  It was named “in honor of the late Colonel Ben Desha” (pronounced “De-Shay”).  The 1840 U.S. Census reported a population of 2794, 1598 of whom were slaves.


From 1861 on, through a series of boundary changes,  Desha County lost most of its western uplands to neighboring counties, but gained in 1879 a large slice of northern Chicot County.  This acquisition includes what are now the towns and communities of McArthur, Arkansas City, Masonville, Halley, Trippe Junction, part of Tillar, Reed and McGehee.  Desha County now consists of approximately 805 square miles of rich delta land with bountiful fish and game.


Belleville, later Red Fork, was Desha’s first permanent county seat.  In 1843, the seat was moved to Napolean, then to Watson in 1874, and finally to Arkansas City in 1881 where it remains today.



Towns and Communities

Military Members from Rohwer Relocation Center

Cemetery Listings (under construction)

In Memoriam

Riverboat History

Early Newspapers

1895 Desha

County Map

Goodspeed’s History

Goodspeed’s Biographies




1840 Census

1850 Federal Census Index

1860 Slave Census Schedule

Desha County

Land Records

Search the Desha

County website

Civil War

Amnesty List

Original Boundaries

And Annexations

Township Map




Surrounding Counties