Established: October 17, 1828
Area: 941.97 square miles
Population: 225,477 (U S Census estimate as of July 1, 2015)
Washington County is in the northwest corner of Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains. It was established on October 17, 1828, formed from Lovely County, which was part of Indian Territory. Washington County has grown from small settlements of farms, mills, and orchards into one of the most affluent and prosperous counties in the state.
View original act to create washington county
(Courtesy of Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries)
As set forth in Act 742 of 1977, Arkansas county government is divided into three departments: legislative (Quorum Court), executive (County Court) and judicial (Circuit Court). Elected county officials include Justices of the Peace, County Judge, County Clerk, Circuit Clerk, Assessor, Collector, Treasurer, Sheriff, Coroner, and Surveyor.
Legislative (Quorum Court):
All legislative powers of the various county governments are vested in the Quorum Court. The Quorum Court consists of 15 elected Justices of the Peace, each elected for a term of two years.
Executive Branch (County Judge):
Those services which the Quorum Court must provide under Arkansas law include the administration of justice through the courts, law enforcement protection, real and personal property tax administration and the keeping of court and public records. Other services which the Quorum Court may provide include agricultural services, community and rural development services, county planning, parks, libraries, museums, civic center, public camping grounds, emergency services, fire protection, juvenile services, pollution control, public health, solid waste and recycling services, transportation, water, sewer and other utility services.
The County Judge is the chief executive officer of the county and presides over the Quorum Court. County Judges do not have a vote but do have the power to veto.
Judicial Branch (Circuit Judges):
Washington County is part of the 4th Judicial District. Elected positions in the Judicial Department include seven Circuit Court Judges, one Circuit Clerk, and a Prosecuting Attorney.