Formed in 1820, Phillips County was named for Sylvanus Phillips, an early settler. Helena, the county seat, was named for Phillip's daughter and was incorporated in 1833. Helena was a major river town and was the economic and social center of the region.
Lumber mills, cotton-oil mills, railroads and river traffic contributed to a thriving economy. Helena's various ethnic groups played an important role in society and commerce, including African Americans, Chinese, Lebanese, Greek, Italian, and others. Situated on the Mississippi River and the southern tip of Crowley's Ridge, Helena's history includes Hernando de Soto, Jacques Marquette and seven confederate generals. The rich alluvial soil along the river attracted wealthy planters who transformed the forests into productive plantations and luxurious homes. In more recent years, Phillips County has suffered the loss of jobs and a declining population, resulting in a struggling economy.
Highlights of Helena and Phillips County:
• Photographs of the development of the education system in the area with images of past students.
• The King Biscuit Blues Festival and other musical influences in Phillips County.
• The early settling of the area and its growth due its position on the Mississippi River.
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/