Hempstead County was formed on December 15, 1818 from parts of Arkansas County and was named for Edward Hempstead, Missouri Territory’s Representative to Congress. Hempstead County was one of the first counties organized under the laws of the Territory of Missouri. The landscape is rolling hills. The economy is made up of food processing, poultry and egg production, beef cattle and soybeans and fruit. Each summer, the Hope Watermelon Festival is held and draws not only local citizens, but also hundreds of tourists. The county has two Wildlife Management Areas: Bois D’Arc and Hope— along with Millwood Lake, which features camping, picnicking, and swimming, as well as hunting and fishing. The town of Washington that includes the Old Washington State Park holds lots of history for the county; it was a stopover for Sam Houston and Davy Crockett on their way to Texas and the Alamo. A Washington blacksmith made Jim Bowie’s famous knife, and as such, is still being crafted at the same site. The county seat is also the hometown of President William Jefferson Clinton, where his boyhood home has been restored and is open to the public; hundreds of visitors pass through this town each year. Population- 23,587.
County Courthouse Address:
400 South Washington
P.O. Box 1420
Hope, AR 71802
List of Cities, Towns, Municipalities, Etc.: