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Government

Jefferson County’s new courthouse was constructed on the spot where its predecessor, built in 1838, had stood until destroyed by a fire in 1976. The 1838 courthouse is the only courthouse known to have caused a river to be changed. During the 1908 flood of the Arkansas River, the Judges’ chambers, jury room, part of the courtroom, and the Sheriff’s and Assessor’s offices were purposely torn off and dumped into the river to keep the rest of the building from caving into the river. After the flood, the course of the river was changed to save the courthouse, and now channel Lake Pine Bluff.