Franklin County was formed December 19, 1837, from Crawford County and named for Benjamin Franklin. The landscape of Franklin County is rugged terrain in the northern half, and rolling farmlands, forested ridges, and isolated mountains in the south because travel across the Arkansas River was so difficult in the early days of the county, two county seats were established: Ozark in the north and Charleston in the south. The county lays claim to the first oil strike in Arkansas and sits on vast fields of coal, clay, iron, shale and other minerals; however, agriculture is its main economy base. Production and processing of poultry accounts for most of the jobs. Swiss-German immigrants of a century ago recognized the tops of Franklin’s mountains as a place to grow wine grapes. Altus has grown to be the winemaking capital of Arkansas. Growers such as Mount Bethel, Sax, Post, and Wiederkehr are in the county. Wiederkehr Winery offers tours, wine tasting, and a restaurant in the original underground cellar built in 1880 by John A. Wiederkehr, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Winefest in September each year draws a large number of visitors to the area. The population of Franklin County is 17,097 (2020 Census).
211 W. Commercial
607 E. Main St.
Justices of the Peace
Roy Day, Freddy Ree, David Bowles, Sr., Howard Rex Heffington, Dennis Fisher, Brian Lachowsky, Gary O’Neal, Cody Sosbee, Lacey Neissl Clark