What's in a Name? Osceola

What’s in a name? Osceola is located in northeastern Mississippi County on the Mississippi River, approximately 50 miles upriver from Memphis.

In 1830, William Bard Edrington and John Price Edrington bartered with Indians and took possession of a small group of huts along the Mississippi River, and by 1833, settlers had built log structures on the riverbank, which became a landing for travelers moving up and down the river. The settlement was established as “Plum Point” in 1837, and in 1853, with 250 residents and a half dozen businesses, it was incorporated as “Osceola,” named for Chief Osceola of the Seminole tribe. 

Local historians have written that he visited the area in 1832 to explore the possibility of exchanging Florida land for Arkansas land, but no historical evidence supports this tale. 

The community was the only county seat of Mississippi County until 1901, when Osceola and Blytheville were named dual county seats, one of ten Arkansas counties with two county seats. Learn more about Osceola then and now at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.[Photograph by Bob Westin, Flickr. com]