Ash Flat, the county seat of Sharp County, was established in 1856, aptly named by local residents in honor of a nearby grove of ash trees. Due in part to the remoteness of the area, Ash Flat became the center of trade for nearby farmers soon after its formation. In the years following the Civil War, Ash Flat was home to three stores, a blacksmith shop, a cotton gin and two saloons. In the years leading up to the turn of the 20th century, the town also claimed a hotel, a drug store and a flour and grist mill, in addition to a sawmill that became a necessity after the community saw an increase in lumber production. In 1967, the Arkansas General Assembly designated Ash Flat as the single county seat of Sharp County, a title previously held by Hardy and Evening Shade concurrently.
Ash Flat is a haven for the outdoor enthusiast. Bordered by the Strawberry and Spring Rivers, as well as the Harold E. Alexander Spring River Wildlife Management Area, Ash Flat is utopia for the sportsman. In the warmer waters of the Spring and Strawberry, anglers will find small mouth bass, rock bass and pan fish. In the cooler waters of the upper Spring, rainbow trout is the favored catch. With more than 13,000 acres, the nearby Harold E. Alexander Spring River Wildlife Management Area offers a variety of hunting opportunities – deer, bear, turkey, quail, squirrel and rabbit.
One of Ash Flat's most famous sons was Charles Elwin “Preacher” Roe, a left-handed pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooklyn Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals. From 1938 to 1953, Roe chalked up a total of 127 professional wins.