Typical of all eight counties that straddle Crowley’s Ridge, Poinsett County placed its seat of government on high ground to lessen the risk of becoming inaccessible during overflows from area rivers and streams. Harrisburg, just 20 miles south of Jonesboro, became the county seat in 1856, replacing the first one at Bolivar. Though the first courthouse was a log cabin structure, by 1918 county leaders could brag of an impressive Georgian Revival building with a domed cupola and four clocks on the red tile roof – a building symbolic of the wealth to which they all aspired.  The courthouse is showing its age, but it is worth the visit for history buffs and preservationists traveling the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byway.    

The town was settled in 1827 by three Harris brothers from Alabama. Along with successive generations of the family, they became prominent business and political leaders in the county and the state. When the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad arrived in 1882, there was a great upswing in the town’s economy, and Harrisburg was legally incorporated in 1882.

Parker Pioneer Homestead, a collection of buildings and artifacts from pioneer days, is located five miles south of Harrisburg. Thousands of area residents and school children visit the homestead annually. The privately owned homestead grew from the desire to preserve pioneer crafts for the enjoyment of others.

There is also plenty to do in the area for outdoor enthusiasts. Lake Poinsett State Park is located three miles south of the city limits and offers camping and fishing opportunities year-round. The area also is known for deer, duck, goose, turkey, and small game hunting.