A group has been formed to develop a celebration for Hempstead County's 200th birthday in 2018. Hempstead County was one of the first five counties in what was eventually to become the state of Arkansas. County Judge Haskell Morse says plans are for the committee to contain a representative from each of the county's 12 townships. Plans are for the celebration will culminate with the county moving into the new courthouse downtown in December of next year. Committee members at this first meeting included Josh Williams, Dale Gathright of Saratoga, McCaskill Mayor Marion Hoosier, Keenan Williams, Cherry Stewart, Melissa Nesbitt of the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives, Hempstead County Assessor Kim Smith, Hempstead County Treasurer Judy Flowers, County Judge Haskell Morse, and Dennis Ramsey. Also on hand for the meeting was UAHT Chancellor Chris Thomason. The group's next meeting will be August 3rd.