Jefferson County was created by the Territorial Legislature on November 2, 1829, from parts of Arkansas and Pulaski counties and was named for Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President. Pine Bluff is the County Seat. Jefferson County’s new courthouse was constructed on the spot where its predecessor, built in 1838, had stood until destroyed by a fire in 1976. The 1838 courthouse is the only courthouse known to have caused a river to be changed. During the 1908 flood of the Arkansas River, the Judges’ chambers, jury room, part of the courtroom, and the Sheriff’s and Assessor’s offices were purposely torn off and dumped into the river to keep the rest of the building from caving into the river. After the flood, the course of the river was changed to save the courthouse, and now channel Lake Pine Bluff. The landscape of the western third is pine-covered, rolling hills, and the eastern two-thirds is rich, fertile Delta farmland. Jefferson County is known for the fertile quality of its soil and has always been one of the leading cotton producers in the state. Its economic development is strongly tied to railroads and the Arkansas River. Its largest employers are International Paper Company, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, and the Pine Bluff Arsenal. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and two units of the state prison system makes state government a heavy contributor to the economy. The Arkansas River runs through the county and provides great bass fishing anywhere in the county, attracting several fishing tournaments. Jefferson County has an updated county jail and juvenile detention center. Pine Bluff is the state’s fourth largest city where a number of historically important homes can be found. There are three museums, The Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, the Arkansas Railroad Museum and the Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Museum. The Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area is flooded each fall to attract ducks. Hunting in the county is a popular sport and attracts visitors from all around the country.