Baxter County was formed on March 24, 1873, from parts of Fulton, Izard, Marion, and Searcy counties, and was named for Elisha Baxter, then Governor of Arkansas. Mountain Home is the county seat. The landscape of Baxter County is rugged and mountainous. The county courthouse sits between two of the state's largest lakes, Bull Shoals and Norfolk. The third floor rooms of the courthouse were added between 1908 and 1912 to give a third floor because the previous courthouse only had two stories, and in the early nineteen hundreds another thriving town in Baxter County was trying to get to be the county seat, therefore the Arkansas Legislature passed an Act requiring the courthouse to have three stories; thus, a third story was built in a hurry. The courthouse is located fourteen miles from the oldest courthouse in Arkansas, the log house of Major Wolfe, built in 1809 and still standing at the town of Norfolk. Over the past three decades, the population of Baxter County has boomed. Much of the county's growth and more than half its tax dollars can be traced to tourism and retirement. Visitors often return to take up residence. Other resources include a technical campus of Arkansas State University and a fine regional medical center located in Mountain Home. The county has a large water-base recreation such as the White River, North Fork River, Lake Norfork, Bull Shoals Lake and the Buffalo National River.