The history of Pope County began 186 years ago with the June 1813 establishment of an Indian agency. Major William L. Lovely was appointed as an agent to the Cherokee Indians and established the agency. This area was near the center of the Cherokee settlements in Arkansas. Dwight Mission was later located near the agency and was the first non-Indian settlement in Pope County established in 1820. The first school in Arkansas opened at the mission on January 1, 1822. Pope County was originally formed on November 2, 1829, from part of Crawford County. Later, part of Van Buren County was added to it and still later a part of Johnson and Yell Counties were added to it. It was named for John Pope, the third Arkansas Territorial Governor.