Ouachita County was formed in November 1842, from part of Union County and named for the river running through it. In the Choctaw language, the words "owa" and "chita" mean "big hunt." From that came Ouachita. It was the river that enticed a French trapper to establish a trading post that would become Camden, the county seat. Once heavy steamboat traffic linked Camden directly to New Orleans and other important cities. The county's economy is about half-timber and half manufacturing with some tourism. The landscape of the county is rolling hills, largely forested. Outdoor recreation abounds with hunting, fishing and water sports. The Ouachita County Courthouse has the cornerstone from the 1889 courthouse in the base for a planter in front of the entrance to the present building. The cornerstone refers to the original edifice as "this temple of justice." Also on the lawn is a statue of a woman carrying a flag, erected as a monument to Confederate women, and a Spanish-American War marker.