Early in 1821 Colonel Walter Cauthron was on a expedition to Fort Smith together with Lt. B.L.E. De Bonneville. When he saw the beauty of Petit Jean River Valley he fell in love with it and six years later he came back and settled in the area. In 1928 Mr M. T. Tatum opened the first store, post office and cotton press in Booneville. The community grew fast and in 1841 Booneville already had nine blocks. This was a few miles south of where the City of Booneville is located today.
After the Civil War there were disputes where to have the county seat of johnson County. This resulted in that a new county, Sarber county, later to be Logan county, was established, which Booneville is located in. Booneville was incorporated in 1878. When the railroad was built thru the town towards the end of the nineteenth century the whole town had to move up north a few miles and in 1899 the new City of Booneville was incorporated. In 1901 Booneville was voted the new location for the county courthouse.
It is still disputed where Booneville got its name from. Some believe that it was from Lt. de Bonneville and other that it was in honor of Daniel Boone, cousin of Gen. Benjamin Logan.