Clarendon was incorporated in 1859 and is the only city in Monroe county that existed before the county was established.
Clarendon was originally named Mouth of Cache which comes from the Picard (spoken by the french settlers) word cache that means hunt. A lot of the early settlers where trappers so this was most likely a tribute to the fine hunting grounds.
The named used from 1837 is after the Earl of Clarendon in England.
From 1799 Frenchmen were living by the Cache River and there lived native americans in the area. The settlement became an important post when the first road crossed Arkansas territory from east to west. And when Clarendon got a ferry and a post office it became an useful river port.
The town was burned down in 1864 during the civil war. But Clarendon came back and became a cotton center and by 1892 the town had one of the two oar factories in the US. Another trade that grew up was that of pearls. Pearl buttons were cut out of shells from the White River at button factories in Clarendon. In 1893 the opera house opened. The Monroe County Sun, which is the only local newspaper in Clarendon dates back to 1877.
Monroe Courthouse was built in 1911 and is still in use. From 1931 cars that wanted to cross the White River no longer had to take the ferry because there was now a highway bridge.
Clarendon has a population of about 2,000 people today.