Cleveland County, a county of rolling hills, was formed April 17, 1873, and was originally called Dorsey County, named for Stephen W. Dorsey, a U.S. Senator from Arkansas, who later fell out of favor with Arkansans. Citizens petitioned for a change of name and in 1885 it was renamed Cleveland County in honor of Grover Cleveland, who had just been elected president of the United States. The county seat is Rison. Timber is the leading industry in the county. The Saline River was used for shipping logs before the railroads came to the county in 1881. The county has extended its economic base to produce tomatoes, broiler chicks and cattle. Rison is at the center of an estimated 15-by-6 mile iron deposit containing as much as 42% magnetite. The Saline River, a scenic river, runs through the county that also provides excellent fishing and floating. The courthouse represents an outstanding courthouse restoration and is listed on the National Register. On the courthouse lawn stands a memorial to veterans of the First and Second World Wars.