Perry County was formed in December 1840, from the part of Conway County south of the Arkansas River and was named for Oliver Perry, a hero of the War of 1812. The landscape of Perry County is rolling foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Close to half of Perry County is in the Ouachita National Forest with timber being the principal economy. Cattle, hog and poultry productions, rice, soybeans and small manufacturing make up the economy. The Heifer Project International Learning and Livestock Center is a privately financed, nonprofit group located on 1,200 acres in the county and has for over 55 years, continuously provided livestock and training to low-income farmers in developing areas who, in turn, can pass on their newly acquired skills and the livestock offspring to other needy families. Many residents of the county commute to surrounding counties for employment. Harris Brake Wildlife Management Area is the smallest in the system and is extremely crowded during duck season. Lake Nimrod, situated between the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains, is well known for its water skiing, hunting, and fishing. The lake is lined with pine and hardwood. Harris Brake Lake is popular with anglers and Fourche LaFave River has large catfish. The eastern boundary of the county follows the Arkansas River for several miles. The county courthouse located at Perryville, the county seat, has great memories of times' past. Individuals contributed much of the cost of the courthouse. The original red bricks, now painted white, were made from Perry County clay. The courthouse is now on the National Register of Historic Places.