Boone County, founded in 1869, was carved out of the large Carroll and Marion counties in order to create a county seat within a day’s travel for the region’s residents. Survey engineer and Union colonel M. LaRue Harrison, who was headquartered in the Jonas M. Tebbetts House (WA16) in Fayetteville during the Civil War, laid out the town, and it was named for him. The central square is spacious, and the four streets surrounding it are unusually wide. Though Harrison chose high ground for the courthouse square, frequent and damaging floods from Crooked Creek indicate he should have selected an even higher site. The square, sheltered by shade trees and accented by a gazebo, is the hub of a nine-square-block historic commercial district. Residential districts occupy three hills surrounding and overlooking the square. A system of levees was built along Crooked Creek in 1945 and 1961 and was provided with an early warning system to alert residents of potential floods.
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