The Office of Treasurer of State of Arkansas was established by the Constitution of 1836 with the Treasurer being selected by a joint vote of both houses of the General Assembly. Each Constitution since that time has provided for a Treasurer of State. The Constitutions of 1836 and 1861 called for selection by the General Assembly, while the Constitutions of 1864, 1868, and 1874 required selection by vote of the Arkansas electorate.
The first person selected Treasurer of State by the General Assembly was better known for having established the first newspaper in Arkansas. William E. Woodruff, founder of the Arkansas Gazette, served as Treasurer of State from 1836 through 1838.
State Treasurer Thomas J. Churchill went on to serve as Governor of Arkansas. In addition, the first woman to be elected to an Arkansas Constitutional Office was a State Treasurer, Mrs. Nancy J. Hall. Mrs. Hall served as Treasurer from 1963 until 1981. Succeeding Mrs. Hall was Ms. Jimmie Lou Fisher who served from 1981 through 2002. At the time Ms. Fisher took office, many of the financial records of the state were still maintained by the only means available — handwritten ledgers. Ms. Fisher initiated and oversaw the Treasurer of State’s Office move toward modern data processing equipment as technology advanced.
Martha Shoffner is the current Treasurer of State and the third female to serve in the position. First elected on November 7, 2006, she was sworn in on January 11, 2011 for her second term in office.