Ken Brock (center) accepts one of ten Gold Book awards including Publisher of the Read more →
Fort Smith, Arkansas Facts:
- County: Sebastian
- Coverage Area (Total): 64.6 sq. miles
- Elevation: 463 ft.
- Population: 86,209
- Cities/Towns covered in local Names and Numbers Phone Book: Arkansas – Alma, Barling, Bonanza, Cedarville, Fort Smith, Greenwood, Hackett, Kibler, Lavaca, Rudy, Uniontown, Van Buren; Oklahoma – Arkoma, Cedars, Moffett, Muldrow, Pocola, Roland
Fort Smith lies on the Arkansas-Oklahoma state border and is the 2nd-largest city in Arkansas. It was founded in 1817 as a military post, and was incorporated in 1842. The original Fort Smith was abandoned by the U.S. Army in 1824, but reoccupied in 1838 as part of a federal policy to resettle people in the Indian Territory.
Fort Smith was occupied by the Confederacy during the early years of the American Civil War, however, Union forces took control of the territory in 1863. After the war, the town became known as a "wild west" location full of brothels, saloons, and outlaws. As a result, Judge Isaac Parker (nicknamed the "Hanging Judge") was appointment U.S. District Judge over the territory. In his 20+ years as the only "real" law enforcer in Fort Smith, Parker sentenced 160 people to hang with almost half of those (79) being executed on the gallows. His courthouse is now a national historic site.
Fort Smith maintains a variety of attractions including: