Fort Smith is best known for federal Judge Isaac C. Parker, who was appointed to the dock in 1875 by President Ulysses S. Grant. The historic site of Fort Smith National Historic Site has a lot of complex history to discover, the most complex of which surrounds Judge Isaac Parker. Judge Isaacs Parker arrived in Fort Smith on May 4 to replace corruption-plagued Judge William F. Smith in U.S. District Court. His tenure lasted only until Parker's death in 1896, and he is one of the oldest federal judges in the United States.
He is considered by many to be the founder of the city of Fort Smith, as he promoted the city as a settlement for the US Army and the US Navy in the early days of its development.
The people of Fort Smith embrace the history of their city and it will be easy to fall in love as a visitor. There's plenty to do in every place you visit for the perfect weekend getaway to Fortune. Jimmy John's in Fort Smith is made with the freshest ingredients, so choose one of the locations in Fortsmith for a delicious sandwich today or order it for delivery.
Fort Smith is one of the state's leading manufacturing cities, producing everything from processed poultry to high-tech electronics and medical equipment. The city is now home to Fort Smith Public Schools, which provide education to more than 2,000 students from all walks of life, from high school to college. Siloam Springs - John Brown University (JBU) also operates a four-year program at a satellite facility in Fort Smith. Sparks provides health care to residents within the boundaries of this city and health services to the local community.
Fort Smith has several large employers, including the University of Arkansas for Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (UAB) and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Best Corp also bears the name of one of the state's largest and most successful manufacturing companies, Best Foods.
The city has 80,286 inhabitants, making it the second largest city in the state, behind only Little Rock. Fort Smith is home to the University of Arkansas for Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (UAB) and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Fayetteville is in third place, Springdale is in sixth, Jonesboro is in seventh and Little Rock is in eighth, according to FortSmith.
To the north is Lake Fort Smith State Park, home to Westark Community College (1928). Altus, a wine-producing town, is the second largest city in the state, behind Little Rock, with a population of about 2,500. It is located in a place that the early French explorers called Belle Point, on the west side of the Arkansas River, near the intersection of Interstate 35 and US 40.
The encounters that took place in the area in 1864 include the Battle of Belle Point, the Battle of Fort Smith, and the battles of Little Rock and Fort Hood.
Fort Smith served as a major supply base and defensive bastion for the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi West, protecting the interests of the South in Arkansas and the Indian Territory until federal soldiers reoccupied the post on September 1, 1864. But only two years later, the federal government realized that the fort was too close to the newly defined Indian territories and built Fort Gibson. The army abandoned the fort and moved on to Fort Gibson on Indian territory and later to Oklahoma. Fort Smith was manned by forty to ninety men, equipped with an artillery battery, a supply depot, and a number of other facilities.
The supply lines at Fort Smith had reached their capacity limits and the lines from the border posts had been moved so far west. There was no way to get fresh grass earlier in the spring for a more northerly route, so they had to move along the boundaries of the post.
As a result, Stuart left Fort Smith in June 1834 and founded Fort Coffee in the town of Chaffee, about 30 miles south of Fort Smith, in March of that year. Chaffees was located in nearby Sebastian County, though it was far outside the city limits of Fort Smith, so the economic ties between him and the city were strong.
After the war, federal forces at Fort Smith worked to restore order in the countryside and rural areas of western Arkansas. New posts were set up in the Indian Territory, including a depot near Fort Smith that supplied Fort Towson and Fort Washita. The New Deal brought public works projects to the area, and federal workers built a dam on the Missouri River to create a town called LakeFort Smith.
The new fort was located on a prominent steep slope overlooking the Poteau and Arkansas Rivers, and provided an excellent vantage point that looked west to the Arkansas River and the Missouri River to the east, as well as the Mississippi River.