Fort Smith Travel Guide

Browse 1 travel reviews, travel blogs and 24 travel photos from real travelers to Fort Smith.

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Fort Smith Overview

Fort Smith is the second-largest city in the U.S. state of Arkansas. Fort Smith lies on the Arkansas-Oklahoma state border, situated at the junction of the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers, also known as Belle Point. The city began as a western frontier military post in 1817 and would later become well-known for its role in the settling of the "Wild West" and its law enforcement heritage

One of Fort Smith's most notable historic figures was Judge Isaac Parker. Judge Isaac Parker served as US District Judge from 1875-1896. He was nicknamed the "Hanging Judge" because in his first term after assuming his post he tried eighteen people for murder, convicted fifteen of them, sentenced eight of those to die, and hanged six of them on one day. Over the course of his career in Fort Smith, Parker sentenced 160 people to hang, of those 79 actually were executed on the gallows. Judge Parker represented the only real law the rough and tumble frontier border town had at the time. His courthouse is now a National Historic Site where "More men were put to death by the U.S. Government... than in any other place in American history