A Brief History of Fort Smith, Arkansas

Electric Park in Fort Smith, Arkansas ca. 1912

Fort Smith, county seat of Sebastian County, is located at the junction of the Arkansas and Poteau rivers. The city lies west of Van Buren on the Oklahoma border. Fort Smith was established as a military outpost to patrol the neighboring Indian Territory in 1817 and was named after General Thomas Smith. The fort was abandoned seven years later in 1824, but by that time a town founded by John Rogers was formed alongside the fort. The fort was re-occupied and expanded in 1838. It was again abandoned in 1871. The area once occupied by the fort is now the Fort Smith National Historic Site (Boulden, 2018).


Boulden, Benjamin. (2018, Jun. 13). Fort Smith (Sebastian County). Retrieved from encyclopediaofarkansas.net.

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