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Images of Fort Smith

Images of Fort Smith

Fort Smiths story reflects the growth of America. The small frontier fort, established in 1817, served as a link to the emerging West and was occupied by Federal troops until the 1870s. The US District for Western Arkansas and Indian Territory was also centered here, as judge Isaac C. Parker, attorney William H.H. Clayton, marshals Heck Thomas, Bass Reeves, Jacob Yoes, and many others sought to civilize the Wild West. Lawmen, farmers, blue-collar workers, civic leaders, and creative business owners built a hub of culture, health care, transportation, and enterprise. The evolution of Fort Chaffee since the 1940s and the addition of the Arkansas Air National Guard in the 1950s also shaped the economy and patriotism of the area. The progression in education and commerce over time reveals further success. Fort Smiths development is tied to natural resources, a drive toward the future, and its celebration of the past.

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