Open main menu

FORT SMITH, a city of Sebastian co., Arkansas, on the right bank of the Arkansas river, at the head of steamboat navigation, about 130 m. W. N. W. of Little Rock, and near the boundary of the Indian territory; pop. in 1860, 1,532; in 1870, 2,227, of whom 536 were colored; in 1873, 3,500. The situation is beautiful, and commands an extensive view of the Arkansas, the land, interspersed with hills and dales, rising gradually from the river. The business portion of the city is mostly built of brick and stone. The outskirts are lined with gardens, amid which are handsome residences. The surrounding country is rich in timber and coal. The Little Rock and Fort Smith railroad was completed in 1873 to Clarksville, 60 m. distant. There are several manufactories, including a large flour mill, a planing mill and machine shop, two breweries, and two wagon factories. There are Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, and Catholic schools, three public schools, of which one is colored, and nine churches. Four weekly newspapers are published, two of which also issue tri-weekly editions. The United States courts for the western district of Arkansas are held here. The town was laid out in 1838 on land adjoining the reservation belonging to the government post of that name.