The New International Encyclopædia/Fort Smith
FORT SMITH. A city and one of the county-seats of Sebastian County, Ark., at the junction of the Arkansas and Poteau rivers, and on the Saint Louis and San Francisco, the Missouri Pacific, the Kansas City Southern, and other railroads (Map: Arkansas, A 2). It has important wholesale jobbing interests in groceries, meats, dry goods, drugs, furniture, leather goods, etc.; a large trade in coal, corn, cotton, lumber, live stock, and hides; and extensive manufactures of furniture. There are also sawmills, planing-mills, cottonseed-oil mills, etc. Settled in 1838, Fort Smith was first incorporated in 1842, and was chartered as a city of the first class in 1886. Its government is administered by a mayor, chosen biennially, who nominates the board of health, chief of police, and chief of the fire department, and a city council, elected on a general ticket, which controls the appointments to the other municipal offices, excepting the board of school directors, who are elected by the people. The school district has a large fund, derived from the sale of lands donated by the Government; this, with the revenue accruing from taxation, has enabled the city to build a number of fine public schools, the most notable of which is the high school, costing $60,000. Population, in 1890, 11,311; in 1900, 11,587.