Fort Smith, Arkansas, one of the two seats of Sebastian County. (Greenwood is the other.) It lies on the Arkansas River at the Oklahoma border, in the northwestern part of the state. Fort Smith is the trade and transportation center of a farm and livestock area and is also a major Arkansas manufacturing and industrial city. Attractions include an annual rodeo; the Fort Smith National Historic Site, site of two frontier army posts; and the Old Fort Museum.
Fort Smith developed around an army post built in 1817 and became a supply and starting point for settlers and prospectors heading west. It was chartered as a city in 1851. In 1858 Fort Smith became an important station on the Butterfield Overland Stage Line. Lawlessness was widespread about the time of the Civil War. Order was restored by the “hanging judge” Isaac C. Parker, who presided here from 1875 until 1896. Nearby Fort Chaffee was a major military training center during World War II and the Korean War.