• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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    Traveling West on I-40? To avoid construction delays, do not take Exit 7 (I-540 S). Stay on I-40 west and take Exit 1 Dora. Stay on Hwy 64D for 6 miles and follow signs to Fort Smith. After crossing over the river, turn right on 4th ST & right on Garland. More »

April 17, 1885 Execution

noose

On April 17, 1885 William Phillips was executed at Fort Smith. He had been found guilty by a jury of murdering his father-in-law, William Hill, in the summer of 1884. The victim was asleep at the time. The two men had a history of conflict. An earlier argument had also resulted in gunfire, with Phillips wounding Hill in the ankle.

Did You Know?

Portrait of Anna Dawes

A woman was responsible for the building of a modern federal jail at Fort Smith, AR, in 1888. Anna Dawes, daughter of Sen. Dawes of MA, visited the "Hell on the Border" jail in 1885 and wrote an article describing its conditions. When read in Congress, money was quickly approved for a new jail.