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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Road Construction I-540

    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 »

July 9, 1890 Execution

noose
John Stansberry was executed on July 9, 1890, having been found guilty of murdering his wife. Although he and his wife had a new baby, Stansberry had fallen in love with someone else. To sever the ties that prevented his marriage to another woman, Stanberry killed his child on September 20, 1889. About a month later, he murdered his wife with repeated blows from an axe. Stansberry was arrested while still at his wife's grave after the funeral and was convicted shortly thereafter.

Did You Know?

Interior of jail cell with box for prisoners to visit with their lawyers

The conditions at the federal jail at Fort Smith were so horrible that it received the nickname "Hell on the Border." Up to 50 men were crowded into one large cell with limited ventilation and poor sanitary conditions.