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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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  • 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 25, 1894 Execution

On July 25, 1894 Lewis Holder was executed having been convicted of the murder of his hunting and trapping partner, George Bickford. The body of the victim was found with a shotgun wound in the back in the San Bois Mountains, Choctaw Nation. Deputy marshals arrested Holder after he had been seen with Bickford’s team of horses and wearing his clothing. While Holder admitted to killing his partner, he insisted it was in self defense. The jury failed to agree and rendered a guilty verdict on September 19, 1892. An appeal to the Supreme Court did not succeed in overturning the conviction.

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.