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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

September 20, 1894 Execution

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John Pointer, age 21, was executed on the Fort Smith gallows on September 20, 1894. In December of 1891, Pointer, a native of Arkansas, was traveling from Texas to Eureka Springs in the company of William Bolding and Ed Vandever. On Christmas night, the group camped in the Choctaw Nation. The next morning the bodies of Bolding and Vandever were found in a creek, each killed by blows from an axe. Deputy marshals arrested Pointer as he tried to dispose of the wagon and team in McAlester, Choctaw Nation. Found guilty by a Fort Smith jury, Pointer appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The original verdict was upheld.

Did You Know?

Lady Bird Johnson speaking at Fort Smith NHS dedication

Lady Bird Johnson came to Fort Smith National Historic Site to dedicate the park on October 27, 1964.