• 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 »

December 20, 1878 Execution

drawing of rope tied as noose
On December 20, 1878, James Diggs and John Postoak were executed at Fort Smith. Juries convicted both men of murder in unrelated cases. In 1873, Diggs murdered J.C. Gould, a cattle drover, for the sum of $27.00. Although arrested immediately after the crime, Diggs was released when the court in Fort Smith failed to bring any witnesses against him. Deputy Marshal James Wilkinson heard about the case several years later, rearrested Diggs, and located the witnesses, some as far away as Michigan and Ohio by this time. The officer's persistent efforts resulted in a guilty verdict. Postoak committed his crime in October of 1877, shooting and killing John Ingley in the Creek Nation.

Did You Know?

Parker seated at his bench in 6th Street courtroom

The only known image of Judge Parker in his courtroom is this one from the federal courthouse on Sixth Street which dates from the 1890s. There are no photographs of the courtroom located in the former military barracks.