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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

People of the Federal Court Era (1872-1896)

For twenty-one years, Judge Isaac C. Parker presided over the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. Parker may be the most recognized name associated with the Fort Smith court, but there were many others who worked for the federal court, including the deputy marshals, jailers, court clerks, and bailiffs. On the other side of the law were the men and women who were arrested in Indian Territory and charged with crimes ranging from theft to murder.

Also check out Stories from the Federal Court Era.

Did You Know?

foundation remains of first fort overlooking Arkansas River

The U.S. Army selected a spot overlooking the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers for the site of a fort. Soldiers from the Rifle Regiment arrived in 1817 and named the site Fort Smith after their commanding officer, Thomas A. Smith.