dcsimg

Overview

Introduction to Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith is situated in the River Valley in northwest Arkansas in Sebastian County. It's near the junction of Arkansas and the Poteau rivers and is close to the border with Oklahoma. The city is known for having been a significant factor in the settling of the "Wild West."

History

Fort Smith was established in 1817 as a military base to watch over the nearby Indian Territory. In 1824 the fort was no longer utilized, however a community established by John Rogers had grown and thrived near the fort. It was once again occupied and then abandoned but the city continued to flourish without the active fort. In 1874 William Henry Harrison Clayton was given the title of United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. Fort Smith was well known as a town filled with brothels, criminals and saloons. William Clayton brought in Judge Isaac Parker to establish law and order for the area. He soon became known as the "Hanging Judge" due to hanging six people he convicted of murder in one day. During his career he sentenced 160 convicted people to die by hanging. However, 79 of the group were actually hanged.

Transportation

The city is home to the Fort Smith Regional Airport. Bus transportation is provided by Fort Smith Transit.

Attractions

  • The Vaughn-Schapp House showcases paintings, sculptures and other types of art.
  • Fort Smith Riverfront Blues Fest is a noteworthy event featuring prominent musicians.
  • Fort Smith Symphony.
  • Riverfront Amphitheater.
  • Fort Smith Convention Center.
  • Fort Smith Jazz Festival.
  • Old Fort Days Rodeo is one of the prominent rodeos in the country.
  • Fort Smith Air show.

Sites

  • Fort Smith National Historic Site includes the restored courtroom of the famous Hanging Judge Isaac Parker and the local jail.
  • Fort Smith Museum of History has noteworthy exhibits.
  • Belle Grove Historic District contains numerous historic homes featuring a variety of architectural styles.
  • Miss Laura's Social Club was formerly a brothel and is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Fort Chaffee.
  • Ed Walker's Restaurant.
  • Fort Smith Trolley Museum.
  • The Darby House.
  • Fort Smith Air Museum.
  • Clayton House.
  • Bonneville House.
  • Alfonso Trent House.
  • John Rogers Home.

Activities

White water rafting is popular in the numerous mountain streams. Excellent fishing opportunities are available in the nearby streams and lakes. Hiking enthusiasts will enjoy the White Rock area and Mount Magazine. The Fort Smith region is notable for bird watching.

Higher Education

The city is home to the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Satellite campuses of John Brown University and Webster University are located in the city.

People

Total Population 87,193
Male Share of the Population 49.3%
Female Share of the Population 50.7%
Senior Citizens 12.7%
Employed Population 16+ 38,086
Age of the Population 35

Families

% of people married 46%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 20.7%
Median Earnings25+ $27,693
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $20,061
Median Earnings With High School Degree $22,799

Wealth

Median Family Income $46,870
% Above Poverty Level 74.1%
% Below Poverty Level 25.9%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 15 minutes
% Working from Home 2.2%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.8%
% Using Public Transportation 0.5%

Housing

People Living Alone 33.1%
Median Gross Rent $620
Median House Value $113,500

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 49.7%
US/American 0%
English 16.8%
Irish 12.2%

Fort Smith Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 104 miles SE of Tulsa, Oklahoma
County Sebastian
Metro Area Fort Smith
Standard Zip Codes 72901, 72903, 72904, 72908, 72916
P.O. Box Zip Codes 72902, 72906, 72913, 72914, 72917, 72918
Company Zip Codes 72905, 72919
Phone Area Codes 479
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 35.385
Longitude -94.398

Fort Smith Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station FORT SMITH RGNL AP
Distance 4 miles
Jan Temp 28 to 48 F
Apr Temp 49 to 73 F
Jul Temp 71 to 93 F
Oct Temp 51 to 75 F
Annual Precip 43.8 inches
Station SALLISAW 2 NW
Distance 23.1 miles
Jan Temp 25 to 48 F
Apr Temp 47 to 72 F
Jul Temp 70 to 93 F
Oct Temp 50 to 75 F
Annual Precip 46.7 inches
Station POTEAU WATER WORKS
Distance 26.3 miles
Jan Temp 26 to 51 F
Apr Temp 46 to 75 F
Jul Temp 69 to 94 F
Oct Temp 47 to 76 F
Annual Precip 45.5 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Alma 5,514 $48,125
Barling 4,722 $43,548
Bonanza 608 $54,063
Cedarville 1,695 $50,217
Van Buren 22,955 $47,170

Fort Smith Public Libraries

Library
Fort Smith Public Library
3201 ROGERS AVE.
Fort Smith, Arkansas
(479) 783-0229

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Fort Smith Hospitals

SPARKS REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
1311 SOUTH I STREET
(501) 441-4000
Emergency Service: Yes

ST EDWARD MERCY MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
7301 ROGERS AVE
(479) 314-6000
Emergency Service: Yes

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
Results:  5
Matching School Ads
Programs
  • Diesel Technology
  • Heavy Equipment
  • Collision Repair and Refinishing
  • Get a hands-on, job-specific education at Lincoln Tech.
camnpus icon
Nashville
Visit School Site
Programs
  • MS in Computer Science
  • Established in 1901, the College of Engineering and Computer Science has built a vibrant community of leaders with a reputation for responsiveness in meeting regional, national, and global needs.

Programs
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
  • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Management
  • Master of Science in Information Technology - Network Management
  • A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.
Programs
  • BS in Business Administration - Project Management
  • MSHUS- Family and Community Services
  • AAS in Information Technology - Network Administration
  • Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.
Programs
  • Master of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Established in 1901, the College of Engineering and Computer Science has built a vibrant community of leaders with a reputation for responsiveness in meeting regional, national, and global needs.

Fort Smith High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

SOUTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL
4100 GARY STREET
479-646-7371
Serves 1,496 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.6

NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL
2301 NORTH B STREET
479-783-1171
Serves 1,280 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.9

BELLE POINT ALTERNATIVE CENTER
1501 DODSON AVENUE
479-783-7034
A Non-traditional School
A Title I School.
Serves 69 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7.7

WESTERN ARKANSAS TECHNICAL CENTER
5210 GRAND AVENUE
479-788-7720
A Vocational School

Additional Details
Fort Smith Careers
Fort Smith career and employment information.
Fort Smith Colleges
Fort Smith colleges and trade schools.
Study Online in Fort Smith
Matching School Ads

Career and College Resources

Real-World Career Reports
Career References and Original Articles
College Directories and Lists
Additional Resources
Info for Fort Smith Government Officials


Are you an official in the Fort Smith government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

Back to Top