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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.

Demographics

People

Total Population87,537
Male Share of the Population48.7%
Female Share of the Population51.3%
Senior Citizens13.9%
Employed Population 16+37,121
Age of the Population36

Families

% of people married44.5%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher20.1%
Median Earnings25+$28,388
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$21,163
Median Earnings With High School Degree$24,375

Wealth

Median Family Income$47,379
% Above Poverty Level74.2%
% Below Poverty Level25.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time16 minutes
% Working from Home2.2%
% Walking and Biking to Work2.3%
% Using Public Transportation0.5%

Housing

People Living Alone34%
Median Gross Rent$641
Median House Value$117,000

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)55.1%
English9%
Irish8.8%
Italian1.5%
French Except Basque1.5%
Scottish1.4%
Norwegian0.5%
Polish0.5%
Swedish0.4%
Welsh0.3%
West Indian0.3%
Russian0.3%
Swiss0.2%
Finnish0.2%
Arab0.2%
Canadian0.2%
Czech0.2%
Dutch0.2%
Jamaican0.1%
Ukrainian0.1%
Hungarian0.1%
Danishn0.1%
Austrian0.1%
German0.1%
Greek0.1%
Romanian0.1%
African0.1%
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Fort Smith Almanac

CategoryValue
County Sebastian County
Standard Zip Codes72901, 72903, 72904, 72908, 72916
P.O. Box Zip Codes72902, 72906, 72913, 72914, 72917, 72918
Company Zip Codes72919, 72905
Phone Area Codes479
Time ZoneAmerica/Chicago
Approximate Latitude35.37
Approximate Longitude-94.42

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)

StationFORT SMITH RGNL AP
Distance4 miles
Jan Temp28 to 48 F
Apr Temp49 to 73 F
Jul Temp71 to 93 F
Oct Temp51 to 75 F
Annual Precip43.8 inches
StationSALLISAW 2 NW
Distance23.1 miles
Jan Temp25 to 48 F
Apr Temp47 to 72 F
Jul Temp70 to 93 F
Oct Temp50 to 75 F
Annual Precip46.7 inches
StationPOTEAU WATER WORKS
Distance26.3 miles
Jan Temp26 to 51 F
Apr Temp46 to 75 F
Jul Temp69 to 94 F
Oct Temp47 to 76 F
Annual Precip45.5 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Alma5,616$52,885
Barling4,809$45,393
Bonanza640$57,917
Cedarville1,358$52,350
Van Buren23,135$48,349

Fort Smith Public Libraries

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

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Fort Smith Hospitals

Sparks Regional Medical Center
(Proprietary)
1001 Towson Ave
(479) 441-4000
Mercy Hospital Fort Smith
(Non-profit)
7301 Rogers Avenue
(479) 314-6000
Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital Of Fort Smith
(Proprietary)
1401 South J Street
(479) 785-3300
Christus Dubuis Of Forth Smith
(Non-profit)
7301 Rogers Avenue, 4th Floor
(479) 314-4900
Select Specialty Hospital - Fort Smith, Inc.
1001 Towson Avenue
(479) 441-3960

Fort Smith Public Schools

Ballman Elementary School
2601 South Q St
ZIP: 72901
Primary
Total Enrollment 273
Belle Point Alternative Center
1501 Dodson Ave
ZIP: 72901
High
Total Enrollment 79
Carnall Elementary School
2524 S Tulsa St
ZIP: 72901
Primary
Total Enrollment 304
Fairview Elementary School
2400 S Dallas
ZIP: 72901
Primary
Total Enrollment 659
Howard Elementary School
1301 N 8th St
ZIP: 72901
Primary
Total Enrollment 364
Northside High School
2301 North B St
ZIP: 72901
High
Total Enrollment 1641
Ramsey Junior High School
3201 Jenny Lind Rd
ZIP: 72901
Middle
Total Enrollment 934
Tilles Elementary School
815 N 16th St
ZIP: 72901
Primary
Total Enrollment 420
William O. Darby Jr. High Sch.
616 N 14th St
ZIP: 72901
Middle
Total Enrollment 640
Albert Pike Elementary School
4111 Park Ave
ZIP: 72903
Primary
Total Enrollment 549
Bonneville Elementary School
2500 S Waldron Rd
ZIP: 72903
Primary
Total Enrollment 335
Euper Lane Elementary School
6601 Euper Lane
ZIP: 72903
Primary
Total Enrollment 470
John P. Woods Elem. School
3201 Massard Rd
ZIP: 72903
Primary
Total Enrollment 527
L. A. Chaffin Jr. High School
3025 Massard Rd
ZIP: 72903
Middle
Total Enrollment 890
Raymond F. Orr Elem. School
3609 Phoenix St
ZIP: 72903
Primary
Total Enrollment 401
Southside High School
4100 Gary St
ZIP: 72903
High
Total Enrollment 1561
Dora Kimmons Jr. High School
2201 N 50th St
ZIP: 72904
Middle
Total Enrollment 835
Harry C. Morrison Elem. School
3415 Newlon Rd
ZIP: 72904
Primary
Total Enrollment 283
Spradling Elementary School
4949 Spradling Ave
ZIP: 72904
Primary
Total Enrollment 429
Sunnymede Elementary School
4201 North O St
ZIP: 72904
Primary
Total Enrollment 665
Sutton Elementary School
5001 Kelley Hwy
ZIP: 72904
Primary
Total Enrollment 579
Trusty Elementary School
3300 Harris Ave
ZIP: 72904
Primary
Total Enrollment 327
Beard Elementary School
1600 Cavanaugh Rd
ZIP: 72908
Primary
Total Enrollment 300
Cavanaugh Elementary School
1025 School St
ZIP: 72908
Primary
Total Enrollment 274
Elmer H. Cook Elem. School
3517 Brooken Hill Dr
ZIP: 72908
Primary
Total Enrollment 539
Westark Technical Center
5210 Grand Ave
ZIP: 72913
High

Fort Smith Private Schools

Christ The King Catholic School
1918 S Greenwood Ave
ZIP: 72901
Elementary
Total Enrollment 230
First Umc Weekday School
320 N 15th St
ZIP: 72901
Elementary
Total Enrollment 8
Hobson Preschool & Kindergarten
116 N 12th St
ZIP: 72901
Elementary
Total Enrollment 6
Immaculate Conception Elementary School
223 S 14th St
ZIP: 72901
Elementary
Total Enrollment 287
St Boniface Catholic School
201 N 19th St
ZIP: 72901
Elementary
Total Enrollment 117
The Montessori School Of Fort Smith
3908 Jenny Lind Rd
ZIP: 72901
Elementary
Total Enrollment 64
First Lutheran School
2407 Massard Rd
ZIP: 72903
Elementary
Total Enrollment 104
Trinity Junior High School
1205 S Albert Pike Ave
ZIP: 72903
Secondary
Total Enrollment 245
Union Christian Academy
4201 Windsor Dr
ZIP: 72904
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 409
Union Christian Academy Elementary Campus
3300 Briar Cliff Ave
ZIP: 72908
Elementary
Total Enrollment 148
Annoor Academy Of Fort Smith
5700 Zero Str
ZIP: 72913
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 31
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