April 4, 2009
In 1872, a year after the military abandoned Fort Smith (Sebastian County), the old barracks building shown here became the home of the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. One room served as the courtroom, with the remainder being used as court offices. The basement, formerly used as a mess hall, was converted into a two-cell jail. Jail conditions soon became so bad that prisoners referred to it as Hell on the Border.