December 24, 1842
The city of Fort Smith was incorporated. Early in its history, the settlement, which was established as a military post to keep peace between Osage and Cherokee tribes, served as a point of contact with the American West and, later, as a supply post for gold rush prospectors and military centers. It was named for General Thomas A. Smith, the military district’s commander. Fort Smith is now the second-largest city in the state. Judge Isaac C. Parker presided over the Western Arkansas Federal District Court for more than twenty years in the late 1800s. Miss Laura’s Social Club, which is now the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the only former house of prostitution on the National Register of Historic Places.