Fort Smith, Arkansas is the second largest city in the state and one of the major city in the Fort Smith-Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. Fort Smith is one of two cities which share the County Seat of Sebastian County. The city is situated on the Oklahoma-Arkansas border, at the confluence of the Poteau and Arkansas Rivers, which is known as Belle Point. Those moving to Fort Smith will also discover a city with humid and hot summers and relatively mild winters.
Fort Smith has a total land area of just over 50 square miles and a population (counted in mid-2009) of 85,544 inhabitants, an increase since 2000 of 6.6 percent. 1,699 residents live per square mile, making the city one of low population density.
According to statistics released in January 2011, the Cost of Living Index for Fort Smith was 80.7, one the lowest in the U.S. As at December 2010, unemployment in the city was 9.6 percent, while it was 7.8 percent for the state of Arkansas.
The majority of employment opportunities in Fort Smith are in the manufacturing industry. Some of the largest employers in this sector are the Whirlpool Corporation, Trane, Rheem, Gerber, Georgia-Pacific and Planters Peanuts. Several corporations are headquartered in the city, such as Golden Living, the Baldor Electric Company, OK Foods and Arkansas Best.
The settlement of Fort Smith was established in 1817 as a military post and was incorporated as a city in December 1842.
Music is one of Fort Smith's greatest draw cards. Enjoy live outdoor jazz, country, blues and rock concerts in the downtown and riverfront areas; or go to a performance of the Forth Smith Symphony.
Fort Smith is the Wild West of Arkansas and there are many sites to be explored to learn about this interesting period of American history, the most important being the Hanging of Judge Parker's courtroom.