Fort Smith, Arkansas Alert!
Help We Have to Save The
Records and the Cemetery
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My great-grandparents died in Fort Smith, AR. 1896 and 1897. I drove 400 miles to go to Fort Smith, AR. to do some research. When I got to the court house I was left sitting in the hall for over an hour until the elected official the County Court Clerk had the time to take me to the warehouse where the records were "stored". Now, let me tell you I am not faint at heart but when I stepped into the area where the records were stored I clutched my chest and said "Oh NO". My heart just hit my stomach. Here I stood in one of the most famous of all cities Fort Smith, AR. . Everyone has heard of Belle Starr, Cherokee Bill, Judge Parker (the famous hanging judge). Here were the court records of Bell Starr being fined in court for riding her horse too fast in town. As I walked through and stepped over the records that were dumped in the floor, I leaned down to inspect some records that were in a drawer that had been dumped onto the floor. They were neatly bound with a small piece of ribbon, the records were the electrocution records, here were all the records of those that had been put to death by the county/state. Where was I to begin, how do you start to search in this big dump of records. The Lord was with me on that day I picked up a book from a pile of books on a table and in it was the names of my greatgrand parents. I had the book but where were the records. I left and went back to my hotel, and let me tell you I did a lot of praying over the matter. The elected Court Clerk had suggested that I come back in 6 months and things might be better then. Well, you know I was there, I needed the records and I might have never had the time to come back. I decided to go back the next day. When I got there I started looking through box after box, and finally I stood in the middle of the floor and started to pay, Lord guide me, there are just too many piles of papers and boxes thrown everywhere for me to do this in one day. I then walked down an isle and reached up and pull a box down. The third envelope was my Nathan O' Neal Glover and Emma Jane Gray.
Something has to be done. Won't you please join me in letting the State of Arkansas and Fort Smith know that these records are important and if Ft. Smith no longer cares or wants the records then turn them over the the Archives in Little Rock for preservation.
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