Oak Cemetery
The historic burial ground in
Fort Smith is one of the most
historic in the nation.
Lawmen and Outlaws
Oak Cemetery was a burial
site for both Old West lawmen
and outlaws, key figures in
the history of Fort Smith.
Oak Cemetery - Old West Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Oak Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Oak Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas
Oak Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas
The statue marking the grave of Captain James E.
Reynolds recalls his rescue from a battlefield by two
young women during the Civil War.
Burial Ground on the Frontier
One of America's most historic cemeteries
covers 30 acres in
Fort Smith, Arkansas. Oak
Hill Cemetery is the final resting place of
soldiers, lawmen and outlaws and tells the
history of the Old West in marble and stone.

Fort Smith was a bastion of law and order on
the Western Frontier. It was here that Judge
Isaac C. Parker, the real "Hanging Judge" of
the Old West, held court for the Western
District of Arkansas.

During his career on the bench at Fort Smith,
Parker and his deputies brought law and
order to the frontier. He hanged more men
than any other Federal judge in U.S. history
and the lives of both Parker and his deputies
were memorialized in such films as
, True Grit, and Hang 'Em High.

At Oak Cemetery, the history of this wild era
of American expansion can be read in stone.
More than 100 of Parker's deputy marshals,
guards, posse members and court officials
are buried here. They are both black and
white and eight (seven deputies and a jail
guard) were killed in the line of duty.

Also buried at Oak Cemetery are 33 outlaws
of the Old West, all convicted of murder. Of
these men, 28 met their fates on the gallows
at Fort Smith.

The cemetery may well have the largest
concentration of graves of Old West lawmen
and outlaws in the nation.

Oak Cemetery is also the final resting place
of 122 Confederate soldiers. All survived the
war and were buried here in the years that
followed. Among the most noteworthy is
Sarah Ish Parke, a female Confederate spy,
smuggler and courier who died on January
19, 1918. Many others who served on all
fronts of the Civil War are buried at Oak
Cemetery, but the most unique monument
may be the sculpture on the grave of Captain
James E. Reynolds.

A Confederate soldier from Mississippi who
later built the famed
"Captain's Castle" in
Cameron, Oklahoma, Reynolds is buried
beneath a unique monument of a wounded
soldier behind helped by two young women.
The statue pays tribute to two teenage girls
who rescued the wounded Captain Reynolds
from the battlefield of New Hope, Georgia.
Historic Oak Cemetery is located at 1401
South Greenwood in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
The cemetery is open to the public daily, but
is closed at night.

Please click here to visit the cemetery's
official website.
History Written in Stone
A walk through Oak Cemetery
reveals the names of key
frontier individuals.
Law and Order in Fort Smith
Oak Cemetery contains the
graves of seven U.S. Deputy
Marshals killed on the job.
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
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