During the days of American westward expansion, Fort Smith was the gritty frontier town whose lawless reputation became known both east and west of the Mississippi.
The last developed township just before unsettled native territory and dubbed "Hell on the Border," Fort Smith laid low more than its fair share of settlers, pioneers, and outlaws alike. After years of disorder, reformers and lawmen helped tame the city's wild ways, beginning Fort Smith's transformation into the prosperous city it is. Yet buried beneath Fort Smith's infamous past are forgotten stories, untold tales, and little-known facts concealed just below the city's surface. After years spent researching the city's history for his column in the Times Record, journalist Ben Boulden uncovers Fort Smith's hidden history.
About the Author
Ben Boulden is a Fort Smith native. Except for much of the 1980s, he has lived in the city his entire life. In 1986, he earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Missouri, studied abroad for one year at the University of Manchester in the UK and earned his master's degree in history from the University of Arkansas in 1992. Boulden taught courses in Arkansas history and America in the Gilded Age at what was then Westark College from 1999 to 2002. Since 1995, he has worked in a variety of capacities at the Times Record, most recently and for the last seven years as a reporter and columnist. Boulden has written the weekly Inquire Within" column for the Times Record for more than seven years, in which forum he has answered hundreds of questions regarding local history."