This week in Fort Smith history: May 10-16
May 10, 1875 — Federal Judge Isaac C. Parker presides over his first court session in Fort Smith. Of 18 tried for murder, 15 are convicted and eight sentenced to die.
May 10, 1992 — Mayor Ray Baker and former Mayor Bill Vines officially turn the valve to release the first of Lee Creek’s drinking water into the city water system.
May 11, 1922 — The "Million Dollar Free Bridge" is opened and dedicated, spanning the Arkansas River from Garrison Avenue to Oklahoma. It is the first concrete bridge across the river. The Masonic Temple also was formally dedicated on the same day.
May 11, 1943 — The Arkansas River floods Fort Smith, forcing some 250 people from their homes. They seek shelter at a Red Cross center.
May 12, 1916 — The city flag is dedicated at Stadium Park. Located at South Ninth Street and Carnall, Stadium Park had been dedicated by Arkansas Gov. C.H. Brough the previous day.
May 12, 1933 — U.S. Rep. Heartsill Ragon, a Democrat, is appointed judge for the U.S. District Court of Western Arkansas in Fort Smith. Ragon had served in the U.S. House from 1923 until his appointment and also served in the state Legislature from 1911-13.
May 13, 1904 — While several trains are switching tracks, Fort Smith patrol officer Ernest Augustus Anthony is struck and killed while patrolling the rail yard. Anthony, age 50, was a 15-year veteran of the department.
May 14, 1890 — The U.S. Senate confirms the nomination of William H.H. Clayton as U.S. attorney.
May 14, 1950 — The Fort Smith Business and Professional Women’s Club announces its selection of Mrs. Louis Beland for the year’s Outstanding Mother award. Mrs. Beland is the mother of seven.
May 15, 1904 — Dedication services are held at the new First Lutheran Church building on North D Street. Pastors officiating are the Rev. Dr. F. Pieper, professor of theology and president of the Missouri Synod; the Rev. W.J. Kaiser of Little Rock; the Rev. P.F. Germann, former pastor of the church; and Pastor A.L. Rohlfing.
May 15, 1921 — The first church services are held in the new sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, at North 15th and B streets.
May 16, 1975 — Arkansas Gov. David Pryor tours Fort Chaffee, a refugee center for Vietnamese refugees.