This week in Fort Smith history: May 24-30
May 25, 1909 — Foster, Caldarera & Co. of Fort Smith receive a U.S. patent for “flavoring extracts and canned tomatoes.”
May 26, 1904 — Mrs. George T. Sparks, the former Ann Eliza Dibrell of Van Buren, dies unexpectedly at age 52. “The whole city was cast in gloom and business men from all over the city called at the First National Bank to leave their respects and condolence to the bereaved family,” the Fort Smith News Record reported.
May 26, 1957 — The opening ceremony for the restored Fort Smith Historic Site’s courtroom and gallows is held.
May 26, 2012 — A statue of U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves is unveiled at Ross Pendergraft Park at 200 Garrison Ave. after a decade of planning and fundraising.
May 27, 1987 — Mrs. Robert S. Laser and Mrs. William H. Wood, vice president and historian of the Fortnightly Club of Fort Smith, donate the club’s historical papers, scrapbooks and photographs to the University of Arkansas Special Collections Department. The club was founded in 1888.
May 27, 1903 — John Euper, a pioneer of the city, dies at age 89. Euper had emigrated from Germany and was a shoemaker.
May 27, 1963 — William Gisler of Fort Smith is elected State Deputy of the Arkansas Knights of Columbus at the annual state convention held in Lake Village.
May 28, 1887 — R.T. Kerr is elected president and Jno. L. Henderson elected secretary of the Fort Smith School Board.
May 28, 1999 — The National Cemetery is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
May 29, 1921 — Andrews Field is dedicated. The four city blocks between Fifth and Seventh streets and South B and D streets had been ceded to the city along with other property in an 1884 congressional act.
May 30, 1892 — Wilbur T. Cates, Elam H. Stevenson and Henry H. Hoover form the Fort Smith Chair Company.
May 30, 1977 — A formal dedication and grand opening of the historic Clayton House is held after a seven-year restoration; dignitaries in attendance include U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, Gov. David Pryor, Arkansas Parks and Tourism Director Bill Henderson and Mayor Jack Freeze.