While cold weather has swept across the area for January 11th, 2019, the weather was vastly different on the night of January 11th, 1898… some 121 years ago. The weather that day was said to be warmer than usual. Around midnight that night, a tornado flattened the city killing 55 and injuring hundreds.
The tornado is still the second deadliest tornado on record in the state of Arkansas. The worst being the Judsonia Outbreak of 1952.
The Fort Smith Elevator, the local newspaper at the time, shows the path of the destruction across town.
Judge Parker’s home was destroyed and would later be the home of the Carnegie Library, and later 5NEWS’ Fort Smith Studio.
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration archived photos in their database for historical purposes. I retrieved them and included them in this post to share with you.
12th & A Street
Looking North on Reserve Addition
North 13th & D Street
South 6th Street
Between Garrison Avenue & A Street
NE From Catholic Hall
New Fort Smith High School After Tornado
Fort Smith High School Before Tornado