The Arkansas Democrat Gazette has been incredibly supportive of the quest for the Marshals Museum — writing wonderful editorials and providing ample coverage along the way. Here’s a bit of the most recent editorial from Saturday’s edition.
It should prove a boon to Fort Smith and Arkansas in general. And by the time the marshals museum opens, the Crystal Bridges art museum should be up and running in Bentonville, just a quick drive up Interstate 540 from Fort Smith.
I like this part, too.
Not that the marshals museum will need additional attractions to draw visitors / tourists. It’s going to be a people magnet all by itself. The first U. S. marshals that come to mind may be a couple of fictional characters: Matt Dillon of TV fame and Rooster Cogburn, the crotchety old tough-as-a-boot character drawn by Arkansas’ own Buddy Portis in True Grit. Those marshals were memorably tough cases, but they hardly measure up to a real-life lawman like Bass Reeves. Deputy Reeves was a crack shot and one of the most respected of the deputies who worked the old Indian Territory for Isaac Parker, the famous hanging judge in Fort Smith.
Oh, yes, Deputy Reeves was also a black man. That incidental fact might be of particular interest to folks interested in getting past Wild West stereotypes.