Bass Reeves was born a slave and became one of Judge Parker's most valued Deputy Marshals. His bronze statue, located in historic downtown Fort Smith, will honor the service and sacrifice of United States Marshals ad preserve the legacy of leadership, law enforcement, and equality. The Bass Reeves Legacy Initiative has selected Harold T. Holden to create a monument honoring US Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves. The Bass Reeves monument will be placed in Ross Pendergraft Park near the foot of the Garrison Avenue Bridge.
For more information on giving opportunities or the history of Bass Reeves, visit the campaign website: www.deputybassreeves.com
LEFT: Area history buffs flocked to the Fort Smith Public Library's Main Branch Sept. 18, 2009 to hear about legendary Fort Smith-based Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, from Reeves researcher and re-enactor Baridi Nkokheli. Nkokheli, whose real job is director of the Fort Smith Department of Sanitation, closely resembles Reeves, especially when wearing replica western frontier-era clothing Reeves would have worn on duty, while he talks to local civic groups and schools about the famous deputy.
As the 100th anniversary of Reeves' death in January 2010 approaches and the ongoing fund raising drive for a Reeves Legacy Monument to be erected in downtown Fort Smith continues, Nkokheli is receiving more and more invitations to portray and speak about Reeves. "I’ve learned to keep my Bass Reeves uniform behind the door of my office so I can make a quick change when I have to be somewhere in a hurry to talk about Bass -- sometimes I feel like Clark Kent," Nkokheli joked during his FSPL appearance.
Photos & content courtesy of Entertainment Fort Smith magazine (www.efortsmith.com)
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