Tom Wing

Tom Wing

Director of the Drennen-Scott Historic Site

 

Tom Wing, director of the Drennen-Scott Historic Site, was a park ranger and historian for the National Park Service at the Fort Smith National Historic Site for eight years before he came to the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith in August 2004 to teach in the new bachelor's degree program in history/historical interpretation.

 

He served as chair of the West Central Arkansas War Heritage Trail and was appointed by the Arkansas Secretary of State to serve on the Advisory Team for the Bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase. He also served two terms on the board of the Arkansas Historical Association and is currently serving on the board of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas.

 

A life-long resident of Fort Smith, he graduated from Northside High School and attended UAFS when it was Westark College. He then transferred to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he completed bachelor's degrees in anthropology and secondary education. He has a master's degree in history from the University of Oklahoma. He is currently working on a Ph.D. at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.

 

His hobbies and interests include hunting, Civil War reenactments, archeology, video games, trap shooting and gardening. 

 

As a park ranger and historian for the National Park Service, he helped design exhibits and programs, selected and identified historical objects for display, and led tours and programs. He was also a certified historic weapons safety officer responsible for artillery and small arms demonstrations. His work took him all over the country from the east coast to the west coast. The military and judicial history of Fort Smith are topics dear to his heart. Recently, he was interviewed for a documentary on the re-make of True Grit. He has had numerous appearances on Public Television and the History Channel.

 

In 2005, UAFS acquired the Drennen-Scott property and through grants restored the house and grounds. Wing served as project coordinator and is now director of the site.  

 

Topics

 

The Wilhauf House

As the newest addition to the university's historic properties in downtown Van Buren, the Wilhauf House boasts a rich history. Owned by a German immigrant, the house is estimated to be the second-oldest house in the city, and the land was previously part of John Drennen's original estate. Learn about the history of the house and the university's plans to renovate the property. 

 

Arkansas and the Louisiana Purchase

In 1803, Thomas Jefferson doubled the size of the United States with a signature and $15 million. The maps and survey of the purchase originated in Arkansas. This program will examine the unique and important effects of Arkansas and its relation to the Louisiana Purchase.

 

The Civil War in Arkansas (and Fort Smith)  

Arkansas and Fort Smith specifically have compelling stories connected to the Civil War. Fort Smith was occupied by both armies. This program will examine Fort Smith and Arkansas's role in the bloodiest conflict in our nation’s history.  

 

Judge Isaac C. Parker and the Federal Court in Fort Smith

Judge Isaac Parker left a legacy of justice, fairness and professionalism. However, he had a number of critics and some of his court practices would not be allowed today. This program will examine both sides of the famous "Hanging Judge."

 

Park Ranger? Museum Worker? There’s More!

In the fall of 2004, the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith started a program in historical interpretation to assist students in filling positions in a variety of fields. Hear a talk that will define and explain what students learn, as well as see artifacts and historic reproductions that are used in the program.

 

The Worst and the Best: Outlaws and Lawmen of Fort Smith  

Fort Smith with Indian Territory right across the border saw its share of desperate and depraved characters. This talk will discuss some of the worst men to be brought to Fort Smith -- dead or alive -- and also provide insight into the lives of the dedicated lawmen who brought the outlaws to justice.

 

Update on the Drennen-Scott Historic Site

The Drennen-Scott Historic Site opened in May 2011, extending the UAFS campus into Van Buren. The site is multi-functional, serving as a training place for University of Arkansas - Fort Smith students and as a museum. In January 2012, the Drennen-Scott Historic Site was honored with an award for excellence in preservation and restoration from the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas. Hear the latest on what’s developing there. There’s always something new!