Fort Smith Museum Celebrates General William O. Darby’s Birthday

Posted on: 7:00 pm, February 8, 2014, by

General William O. Darby, the namesake of Darby Junior High School, would have celebrated his 103rd birthday on Saturday (Feb. 8).

The Fort Smith Museum of History honored the general with birthday cake and punch in the soda fountain. Guests were able to check out the William O. Darby Memorial Room, watch a film about the famous founder of Darby’s Rangers and meet the newest Medal of Honor recipient.

Sergeant 1st Class Leroy Petry has been a ranger for over a decade and is still on active duty.

“It’s been amazing to have some of my predecessors in the ranger community here, take me in like family,” he said. “It’s been a great visit.”

General Darby died at the age of 34. He is known for leading his men into action living up to the motto, “Rangers Lead the Way.”

Darby Watkins, who is General Darby’s nephew, is currently writing a book on his famous uncle.