Look at the structures around the parade ground. Fort Scott's appearance is largely the work of one man, Captain Thomas Swords, post quartermaster from 1842 to 1846. Shortly after the army assigned Swords to Fort Scott, he vowed that he would make it "the crack post of the frontier."
Captain Swords built Fort Scott to last. The post's structures reflect the political belief in 1843 that the "Permanent Indian Frontier" really would be permanent. Many frontier forts were hastily built for short-term use, but the architecture and craftsmanship at Fort Scott are more typical of large, well-established Eastern posts.
[Photo caption reads] As Fort Scott's quartermaster, Captain Thomas Swords (above) was responsible for designing and building the post and all of its structures. Since the army did not standardize designs until after the Civil War, the task was not easy. At one point Swords lamented, "[I] am thrown entirely upon my own resources for plans?.[No one] here can draw a straight line, even with the assistance of a ruler."
Swords planned Fort Scott to be functional, yet, as he said, "with as much neatness of appearance as is consistent with a proper economy." For some structures he borrowed from classical design. The porches, stairs, and rooflines of the officers quarters (above) and enlisted men's barracks reflect French Colonial architecture. Greek Revival is seen in the canopy over the well.
Among the most conscientious of frontier quartermasters, Swords retired in 1869 a brevetted brigadier and major general.