Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dodge City, Kansas

The wickedest little city in the west

Dodge City is infamous for lawlessness and gun-slinging. There was no local law enforcement and the military had no jurisdiction over the town. Buffalo hunters, railroad workers, drifters and soldiers scrapped and fought, leading to the shootings where men died with their boots on. And that created a hasty need for a local burial place - Boot Hill Cemetery. The cemetery is now a part of downtown Dodge City. It was used until 1878. For six years before Boot Hill, Dodge City had no official cemetery. Persons dying who had friends, enough money or sufficient standing in the community were buried in the post cemetery at Fort Dodge. Others, penniless or unknown, were buried where it was convenient to dig a hole.

Dodge City was the Buffalo capital for three years until mass slaughter destroyed the huge herds and left the Prairie littered with decaying carcasses. An estimated 850,000 Buffalo hides were shipped from Dodge City in the years 1872-1874. Farmers, during hard times, gathered the Buffalo bones and sold them for six to eight dollars a ton. The bones were used in the manufacture of china and fertilizer. By 1875 the Buffalo were gone as a source of revenue, but the Longhorn cattle of Texas drove the dollars into town. For ten more years, over five million head were driven up the western branch of the Chisholm and Western Trails to Dodge City. Law and order came riding in to town with such respectable officers as Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Bill Tilghman and Charlie Bassett. Out of these personalities evolved the famous fictional character of Marshal Matt Dillon. The town these early men knew was laid out with two Front Streets, one on either side of the railroad tracks. The city passed an ordinance that guns could not be worn or carried north of the "deadline" which was the railroad tracks. The south side where "anything went" was wide open. In 1876 the population was 1,200 and nineteen businesses were licensed to sell liquor.

Our Google Map Location

Let's get the heck out of Dodge!! ;)

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