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Dodge City, Kansas - Page 3

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In 1878, Doc Holliday arrived in Dodge City with Big Nose Kate Elder, posing as his wife. Settling in room 24 of the Dodge House, Doc mostly drank and gambled, but occasionally, he provided professional services to the towns people. Shortly after his arrival, an ad appeared in the Dodge City Times pronouncing: "J.H. Holliday, Dentist, very respectfully offers his professional services to the citizens of Dodge City and surrounding country during the summer.”


But mostly he was gambling at the Alhambra and dealing cards at the Long Branch Saloon. Though Dodge City citizens thought the friendship between Wyatt and Doc was strange, Wyatt ignored them and Doc kept the law while in Dodge City.


During those first years, the population varied according to the season, swelling during the summer with the influx of cowboys, cattle buyers, gamblers and prostitutes. Business houses, dance halls and saloons catered to the Texas trade. Gambling ranged from a game of five-cent "Chuck-aluck" to thousand dollar poker pots.


In June 1879, the Ford County Globe reported, "The boys and girls across the deadline had a high old time last Friday. They sang and danced, and fought and bit, and cut and had a good time generally, making music for the entire settlement. Our reporter summed up five knockdowns, three broken heads, two cuts and several incidental bruises. Unfortunately none of the injuries will prove fatal.”



Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday was one of the most deadly shootists  in the American West

This image available for photographic prints HERE!


In September 1879, Virgil Earp sent word to Wyatt of the boom in Tombstone and Wyatt headed West with Doc Holliday following shortly thereafter. By January 1880, Bat Masterson also left Dodge City for the West.


In 1880, the Santa Fe Railroad reached Santa Fe , marking the death of the Santa Fe Trail and the many travelers passing through Dodge City . With the Indians effectively "lodged” on reservations, there was no longer a need for a military presence and Fort Dodge was closed in 1882. By 1886, the cattle drives had stopped.


An illustrious period of history was over but the legend lives on in Dodge City's historic preservation of its romantic and internationally famous Old West frontier history. Today, 100,000 tourists relive the legend each year by visiting the Boot Hill Museum and historic Front Street reconstruction.


Today, Dodge City is called home to about 30,000 people. It is located 150 miles west of Wichita in Southwest Kansas.



© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated April, 2015.




Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

This image available for photographic prints HERE!



Also See:


The Beginnings of Dodge City

Dodge City Historical Text

Fort Dodge History and Hauntings

Hell-Raising Dodge

John Henry "Doc" Holliday - Deadly Doctor of the Frontier

The Long Branch Saloon

Long Branch Saloon Shootout

Populating Boot Hill

Wyatt Earp - Frontier Lawman of the American West


Dodge City Slideshow:



All images available for photo prints & commercial downloads HERE!


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