By 1876, however, Dodge City had become a popular destination spot for cattle drives starting from as far south as Texas. With that, the town also came to symbolize everything about the Old West. Dodge City brought together cowboys, lawmen, saloons, gambling, brothels, and everything in between, creating an environment that was always colorful and occasionally fatal. Since Dodge City was on the frontier, it took awhile for the law to catch up to it; even as late as September 1876, a local paper noted, "The citizens of Dodge have organized a vigilance committee and last week the committee addressed the following pointed note to every gambler in the city; 'Sir: You are hereby notified to leave this city before 6 o'clock, a. m. of Sept. 17th, 1876, and not return here.'"
Lawmen finally became a fixture of Dodge City in the late 1870s, but as with so many other places in the West, the line between hero and villain was blurred; cowboy Pink Sims later wrote about Dodge City, "It was stated that the marshals were all pimps, gamblers and saloonkeepers. They had the cowboys disarmed, and with their teeth pulled they were harmless. If they got too bad or went and got a gun, they were cut down with shotguns." Dodge City's lawmen included some of the most famous men of the Wild West, including Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp, who mixed it up in Dodge City as a deputy marshal several years before he was involved in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone.
Given the way the frontier town developed, as well as the people who called it home, Dodge City was certain to hold a special place in Western lore.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Mr Wright's book written in the common language of of the day (1913) and of the pioneer West, gives the reader the "feel" of what it was like to live in and around Dodge City from the founding of Dodge until the time of his writing. Since he lived there through it all, it creates a captivating charm for those who love to sit with old timers before they gone, and enjoy their stories. Thankfully Mr. Wright wrote it down so we can sit with him and listen over 100 years later.