Dodge City historically embodies the spirit of just about every stereotypical Wild West movie you've ever seen; cowboys, Native Americans, gunslingers, shoot outs, forts etc. etc. etc. were all pieces of Dodge City's past. The historical journey of the city began with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the opening of the Santa Fe Trail in 1821. Thousands of wagons traveled the trail, which went west from Dodge City into Arkansas and Colorado. Fort Dodge (the first fort opened after the civil war) was created in 1865 in order to protect the travelers on the Santa Fe Trail and the mail service from the Native Americans who would attack the tidal waves of settlers coming in and served as a supply center for the American troops fighting wars with the Natives.
In 1871, the first settler of Dodge City, Henry L. Sitler built his sod house and cattle ranch not far from Fort Dodge. His home became a hub for ranchers, buffalo hunters and traders and less than a year later the center of an officially formed "Dodge City." Other notable figures to be found here were: George M. Hoover, the first business owner—a bar and trade center, Riley and Leavenworth—military men of Fort Dodge who lead the creation of the official city. With the Santa Fe Railroad in 1872 bringing lots of new settlers, the (now established) city continued to grow extravagantly.
During this time, Dodge City became known for its infamous lawlessness and gun-slinging. Because the nearby military at Ft. Dodge had no jurisdiction over the town and it had no law enforcement of its own, buffalo hunters, rail workers, soldiers and civilians fought under the constant influence of alcohol and died in the streets. Dead men and boys who had well standing families or friends and money were buried in the cemetery at Fort Dodge but most, unknown and poorer men were simply buried wherever it was convenient to dig a shallow grave. From these poor men buried in their boots, often sticking up out of the ground, toes up, came the name Boot Hill which was eventually made into an official cemetery.
Dodge City was the buffalo capital until a mass slaughter, with the goal of driving out the Native Americans who still persisted, wiped out the large majority of the buffalo and left the land littered with decayed animals. An estimated 1,500,00 buffalo hides were shipped from dodge from 1872-1878 and by '75 were gone as a source of revenue, but the longhorn cattle took over as the major industry and were driven up the Great Western trail (Texas trail) to Dodge City.
By 1886 the cattle drives had ended and Fort Dodge closed as well, ending the infamous past of the city. From this however emerged the modern Dodge City which cherishes its past grea
Dodge City is known for its ties to the old west, but today it is known for something else. Dodge City is one of the major locations in America for the Meat Packing industry, housing facilities for two of the major meat packing players in the US. Agriculture and livestock raising are the second largest industries with tourism coming in third. A city located in southwest Kansas and acts as the Ford county seat. Dodge City is home to only one high school, Dodge City High School, and a community college, Dodge City Community College. With a population of around 28,000 as of 2012, it is home to a 57% majority hispanic community with a 51/49 male to female ratio. The tourism aspect of Dodge City is based around the cities old west roots, with many activities such as a wax museum and a recreation museum. There is also an arena football team who plays in the United Wireless Arena, a rodeo that runs through the summer, and a raceway that is home to NASCAR events. The modern history of Dodge City is not what makes it a destination, to find that we will need to look at its old american roots.
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