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History of Dodge City

Dodge City is located 150 miles west of Wichita in Southwest Kansas. This historic community of 21,129 is the seat of Ford county. Dodge City is famous for its rich history as a frontier cowtown.

In 1871, H.L. Sitler constructed a sod house 5 miles west of Fort Dodge on the Santa Fe Trail. Within one year this site grew into a town with a general store, three dance halls, and six saloons. Many of the early settlers of Dodge City were gamblers, gunslingers, and cattlemen. The Santa Fe Railroad reached Dodge City in 1872. Texas cattle drovers began to use a shortcut from the Chisholm Trail to Dodge City called the Texas Trail. Thousands of longhorn cattle were driven over the Texas Trail into Dodge City for loading on the railroad. With these cattle came cowboys, gamblers, buffalo hunters, and soldiers. Dodge City became a rowdy town famous for its saloons, outlaws, and Boot Hill Cemetery. Bat Masterson, and Wyatt Earp earned their fame as lawmen during this time.

Today, Dodge City is a growing community and a popular tourist destination. The authentic replica of Front Street with the Long Branch Saloon and Boot Hill Cemetery are places to see while in town. The city is also home to Dodge City Community College. Dodge City is a marketing center for livestock, wheat, and sorghums. Manufacturing includes metal products, machinery, farm implements, canvas goods, processed foods, and furniture.

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