Dodge City, city (1990 pop. 21,129), seat of Ford co., SW Kans., on the Arkansas River; inc. 1875. The distribution center for a wheat and livestock producing area, it also packs meat and makes agricultural implements. Laid out in 1872 near Fort Dodge (1864) on the old Santa Fe Trail, it flourished as a Santa Fe railhead and became a wild cow town; Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson were among those who helped to curb lawlessness. Fort Dodge has become a soldiers' home. The city hall, formerly located on Boot Hill, an early cowboy burial ground, has been removed to permit enlargement of that tourist attraction. Front Street, with its famous Long Branch Saloon, has been restored. The city holds an annual rodeo.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.