The Hinkle-Heinz House (1881)
Dodge City, Ford County,
The city of Dodge City-owned George T. Hinkle house, previously being
considered for demolition and replacement with a parking lot, may be the
oldest house of its type in the city. The house, located at 801 First
Ave., was built or moved to this location between 1879 and 1882. The FCHS
requested further consideration before the city proceeded. The house is
now being protected and will be preserved.
Research presented to the Dodge City's
Historical Preservation Committee by FCHS board member Dennis Veatch,
Dodge City development administrator, indicates that Hinkle purchased the
property from the Dodge City Town Co. in 1878 for $44.50. He married in
1882, and added his wife's name (Annie C.) to the deed for the
"consideration of love and affection."
The house is not shown on the 1878 bird's
eye view of Dodge City but is on the 1882 view. The original floor plan
appears to be three rooms: a parlor, one bedroom and a kitchen.
Mr. Hinkle, bartender for George M.
Hoover's saloon and wholesale liquor store, defeated W.B. 'Bat' Masterson
for Ford County sheriff in 1879. He served two terms from 1880 to 1884. He
was on the losing side in the Saloon War of 1883 against Luke Short and
his company of gunmen, including Masterson and Wyatt S. Earp, among
George Hinkle's son, a professional boxer
named Max, later wrote about Bat Masterson and they became friends. When
Max first met Bat, he stated, "I always wanted to met the man my father
beat for sheriff." Masterson replied, "Clearly you are George Hinkle's
son--which one of the women was your mother."
George Hinkle sold the house to Charles
Heinz in 1883 for $1,800. Mr. Heinz was the owner of the Lone Star Saloon.
In 1885, Kansas prohibition law forced him to change the name of the
saloon to the Delmonico Restaurant.
Heinz mortgaged the house to George M.
Hoover in 1883 for $2,500. This mortgage was paid off in 1884, but another
to Jacob Collar in 1886 for $1,000 was never paid. Collar was granted the
deed to the property in 1891 through foreclosure. Collar and his brother,
Morris, were successful Front Street merchants. They had moved to the
Western frontier from Hungary. Collar, who may have never lived in the
house but most likely used it as a rental, died in 1893. His widow,
Jennie, owned the house until her death in 1899.
This little house is very similar in
appearance to another house that was located across from it on First St.
and has a documented history of being the oldest house in Dodge City.
Originally built in 1864, it burnt down in 1930, having survived moves
from Abilene to Salina, to Ellsworth, then to Fort Dodge. It was moved
into Dodge City in 1878.
Harry E. Chrisman's Lost Trails of the
Cimarron and Robert M. Wright's Dodge City, the Cowboy Capital,
both document its history. Dennis Veatch speculates that it may be
possible that more than one house was moved from Fort Dodge, but no
current evidence proves that point.
Many additions to the house are not
historical and are removable, including the garage already removed.
However, the storm door, the windows and other features on the three-room
front portion seem to be original. Saving this house has been one
successful preservation project of the FCHS.
(© 2002, Ford County Historical Society, Inc. George
Laughead Jr., author.)