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Ford County Historical Society
Dodge City, Kansas

Mission of the Ford County Historical Society
Dodge City, KS

The mission of the Ford County Historical Society is the collection, preservation and display of the artifacts of the Old West -- primarily pioneer Dodge City and Ford County -- and the protection of the National Register listed Mueller-Schmidt house (1881). The FCHS is an official archive for Ford County, and is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the history of the Old West and the New West.

     A special feature of the Museum is the display of pioneer mothers, with over 150 different women represented by photographs, biographical history and personal artifacts.

     The centerpiece of the collection is the artifacts and original furniture of the two pioneer families that lived in the house: the John and Karoline Mueller family (1881-1889) and the Adam and Elizabeth Schmidt family (1890-1960). John was Dodge City's first bootmaker, and a leading cattleman; Adam was the first blacksmith; Elizabeth the daughter of the first baker and restaurant owner.

     Robert M. Wright, Dodge City's Town President and founder, is also featured in the Mueller-Schmidt House Museum. Robert's desk, where he wrote Dodge City, The Cowboy Capital and the Great Southwest and his personal portrait, are displayed. In addition, the Wright family copy of Dodge City, The Cowboy Capital, and other Wright family items are featured.

     Guided tours of the Mueller-Schmidt House (the oldest house in Dodge City and only limestone house) are an important part of our mission. As the only house museum in Ford County and Southwest Kansas, our protection of the history of the Old West is unique.

     One of the premier holdings of the Ford County Historical Society is the extensive collection of Kansas history books and research material donated by the late Kansas historian Dr. C. Robert Haywood. Professor Haywood could have given his important library and archival collection to any major western history research organization—such as the Kansas State Historical Society, Washburn University, or the Center for the American West at the University of Colorado — but he chose the Ford County Historical Society in Dodge City where it would be well cared for and available to teachers, students, and others working on educational projects. Dr. Haywood’s collection is a subject of great interest and is being used by a number of significant researchers on an ongoing basis.

(© 2002-2010, Ford County Historical Society, Inc.)

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