Dodge City a Sporting Town

      AMONG THE MANY THINGS THAT YOUNG DODGE CITY TOOK great pride in and excelled in was one pertaining to her great game resources and the chase, and that was her dogs. They were known far and wide; everyone was singing the praises of Dodge City's dogs and justly too for they were the best bred of their kind in the world and there were several packs of these hounds. Perhaps the greatest pack and the largest one was owned by Mayor James H. Kelly and for that reason the "gang" christened him "Dog" Kelly. Ham Bell, among others, had a fine pack of racing hounds; four had come from D. N. Heizer's fine imported dogs and two of his four, Trails and Lady Glendine, had cost $500.00

      Many a race was held and bets ran high, not only on the hounds but on horses as well. There were many fine race horses in and near Dodge City. Many an owner, as Ham Bell and Dr. 0. H. Simpson, among others had both hounds and fine race horses. In fact almost any old-timer had a horse that he felt "in his bones" could out-run anything in the line of horse-flesh that was brought into the county and he was willing to bet his last cent on the outcome if the other owner wanted to race. Usually the Dodge City gang stuck together, placing their bet on the local horse, boasting loudly if they did and laying-low for the next wagon to enter the town with a racing nag tied on behind.

      Gambling was big business in the young cow-town and stakes ran high; in fact it was said there was no closing time in Dodge City. Saloons and gaming houses run day and night, all day, all night.

      But the town was not all made up of the rougher element and even among them there was many a man who could sing, dance, and recite poetry, and almost every cow camp had an accomplished musician in its group. It was quite surprising how many of these frontier men and women had training at universities and any number of them had learned a profession before coming west.


Dodge City a Sporting Town 175

      Dodge City took a great pride in practically every undertaking in the city, the fire fighting equipment, for example and was wont to give exhibitions of their skill in its use. They were proud of their cattlemen and the big herds that grazed on the big ranches. And because of the generosity of these same cattlemen, Dodge City was soon to he talked about as "a brass band capital." The following information copied from the Dodge City Daily Globe, March 4, 1933, tells about the band's start and one of its major events:

Forty-four years ago today as the Benjamin Harrison inaugural parade marched down Pennsylvania avenue at Washington prominent among the bands was a group dressed in complete cowboy attire, playing some excellent numbers. It was Dodge City's own original cowboy band of which the late C. M. (Chalk) Beeson was the organizer.
Marching down the avenue the band was preceded by two men carrying a banner hung from a pair of steer horns of unusual size and length. The banner of blue satin was fringed with gold and bore the inscription : Presented by Andy Snider & Co. $20,000,000.
The horns had been imported especially from South America by Mr. Snider, Kansas City stockman, who presented them to Mr. Beeson. They were seven feet six inches from tip to tip, or eight feet and 2 inches over all. They were perfect in shape and exquisitely shaded commencing with pure white at the base and running to jet-back at the tips. Mr. Beeson for years offered $800 to the person who would duplicate them.
The figure $20,000,000 on the banner signified that the band was known as the $20,000,000 band, since the cattle brands worn upon the musicians' hats at one time represented twenty million dollars in cattle.
The members of the band represented different ranches and each man had the brand of the cattle of his particular ranch on his hatband. A leather cut-out of a steer with brand stamped on the side of the fat animal was a part of the hatband. The brands were most curious characters and hieroglyphics, and as someone said, a collection of them inscribed on a monument or marble tablet might have led an antiquarian to believe he had struck an interesting remnant of Egyptian civilization of the time of Ptolemy. The Beeson brand was COD, chosen because it was difficult of alteration with a running iron.

176 Early Ford County

Easterners at the inaugural gasped as they saw this band come down the avenue. The players' attire caused demand for pictures which were sold by the hundreds. The Cowboy band had come to Washington sponsored by Harrison-Morton Marching club of Denver. It had traveled east in the height of style with politicians and had stopped enroute at Pittsburgh, Pa., for a concert. For several years Beeson's Cowboy band had been in demand for concerts in large cities. The organization was financed by different cattlemen and companies whose brands the players wore upon their hats as advertising. At that time Dodge City in her hey-day of her theatrical and musical talent was importing excellent show talent from the east, and these artists at various times served as guest conductors of the Cowboy band. The players themselves all were talented musicians, several having been educated in the east.
In the original hand which played at the Harrison inaugural were: C. M. Beeson, Sherman Warren, Frank Warren, Louis Baeder, Charles Makepiece, G. W. Mesrole, Charles Otero, Roy Drake, J. Drake, Estel Reamer, Sol Hawthorne, J. B. Sinclair, Harry Giles, W. H. Fletcher, E. F. Sheldon, Theo Eigle, Hans White, S. W. Littler, L. E. Warren, and J. S. Welch. The latter two carried the steer horns and Mr. Baeder was librarian.
Of the original Cowboy band members only four are known to be living. They are Dr. C. S. (Sherman) Warren of French Lick, Ind., and Cortez, Colo., who at present is the guest here of his sister, Mrs. Emma Whitelaw; Charles Porter, Frank Warren and William Visquesney of Kansas City.
Records show that on June 29, 1878, the Dodge City newspaper stated that musical instruments had just arrived for the men who were shortly to become members of the destined-to-be-famous Cowboy band. "The instruments are brass with silver trimmings and are very fine, costing $235 in New York. Dodge has more brass band talent than any town in the country. The men went down to the depot this morning to get their instruments from the express office and at once began to display proficiency in their use."
After several years of playing, the band was incorporated in 1886 by C. M. Beeson. Interesting facts about this widely known band are contained in records at "The Corral," private

Dodge City a Sporting Town 177

museum of Merritt and Otero Beeson, sons of the late Chalk Beeson, which at first was an arrangement of souvenirs of the Beeson family and Dodge City, but which now embraces the entire Southwest country in its display. The Museum is in the Merritt Beeson house at the south edge of the city and is attracting considerable attention from people of Dodge City and throughout the state.

      So ends the above article and the following is by Heinie Schmidt in his column, Its Worth Repeating, in the High Plains Journal and is titled, Original Cowboy Band:

One of the institutions of the cattle period of which Dodge City was justly proud and which carried her peculiar individuality and atmosphere from one end of the country to the other was the famous Cowboy band organized in 1879 by C. M. (Chalk) Beeson, and directed by Roy Drake, a very fine musician and comet player, who directed the band in all its concerts.
The band was first called the Stockman's band and was composed of musicians from Denver, Kansas City, St Louis, and Chicago, who had come west to play in the little theatres and dance halls. Each one was an artist on his particular instrument.
They made many trips mostly to cattlemen's conventions. The expenses were paid by the owners of the big ranches in return for having their brands displayed on the hat bands. The principal trips were to Kansas City, St. Louis, and Denver. There also were side trips to Topeka, Chicago, St. Paul, and Milwaukee. They played only one extended engagement which was at Exposition park in Kansas City.
The band was uniformed in regular cowboy fashion-boots and spurs, blue flannel shirt, big white hats, a silk scarf instead of a necktie, and a belt and brace of guns. The bands on the hats carried the brands of many of the most famous ranches in the great southwest. A few of the brands: Fred Taiter, G. G. Arthur Gorman, half circle box; Chalk Beeson, C. O. D. E. C. Durley, Anchor D connected; J. M. Day, D cross; Harwood Cattle Co., 0 cross L; Cimarron and Crooked Creek Cattle Co., crooked L. L.; Cattle Ranch and Land Co., Y. L. connected; Washita Cattle Co., 7 K connected; Rocking chair ranch, rocking chair; Prairie Cattle Co.; Jay Jay (J J) ; L. I. T.; John O'Laughlin, Lakin, Kansas; Pig Pen Brand; Col. R. J.

178 Early Ford County

Hardesty, Lazy S Half Circle; William Tilghman. T. I. L.; D. W. (Doc) Barton, Ingalls, Kansas, O. S.
At its last appearance at St. Louis, a local newspaper printed a picture of the band showing the director using a six-shooter to start and direct the band. A reporter asked the leader why he swung that gun up and down, and was told it was his baton. "Is it loaded?" asked the reporter. "Yes." "What for?" "To shoot the first man who blows a sour note," was the director's reply.
The last and most important trip was to Washington, D. C., to the inauguration of President Harrison in 1889. They went to Denver and were on a special train from there to Washington and return, financed by the Denver Marching club, a Republican organization of considerable importance in politics at that time. The band played and led the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, with William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill), and the Texas Longhorns in the lead. There were a score of other fine bands in the parade but all eyes were on the Dodge City Cowboy band. Crowds cheered and followed them along the line of parade.
After their return to Dodge City the band was disbanded and went out of business so far as Dodge City was concerned. Chalk Beeson sold the charter and paraphernalia to Jack Sinclair of Pueblo, Colorado, who for years exhibited the uniforms in the lobby of a prominent Pueblo hotel. At his death they were removed and lost to posterity.
All that is left of this famous band is now on exhibition at the Beeson museum. The steer horns carried by the band were presented to them by the Fish, Keck Commission company of Kansas City, in 1888. These horns were 7 feet and 6 inches from tip to tip, and 8 feet 2 inches including the curve. The banner on the horns containing the names of the band members was painted by Mrs. A. H. Polly, daughter of judge H. M. Beverly, pioneer merchant and stockman. Also four of the horns played in the band, a cornet, an E-flat clarinet, a tenor horn, and the baritone horn played by C. M. Beeson, are on exhibition.
They illustrate the important place this band played in the pioneer days and the extent of the wealth of the cattlemen. I quote from the Pueblo Chieftain in an account of the cattlemen's convention, held in Dodge City, April 13, 1882. "The cattlemen's convention adjourned yesterday, and the

Dodge City a Sporting Town 179

proceedings wound up last night with the grandest banquet ever held in Western Kansas. It is estimated that the stockmen represented over fifty million dollars. Just think of that amount of money in one hall, in a western town. The hall was splendidly decorated by the ladies of Dodge. Evergreen anchors, wreaths, crosses, and other emblems, with a number of fine pictures decorated the walls. Among the latter were some splendid oil paintings, the work of Mrs. Chalk Beeson. The ball was a masquerade affair. The music was furnished by the Cowboy band and the prompting was done by Mr. Beeson, the best in the business. The banquet was in Cox's very best style, and was a magnificent affair.

      (Cox ran the Dodge House) The pictures referred to in this article also are on display in the Beeson museum.

      The band or orchestra as it was often called was brought in for events of local interest when the Schmidt home was shown to the public in open-house. And when the Rath-Bainbridge Drug store was moved into their new building on First and Chestnut Street, about 1909 or 1910, on opening night. Later on, Robert M. Rath, the new co-owner, engaged them again for another night.

      The old Phoenix-Industrial Club has survived the days when it served early Dodge City as a gathering place where the town's welfare was freely discussed and the social amenities were taken care of in a run of card playing and dancing. In the middle thirties, the club was still in existence, its members interviewed by Ida Ellen (Cox) Rath. At this date, March 17, 1960, nine members meet regularly in the Hiram T. Burr basement to carry on their card playing. The interview follows as published in the Dodge City Daily Globe.

In the east, men thought the "Dog House, Inc." idea quite clever, although it just wouldn't pan out for them; but, as long ago as 1887 or longer, men in Dodge City had started to work out the plan. Those eastern men were a bit unwise, it seems, leaving home as they did with a big grievance driving them into the fold of the Dog House, Inc. and almost everyone concedes that the men must have led a dog's life until their wives stepped into the picture. The early Dodge City men, however, built their club on a more solid foundation; they left home before trouble started.
That early card club is going yet today. When the bidding

180 Early Ford County

runs high on a game of pitch and smoke from ancient pipes transforms the atmosphere in the room then language takes on added pitch and color, giving the men that bit of relaxation that makes a day for any man.
M. M. Gwinner says, perhaps, what all the men who belong to the club would like to say, "Our club is just a place where noisy gents can play and have their say without fear of being censored."
Where a number of men relate a happening, there may be a difference in opinions. P. H. Sughrue recalls that the club was first called the Phoenix Club. Why, Phoenix, no one seems to know now, but there is a tale of a fabulous bird said to have existed 500 years single and to have risen again from its own ashes. It is safe to say that any number of those first club members, on account of that old tale, might have had a leaning toward "Phoenix" for a club name.
Mr. Sughrue says, "A man didn't just make up his mind to join the club and come to it, he was solicited to join; therefore, the old Phoenix Club was an exclusive social club, the elite of early Dodge City, where dancing and card playing helped to make pleasant days and gay nights.
"A good many things happened around the gaming tables in the old days," Mr. Sughrue recalls. "When there was anything to be done, like getting a land office, the soldiers' home, or the forestry station, it fell to one of the members of the old Phoenix Club to approach the proper powers. R. M. (Bob) Wright was the principal one in state projects and he generally got what he went after even though it took free cigars, a box of apples, and the genial warning up of a staked game of poker.
"And again, many things were settled as we played: who was to do this and that and how things were to be done. One of our players, Dr. C. A. Milton, was a real promoter. Sometimes, the settling of things called for opinions other than ours, then all the citizens were called together at the court house to talk things over.
"In these days, the club was known as the Phoenix-Industrial Club, a merger of the old Phoenix and the Industrial Club, and later it became the Commercial Club which served for the chamber of commerce.
"Well, we moved the tables and chairs around a good bit. Quite a few of our old members belonged to the Elks but I

Dodge City a Sporting Town 181

didn't, so when they moved to Burr's building, the men asked me to come back. I've held to those banisters to get up the stairs, that's how well I liked to go."

      At first the men had their club meetings in an upstairs room of the Burr building, but there came a time when other tenants complained about the noise emanating from around the card table, mostly the hilarious laughter and pounding of fists on the table top. The result being that Mr. Burr asked them to move to the basement, promising the men they could stay there as long as they wished. Mr. Sughrue continued,

"We still have some of the old tables and chairs that we had in the old Phoenix Club and we got the money to buy them from the old Dodge City Development Company."
"The Phoenix-Industrial Club tied with the town affairs," L. F. Main remarked, "for at that time there was no chamber of commerce. I remember we had two pool tables and a billiard table and some chairs. Then, we were over where Combs Automotive is now.
"About one-half of our membership was farmers. We encouraged them to come into the club as there wasn't much of a place for them to loaf; and, to make it easier for them to join, we let a farmer pay $1 a year while we paid that amount each month. Well, it really was a grand place to go, and a place where we could meet all our friends.
"I recall some of those men who have passed on : Larry Burke, W. H. Lord, Jim Kirkpatrick, Dr. Milton, Andy Russell, George Martin, George M. Hoover, Dick Evans, Bob Wright, H. Juneau, A. Gluck, Dr. C. A. Milton, and then there were others who dropped in but did not play, Dr. 0. H. Simpson, and Walter Locke, Chalk Beeson, in fact, nearly all the old timers who have passed away belonged to the club.
"There was one fellow we called Charlie, who drifted to Colorado. He would set and look on and watch my hand and think I was being too conservative. Well, after Charlie would keep on talking for awhile, then my partner would think I really was too conservative. So once, I told him, `Charlie you set here and see what I have in my hand; you ought to tell my partner what a poor player I am.' I liked to go and I used to go regular to play with the boys."
"I don't play cards myself," his wife remarked, "but I

182 Early Ford County

always liked to have Lew go. All the women I talked to liked to have their men go; it was a rest for them and a rest for us."
Mr. Main, her husband, started laughing, "Once we thought we'd try bridge. We didn't know how, so we got some instruction books, and Dr. Milton helped some, but we soon gave it up." He laughed again. "Larry Burke said he guessed our intellect wasn't strong enough for that game. Now pitch is an interesting game and it doesn't require much intellect to understand it, so we settled down to pitch again.
"There's about a dozen of us now, I guess : Sughrue and myself, who haven't been out much lately, M. M. Gwinner, L. F. Henry, Dave Sturgeon, Leroy Van Lehn, Walter Bullock, Charles (Comery or Komery), Nick Kramer, Bill Neimeyer, George Ferguson, Albert Mann, and James Burke."
Bill Neimeyer added, "We've always played pitch and there's still only one thing to play and that's pitch. We don't know yet who is the best player. Some like special partners; some play and some stay to roast the others but, as a rule, we're pretty good natured."
One player explained, "Hi Burr said, `Go down in the basement, Boys, plenty of heat and light, and cool in the summer.' "

      And so, the club went modern and they have found the seclusion they so much desire a place where, when the excitement of the game runs high, they can raise their voices without disturbing others; where they can laugh heartily, even boisterously, without being embarrassed by the need of a lot of explaining. And thus ended the interview with the pitch players. The Dodge City Development Company mentioned in the article was organized to undertake special work for the upbuilding and beautifying of Dodge City and vicinity. Its work was distinct from, but in harmony with, that of the Commercial Club. At the height of its usefulness, the following officers headed it: President, H. Juneau; Vice President, C. W. Milton; Secretary, P. H. Sughrue; Treasurer, G. M. Hoover; and others listed are-A. Russell, H. R. Brown, J. W. Sidlow, T. F. Garner, O. A. Bond, and A. Gluck.

      In a photograph taken about 1895, of a social group-members of the Phoenix Club in their clubrooms, located on the second floor above a Front Street location. It was then described as a business and professional people's social club. The

Dodge City a Sporting Town 183

names of those in the photograph follows: Fred Feldmier, Ed. Stubbs, Mrs. H. Hardesty, Louie Bader, Nellie Finley Martin, Elsie Baird, Mrs. George Todd, Mrs. Eugene Waring, Mrs. George Groberty, Mrs. W. H. Pearce, Mrs. C. M. Beeson, Florence Slocum Mayrath, Mrs. J. E. Dillard, Mrs. Doctor Milton, Addie Streator, C. M. Beeson, Mrs. Dr. Simpson, Mrs. Churchill Rose, Mrs. Al Warren, Mrs. O. H. Pond, Mrs. Jennie Collar, Mrs. Jack O'Day, Mrs. Ed Kirkpatrick, Mr. Pond, Sallie Hardesty, Ed Kirkpatrick, Frank Martin, George Todd, Mamie Evans Miller, Dr. O. H. Simpson, Churchill, W. H. Pearce, Willie Curry, Cash Waring, Dr. C. A. Milton, Harry Hurzer, H. R. Brown, Al Warren, Charley Lang, George Groberty, Mr. J. E. Dillard, Mr. Jack O'Day, John Miller. There were forty-four listed, each in the order listed on the photograph.

      Early day sheriff, Pat Sughrue, had a twin brother, Mike, who for years served as sheriff of Clark county. Many of their friends could not tell them apart, excepting for powder burns Pat had on his face from J. E. Julian's gun. Sughrue had struck the gun with his arm, knocking it upward, the bullet passing through the brim and the crown of his hat, the powder burning one side of his face. These twin sheriffs were rated as two of the most courageous and daring of the peace officers of the west.

      Pat Sughrue served for many years as postmaster at Fort Dodge. He met an untimely death in a plunge down an open elevator shaft of the Copeland Hotel in Topeka while he was attending a political convention.

      The name Tilghman, recalls to old timers the eventful years he lived in Dodge City and Oklahoma, and his heroic role as a peace officer in the great drama of taming the west.

      William Tilghman was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the home of Colonel Grenville Dodge, in whose honor both Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Fort Dodge, Kansas, were named. At the age of three, his parents moved to Atchison, Kansas, where he resided until he came to Dodge City in 1873. From the time he was sixteen years old he was at home on the prairie, hunting buffalo, trading with the Indians, and learning the art of putting a bullet in the center of a target.

      His first official duty after coming to Dodge City was that of deputy sheriff under Charlie Basset, the county's first sheriff.

184 Early Ford County

      Again in 1878, when Bat Masterson was elected sheriff, he was appointed deputy, and again later during the term of sheriff Pat F. Sughrue.

      When R. M. Wright was elected mayor, he borrowed him from the county officials and appointed him city marshal. During his services in these offices he was associated with such famous peace officers as Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Luke Short, Doc Holiday, Ben Thompson, Chalk Beeson, and Ham Bell.

      When the bad lands of Oklahoma were opened to settlement in 1889, Tilghman arrived in the tented city of Guthrie and was appointed marshal of that city, with instructions from the mayor to maintain peace and order at any cost. In 1892 when the Doolin gang from Oklahoma held up the bank at Spearville, they headed south and crossed the Arkansas River near Ford, continuing until they reached their hide-out in the hills of Oklahoma. Chalk Beeson, then sheriff of Ford County enlisted the aid of Tilghman and Chris Madsen, who had served in the Danish army and was a member of the French legion. They trailed the robbers to their hide-out, and in a gun battle killed one of them. The others escaped. On Tilghman's last visit to Dodge City, in conversation with Ham Bell, a lifelong friend, Tilghman said, "Ham, you and I have had many close calls but, thank God, we had sense enough to quit while quitting was still good. Our eyes are not as keen as they used to be and we are not as quick on the draw."

      William Tilghman was appointed chief of police at Cromwell, Oklahoma, a booming oil town, one of the toughest in the state, with instructions from the governor to clean up the town. One day while he was having lunch in a cafe, he heard a shot. The chief drew his gun and stepped out into the street. There he saw a man named Wiley Lynn, a prohibition officer, with a smoking pistol in his hand. Tilghman covered him while a by-stander relieved him of his gun. Lynn quickly drew another pistol concealed in his clothes and shot Tilghman.

      William Tilghman was a brother of the late Mrs. Walter N. Locke, and his old home still stands at 107 Santa Fe Trail street in Dodge City. During his residence in Dodge City, he operated a large ranch ten miles south of town on the Minneola road. He had the first Jersey dairy herd in the country, as well as a string of fine race horses, both running and harness horses.

Dodge City a Sporting Town 185

      Mrs. Zoe Tilghman, his widow, still lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She is the author of many articles and three books, The Dugout, Quanah, the Eagle of the Comanches, and Frontier Marshal.

      Early settlers worked hard but they found time to have parties. During the long winter evenings the family gathered around the fireplace and enjoyed the simple pleasures of pioneer living. The women and girls did needle-work or mending, while another member of the family read aloud by the light of the flickering home-made candle. The children popped corn over the open fire or cracked hazelnuts and walnuts sent to them by eastern relatives.

      Most families enjoyed music but there were no radios, phonographs or television receivers. However, there was usually someone in the family who could play a violin, flute, banjo, guitar, or jewsharp. There were few if any pianos or organs in the homes of the earliest settlers. They were large, expensive instruments and those who had them in their eastern homes were forced to leave them. Space in the wagons was needed more for essential tools and housekeeping equipment.

      Books were not plentiful but most settlers had brought a few with them. Pioneers who had enough money subscribed to an eastern newspaper and a magazine. The Saturday Evening Post was found in a few of the settlers' cabins and, in those days, was more like a newspaper than the magazine as we know it today.

      The most popular entertainment at parties was dancing. Both young and old went to the parties and dances. Someone in the neighborhood furnished the music. Women and girls enjoyed quilting parties and would drive for miles across the prairie to spend a day gossiping over the flying needles. And there were spelling bees and singing schools and literaries, usually held in the evening at the schoolhouse. Everybody took part in the fun and neighborly gossip, forgetting the trials of pioneer living in the gay company of congenial friends.

      In 1879, the first baby show was held in Dodge City. There were ten entries and the judging was not on the baby's physical perfections but on its popularity. The voting was on the sale of something or other, in which with each purchase, a certain number of votes were given.

      At that time Merritt Beeson was about a year old. He re-

186 Early Ford County

-called hearing his parents talk about it many times. He was a popular baby in Dodge City and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Chalkley Beeson decided he could win easily.

      However jokesters on Front Street had their heads together, lot wanting to pass up a golden opportunity to show off their frontier style of playing jokes. When the votes began to look favorable for the Beeson baby, they located a colored baby of :he right age, provided clothing for it and its mother, and entered them in the contest. Whenever Mr. Beeson or his friends bought ten votes for Baby Merritt, they bought 11 votes for the colored baby, and the race went on.

      At the close of the race, the colored baby was far in the lead n the popularity contest. It was a fine joke for everybody excepting Mrs. Beeson. Years later, Merritt, the victim of the joke, remembers that he was old enough to remember all about t before his mother was able to laugh at the joke.

      In the meantime, Dodge City boasted that it had a number of large livery stables, with a fine stock and as fashionable turnouts as are seen on any streets. Everybody buggy rides around own and takes trips into the country.

      In the spring of 1878, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway and the Denver & Rio Grande were fighting to get possession of and hold the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River where it comes out of the mountains just above Canyon City, Colorado, and they needed help. The Santa Fe appealed to their agent, J. H. Phillips, at Dodge City, to see what he could do. Twenty gunmen responded at once, all dead shots and headed by the gallant Captain Webb.

      All great buffalo hunters were dead-shots and were always n practice. Many noted gunmen headquartered in Dodge City ind often were registered at the Dodge House. Among the famous gunmen registered there were Wyatt Earp, Bill Tilghman, Bat Masterson, Mysterious Dave (Dave Mather), Luke Short, and others. Many famous gunmen were ready and willing to go on any mission that promised excitement and a fight. But for every gun man ready for a fight at the drop of hat, many was the man who could shoot as straight and true and was quick on the draw, that would have none of such gun play. Among them were O. A. Bond, George W. Reighard, Charles Rath, Chalk Beeson, Tom Nixon, and many others, all men who stayed in Dodge City, never leaving for the sake of

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helping out in a fight, the men who stayed to build the town they lived in. A letter, dated November 18, 1963, from Duke Jordan, Miami, Florida, to the author, states:

"We were interested to learn through Mr. Fred W. Thies of Great Bend, Kansas, that you would like to use the story on Mayor Kelley in the history of Ford County and Dodge City.
"We'd be happy to have you do so. The original story by the writer, appeared in the program of the Biscayne Kennel Club, Miami and in another version in the Greyhound Racing Record, a national magazine published in Miami.
"Edwin Pope, with some errors, including mine on the spelling of Kelley, used portions of the piece in the Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing published last year.
"If your history contains any other information on greyhound racing, I'd enjoy seeing it with the possibility of giving more exposure to your book."

      The address is: Biscayne Kennel Club, Inc., 817 Dade Federal Building, Miami 32, Florida. The article as it appeared in the Dodge City Globe, in October, 1963, titled, "Old-Time City Mayor, Custer Like the Chase."

"If Maj. Gen. George Armstrong Custer had stayed with grey-hounds and chased rabbits instead of Indians, he might have saved his long blond scalp in 1876 at the Little Big Horn River in Montana.
"His favorite sport was running down jackrabbits, coyotes, wolves, and antelope with his greyhounds.
"Two years after Crazy Horse and his Sioux warriors did their hatchet and arrows jobs on the Seventh Cavalry troopers, Mayor James H. `Hound Dog' (later shortened to plain `Dog') Kelly of Dodge City and a lieutenant from Fort Dodge set a record for running down antelope with their greyhounds.
"The team of four (dogs) clobbered six of a dozen antelopes in a four mile chase. The previous kill mark for a dog quartet was five antelopes.
"Mayor Kelly's interest in greyhounds started when he earlier served a hitch as an orderly for Gen. Custer. As an additional duty, he handled the officer's greyhound kennel at the post.
"Some of `Dog's' greyhounds were said to have come from Custer's string. Kelly's `Fly' and an import, `Kate,' owned by

188 Early Ford County

Fort Dodge 'shavetail,' were tops among Kansas greyhounds back in the gay 1870's."
"Kelly" was Theis' spelling of the name. The old records appear to have it as "Kelley."

      Note by author: Doing research, I noted the two spellings of the name Kelly, Kelley, with the first seemingly used the most. called this to the attention of our local historian, Heinie Schmidt. He laughed, saying, "I don't know. I gave the latter a lot of thought and time. It seemed nobody knew. Use the spelling Kelly, the one most commonly used." The author has done likewise. [Kelley is correct]

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Dodge City History