Dodge City Daily Globe
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 1963-Page 8


By Jim Moran

      Ida Ellen Rath's History of Ford County, an as yet unpublished work, has been read in manuscript by this writer, and found to be a real treasure mine of information about the history of this county, early and later.

     While it does not ignore the violence of the older cowtown, which has brought so much fame or notoriety to Dodge City, the county seat, this history keeps it on a reasonable planewhich is where it belongs, in a history at least. Mrs. Rath spends more time on the persons who were the constructive builders and those who put down roots here, rather than the famous ones who moved on-and rightly so, we believe.

Good Source of Data

      Her book might be regarded almost as much as a source book for information as a regular history. She includes long list of names of persons named in an early census of the city and county and other documents with names of early officials. Since they can be bypassed as to the details without damage to the flow of the narrative, they will not harm it as an account of Ford County, its origins and later events.

     A section about communities in Ford County which had a brief false blooming and then became ghost towns was one of the most interesting, since it contained much information new (to us).

     A number of other accounts should prove equally interesting to most readers. Some concerned the details of early day living in Dodge City and the sod houses of the rural areas, and one is about the interest in races and other sporting events of the early days.

     Mrs. Rath also has been permitted to use the product of other writers, in certain fields. Heinie Schmidt has given of his copious


knowledge of early day history of the county; Jay Baugh (now of

Johnson) has a chapter on the early newspapermen of Ford County, some of them very colorful characters; and many others have recorded their own memories, either directly or through the writing of Mrs. Rath.

      The Ford County Historical Society has voted to have the book published and one is sure they are making no mistake about that, since it must be the best collection about Ford County's people and the county's main interests and events ever compiled into one publication.

      It is a massive manuscript which will become a fair-sized book, but one filled with the history of the settlement of the county by a vigorous, dynamic people. It should prove of interest not only to persons especially interested in the early history of the county, but also along this line there are people whose interest in history is only casual but who do like a wellwritten narrative about people.

Return to the Early Ford County Index

Dodge City History