Dodge City is indelibly linked with the American west. Some of the greatest lawmen and scoundrels in history walked and prowled the streets of what would come to be known as Queen of the Cowtowns. Our history draws adventurers, young and old, looking to get a glimpse of the old west. The resurgence in popularity of television westerns like Gunsmoke has continued to attract visitors to our community.
Dodge City is founded.
Dodge City's first business, a sod tavern, is set up by George Hoover & Jack McConnell.
The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad reaches Dodge City.
Dodge City’s bloodless “Saloon War” leaves reform forces with the upper hand, signaling the beginning of the end of Dodge’s Wild West Days.
The longhorn cattle drives to Dodge City come to an end when longhorns are banned from entering Kansas due to the “Texas Fever” sickness they carry.
A series of fires devastate Dodge City’s business district. Brick buildings replace the destroyed wooden ones.
Santa Fe Depot is dedicated - opened on January 13, 1898
Carnegie Library is built.
Dodge City hosts its first World Championship 300-Mile Motorcycle Race, leading to a series of World-Famous Races that run through 1921 (except for the war years).
Dodge City celebrates its 50th Birthday.
The Lora-Locke Hotel, now the Ford County Government Center, is dedicated and construction begins, it opens for business in March of 1928.
”The Last Roundup,” honoring The Cowboy Capital’s pioneers, is held on Boot Hill on November 4, 1929. Festivities include a parade, concert, the laying of the cornerstone of the new city building, and the dedication of the Cowboy statue.
Warner Bros. brings the world-premiere of the film “Dodge City” to three movie theaters in Dodge City. This is the first premiere to be held outside of Hollywood. For the premiere, more than 200 cast members, crew, executives, and media personnel come to Dodge City on a special 14-car train.
Construction begins on the Dodge City Army Airfield. The airfield opens on Dec. 31, 1942 with construction of the runway completing on May 31, 1943. The airfield provided training to U.S. Army officers, Free French Air Force pilots and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP’s).
The first Boot Hill Museum is established on old Boot Hill.
Fiesta Days begins
The legendary western television series “Gunsmoke” premieres on CBS.
Actor Hugh O’Brian who portrayed Wyatt Earp on the television series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp presides over the renaming of Chestnut Street to Wyatt Earp Blvd. and the unveils the Front Street replica cornerstone.
The cast of Gunsmoke visits Dodge City to rename Walnut to Gunsmoke and dedicates the Front Street replica.
The Long Branch Variety show premieres in the newly rebuilt Long Branch Saloon.
John F. Kennedy visits Dodge City as part of his presidential campaign. He speaks at a noon luncheon at the Civic Center and he was made an honorary Marshal by the Jaycees and he was presented with a cowboy hat by Marshal Ramon House and the Dodge City Posse.
Rodeo and Fiesta Days merged to become “Dodge City Days”
National Beef opens as Hy-Plains Dressed Beef
Members of the Dodge City Posse and Mayor Nate Reese appear in President Kennedy’s inauguration parade.
The great flood of 1965 forces 1,500 residents to evacuate the area.
Urban renewal project in downtown Dodge City demolishes the 1880s-era Front Street buildings in order to widen Wyatt Earp Boulevard.
New DC3 campus opens and is dedicated.
Dodge City celebrates its centennial.
Nancy Jo Trauer elected first female Mayor of Dodge City
Cargill meat packing plant opens as Excel
El Capitan Statue is dedicated
Hiawatha (Hi) Bland elected first Black and Native American Mayor of Dodge City.
Louis T. Sanchez elected first Hispanic Mayor of Dodge City
Boot Hill Casino and Resort opens on December 15th
Dodge City’s special events center opens on February 12th.
The Dodge City Roundup Rodeo is inducted into the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Pro Rodeo Hall Of Fame.
Dodge City is named the Nation’s #1 True Western Town Of The Year by “True West” Magazine.
The new Boot Hill Museum Building opens on May 6th, completing an expansion begun in 2018.
Dodge City celebrates its 150th Anniversary.