Dodge City

Dodge City

Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West

Book - 2017
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"Dodge City, Kansas, is a place of legend. The town that started as a small military site exploded with the coming of the railroad, cattle drives, eager miners, settlers, and various entrepreneurs passing through to populate the expanding West. Before long, Dodge City's streets were lined with saloons and brothels and its populace was thick with gunmen, horse thieves, and desperadoes of every sort. By the 1870s, Dodge City was known as the most violent and turbulent town in the West. Enter Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Young and largely self-trained men, the lawmen led the effort that established frontier justice and the rule of law in the American West, and did it in the wickedest place in the United States. When they moved on, Wyatt to Tombstone and Bat to Colorado, a tamed Dodge was left in the hands of Jim Masterson. But before long Wyatt and Bat, each having had a lawman brother killed, returned to that threatened western Kansas town to team up to restore order again in what became known as the Dodge City War before riding off into the sunset. The true story of their friendship, romances, gunfights, and adventures, along with the remarkable cast of characters they encountered along the way (including Wild Bill Hickock, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Buffalo Bill Cody, John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid, and Theodore Roosevelt) has gone largely untold-- lost in the haze of Hollywood films and western fiction, until now"--
Published: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250071484
Branch Call Number: 978.176 CLA
Characteristics: xiii, 384 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations ;,25 cm


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Jul 14, 2018

Dodge is all you thought it would be, down and dirty with lots of gun play and dance hall girls.
But Dodge City is more than just Wyatt and Bat. Many men and women came through Dodge and Clavin gives us a look into their stories as well.
Be warned this book is filled with many tales of senseless deaths enacted by the greedy, the stupid, the bad, and the psycho. Guns do kill people in Dodge, a lot of people. It is not people drawing down in the street to see who is the fastest gun or the best shot like in a glorified Western, it is ambushes, back shooting , and cold blooded murder. There were many incidents in Dodge that reinforced the first rule of the West " never sit with your back to a door" also in Dodge don't leave home without your gun.
Although it was filled with bloody stories that often made me give my head a shake it also contained many historical facts about everyday life in the West . A very interesting read .

Jan 03, 2018

The western is America's mythology. Many of our shared stories arose out of the western—of civilization clashing with an untamed, lawless frontier. And yet, these tales did not come from nothing. They were inspired by real people, real events and real places. Dodge City, Kansas towards the end of the 19th century was one of those places. Many curious folks of questionable character passed through Dodge City, and some even stayed a while, but the town will always be remembered because of its two most notable sheriffs—Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp, and by extension their association with the notorious Doc Holliday. In the prologue, the author mentions that there is way too much written about Earp and not enough about Masterson. No doubt you've heard more about the former than the latter, and possibly have never heard anything about the latter. Bat Masterson had seen some gun fighting in his day but nothing as infamous as Earp's and Holliday's shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, and Wyatt's subsequent revenge ride.

Dodge City exists because in the 19th century it was where the cattle drivers coming up north from Texas met the Santa Fe railroad going back east. Restless cowboys that got paid for completing the job and are looking for a good time, where are they going to spend their coin? Dodge City, of course. But unlike other towns that fueled the developing needs of the westward expansion that have since become ghost towns, Dodge City has survived and thrived to this day.

There's an account of Bat Masterson living and working in New York City at the start of Prohibition. Can you imagine living part of your life in a big 20th century city like NYC after having spent a whole other part as a 19th century law man in the Wild West? If I ever met someone like that I'd buy him a drink just to hear the stories. And from the book, it appears people did just that.

Jul 15, 2017

A terrific history of Dodge City’s golden decade (1872 – 1882). The histories of Wyatt and Bat are fascinating. These were not men to let the grass grow beneath them. The entire cast of characters that sailed through Dodge was amazing. Highly recommended.


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