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Ford County, KS

Ford CountyFord County, organized in April of 1873, was named in honor of Col. James H. Ford of the 2nd Colorado Calvary and Brevet Brigadier General of U. S. Volunteers. But before it reached the status it has now, it went through a period of entire changes in its boundaries, giving and taking land until 1887, when it took its original boundaries of 1873.

Ford County was embraced in Peketon County which came into being in 1860, before there was even a state of Kansas. Peketon County included perhaps the western two-thirds of Kansas Territory and extended on into Colorado. At this late date no one knows how the name "Peketon" was chosen, nor why. All is supposition but surmises have been made and the consensus of opinion is that "Peketon" is of Indian origin, perhaps from the Sac language meaning, flat or low land.

Kansas and Ford County are replete with historic appeal and romantic glamour for they lay in the geographical center of the United States and were crossed by nearly every trail that led to the great undeveloped West of the 19th century. Few states and counties can match it in either trails, especially, the Santa Fe Trail and Pony Express. Just so, the story of the Santa Fe Trail is tied up with Dodge City and Old Fort Dodge.

In 1870, that part of Kansas surrounding Fort Dodge was called Buffalo Land because of the numerous herds of American Bison which grazed on the abundant grass of the rolling prairies. This region had been a hunting ground of the plains Indians, but by this time buffalo hunters belonging to the white race had make their headquarters in Dodge City. Now great inroads were made on the vast herds; for unlike the Indian, who had killed only for the supplies the buffalo might give him, the white man killed ruthlessly to see how many hides he could take to Dodge City to sell.

Explore Ford County

Longhorn Park

A small herd of longhorn cattle graze on prairie grass in a 40 acre park located at the Dodge City Municipal Airport entrance. Dedicated to the millions of wild Texas longhorns driven to dodge City during the 1870s and 1880

Dodge City, KS Zoos

Wright Park Free Zoo

Come to Wright Park Free Zoo for a relaxing, laid back day with your family and friends. Wright Park, the city's oldest park (1889), offers playgrounds, basketball courts, picnic areas and plenty of beautiful space.

Dodge City, KS Zoos

Mariah Hills Golf Course

Mariah Hills has about everything a golfer needs from a bright and spacious clubhouse to a professionally manicured course. Rolling bluegrass fairways and bent grass greens set against the native beauty of the high plains provide a fun yet challenging experience.

Dodge City, KS Golf Courses

Coronado Cross

The Coronado Cross stands 38' tall, marking the spot where Francisco Vasques de Coronado, a Spanish explorer, is said to have crossed the Arkansas River in search of the fabled "Cities of Gold" in 1541. When he arrived on June 29, 1541

Dodge City, KS Monuments

Dodge City Trolley

Learn Dodge City's history and folklore on a narrated tour of sites where history was made. Visit original locations of the Longbranch Saloon, Gospel Hill, the "deadline" and Front Street where "shoot outs" occurred in the early days of Dodge City. Tour Fort Dodge and see the Fort's 1860

Dodge City, KS Tours

Santa FeTrail Tracks

Tracks of the original wagon trail used by pioneers from 1821 to 1872 are located nine miles west of town. This site, listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, contains the largest continuous stretch of clearly defined tracks along the entire route of the trail.

Dodge City, KS Landmarks

Dodge City Raceway Park

The Dodge City Raceway is a 3/8 mile asphalt racetrack which features IMCA Modifieds, American Race Trucks, Stock cars, Legends, Go-karts, and Mini-type Sprint cars.

Dodge City, KS Car Races

Boot Hill Museum And Front Street

Boot Hill Museum is an accredited western history village museum located on the original site of Boot Hill Cemetery in downtown Dodge City. Life in the 19th century is interpreted through audio-visual programs, exhibits, a reconstruction of Dodge City in 1876 and old west restorations.

Dodge City, KS Museums

"El Capitan"

A bronze statue by Jasper D'Ambrosi commemorates the 1875 - 1885 Texas cattle drives to Dodge City. The sculpture represents longhorns who emerged as leaders and led many drives up the dusty trail from Texas. Coronado'

Dodge City, KS Monuments

Cowboy Statue On Boot Hill

Dodge City's oldest monument (1927)

Dodge City, KS Arts

Kansas Teachers' Hall of Fame

The Kansas Teachers' Hall of Fame is the first one of it'

Dodge City, KS Halls of Fame

Mueller-Schmidt House Museum

Built in 1881, the Mueller-Schmidt House is the oldest Dodge City house still standing on its original site, and remains Ford County's "Home of Stone," A Cattleman's Mansion. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was built with 21

Dodge City, KS Museums

Explore Ford County