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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

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

Kansas Teachers' Hall of Fame

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

Dodge City, KS Halls of Fame

Fort Dodge Cemetery

Both civilians and soldiers were buried in the military cemetery. The saying then was "the rich are buried at the Fort and the cowhands and poor are buried on Boot Hill or gone to "hell." Friends and family buried Marshal Ed Masterson, Bat's brother, at Fort Dodge in 1878

Dodge City, KS Cemeteries

Fort Dodge

Fort Dodge was established April 10, 1865 by Captain Henry Pierce, 11th Kansas Cavalry, by order of Major General Grenville M. Dodge, commanding the department. Although there is some doubt, the post was probably named for Colonel Henry Dodge, 1st U. S. Dragoons.

Dodge City, KS Forts

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

Dodge City Country Club

This demanding private course is excellent for all skill levels of golfer. The small greens are fast. The course's signature hole is #17, a 148-yard, par 3, requiring a tee shot to a green framed by large trees. Donald Sechrest designed the back nine, which was added in 1982.

Dodge City, KS Golf Courses

Carnegie Center For The Arts

Listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, the center features a variety of art exhibits. The building is a former Carnegie Library constructed in 1907. Rounded architectural features create one of the more unique of Carnegies'

Dodge City, KS Arts

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

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

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

Gunfighters Wax Museum

Visit the Gunfighters Wax museum and see the life-size wax figurines of famous western personalities like Wyatt Earp, Bat Matserson, Doc Holliday, Belle Starr, Davey Crockett, Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane, Frank and Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Doc, Miss Kitty, Festus and many, many more!

Dodge City, KS Museums

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

Explore Ford County