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Check out Dodge City, circa 1878

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4 responses to “Check out Dodge City, circa 1878

  1. The municipal government back then was trying to encourage moneyed interests and regular folk to take up residence in the epitome of the Wild West Cowtown. I think the railhead had just been completed there at the time.

    The prohibition may have “strictly prohibited” the carrying of firearms, but it wasn’t strictly enforced…unless gun play or some other disturbance aroused the attentions of law enforcement: Charlie Bassett. Bat and Edward Masterson. Wyatt Earp. And whatever gunslinging deputies those various marshals and sheriffs kept close at any given time. This is about the time Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp became friends. Earp responded to gunplay at The Long Branch where Holliday provided assistance, allegedly coming up behind the cowboy ramrod and putting a gun to his head, forcing the others to back down their guns-drawn threat of Earp as he walked in the door. Holliday never faced any charges for his concealed carry habits, which were well known to anybody who patronized The Long Branch or his gaming table there.

    The prohibition didn’t help Edward Masterson, who was shot dead that very year. It didn’t help Dora Hand, a woman in the wrong place at the wrong time when a Texas cowboy attempted to murder the Dodge City mayor that same year. (Cowboy got off scot free for “lack of evidence, by the way.) It didn’t help Levi Richardson who was killed in a close quarters gun battle with Frank Loving at the Long Branch Saloon early in 1879. It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure up a myriad of lesser knowns who died of gunplay in Dodge City, despite the “strict” prohibition.

    There is a certain similarity between then and now, however: Well intentioned laws with enforcement issues.

  2. No shoot outs and guns on the holster? Oh, wait. That’s 2016, I thinking of…
    I wonder, what is Prickty Ash Bitters?

    • Prickly-Ash Bitters is an old herbal remedy that was used for everything from constipation to toothaches. It had a slight stimulant effect that apparently eased the effects of overindulgence in warm beer, soured liquor and shallow well water.

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