This page describes Fort Dodge - the fourth stop of the Santa Fe Trail.
America's Most Lawless Place
Dodge City, Kansas was one of America's most famous "wild west" towns. The famous television show Gunsmoke was even filmed here. Born in 1859 as Fort Dodge, the site was established along the Santa Fe Trail to provide westward bound travelers shelter from attacking Indians. Dodge City was established in 1872, five miles west of Fort Dodge. After the railroad was extended through Dodge City, the settlement attracted cowboys, buffalo hunters, soldiers, and railroad workers. Saloons, general stores and blacksmith shops lined the dirt roads. Because there was no local law enforcement, disagreements were settled by fight or duel. Eventually, the famous sheriff Wyatt Earp brought law, before the town was virtually abandoned in 1886.
Next Stop: Bent's Fort