Dodge City Early Days on the Railroad

My grandfather Fred Kirkpatrick who was born in 1889 in Dodge City lived a greatly varied life. He became a Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor early on and worked for the Sante Fe Railroad in Kansas surveying lines and tracks for a few years.

He told some great stories about those times which I think would have been about 1919 right after he returned from WWI.

One winter he was in Great Bend, Kansas doing some work which is about 85 miles from Dodge City. He boarded a train for a ride back home and it was below zero outside. A potbelly stove was trying to keep the coach warm but soon a contest was begun where each man was to put his foot outside in the cold as the train roared along the countryside.

It was so cold that one by one they all finally had to surrender to the cold and get their feet back inside except for one older gent. He was whistling and happy as can be and won the pot easily.

Later it was found out that he had a wooden leg. They all had a great laugh over that and let him keep the pot.