J.M. Kirkpatrick Dodge City Attorney and Abstrator

My great grandfather J.M. Kirkpatrick moved to Dodge City sometime around 1878 . His brother had proceeded him and owned the furniture store and mortuary there. J.M. became a prominent attorney and was well respected even serving as County Attorney for a time. 

He was the abstractor for all of the sales of property in the area and was said to be able to recall by memory all the transactions that took place in town over the many years he was in business. 

He and his brother Edward were there during the Dodge City Wars and told of knowing Wyatt Earp and the other gunfighters well. Their recollections were that those men were of the most vile sorts and they ran the gambling an prostitution in town also. J.M. was supposedly a Phoenix Lodge member and Wyatt Earp was said to play cards with them at the Lodge as  member also. 

He bought the abstract business from a man named Swineheart who moved to Creede Colorado and we met his great grandson and became friends before we had found that information out. Funny how that came about. 


Fishing on Duck Creek, North of Dodge.

Below, you will find a story my dad sent about fishing on Duck Creek which is North of Dodge City, Kansas. I find it interesting to note that since that time, farming practices have pretty much depleted the water found in those creeks and streams just 50 years ago. With the advent of the tractor, terracing of the land and building of small dams on the draws, there is virtually no runoff to the streams. Enjoy a look to the past.

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Indian Reservation Cantonment Oklahoma

My grandmother Eva Kirkpatrick and her twin Reva Badgley, were born in 1900 I believe in Ohio. Their father was a farmer there and got hurt somehow and had to quit farming. It was a far different occupation then with horse drawn and had driven machinery and people got hurt often due to no safely rules.

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LAND CLAIM 2 Near Ulysses, Kansas

Last story brought us to the point where my grandfather, his brother and a friend had almost driven off a cliff in the darkness out on the prairies of Western Kansas. They did finally spend the night out in the open and the next day drove on into Ulysses Kansas and on to the land claim.

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Snake Whips - Boys Use Rattlesnakes For Whips

Bill and Bert Gillette were twin brothers born to my great grandfather A.R. Gillette. From the start, they were onery as can be and there are many stories to that affect. Here are two for your enjoyment.

They lived out south of Dodge on the farm and so, there were many rattlesnakes in those days. These boys liked to chase them down and grab them by the tale and whip them snapping their heads off.

One day, I think it was Bert, missed his timing and the snake came back and bit him and he almost died. Grandma Gillette laid down the law and there were no more snake snapping after that. They probably did it without her knowing. I knew them well and spend a lot of time with them in my childhood. They were godly men and kind and gentle as I recall. I knew Bill best of all as he spent time at my Grandmother Mable Hoofnagles house along with Alice Bradley.

Another time, Bill and Bert were going on a date and had their dates with them in the car. Traveling to Dodge to see a movie, they spied 8 skunks running down a well, They stopped the car and proceeded to climb down in the well and kill the skunks getting sprayed in the process.

In those days, a skunk would be worth as much as $1 for the hide and that was huge money. Probably in the depression or right before. They got back in the car, stinking to high heaven and drove on to town. The went in the show and the audience was going WHO EEEE>>>>WHOEEEE...but they sat through the whole thing and then went home.

Can you imagine their dates. We have never had to suffer like those people did and be hungry so its hard to imagine today.

Smoking Out Dodge City

I was at a family gathering about 20 years ago and recall Don Weiss and Harold Bradley telling stories.

They told of having an old Model T and had mounted an oil tank in the engine compartment and filled it with used motor oil. A copper line ran down to the exhaust manifold and they had a valve to control that line.

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Rough Riders Visit Dodge City

Since my cousins have all seemed to find me now, I am writing these blogs for them and also for whomever finds Dodge City history interesting.

My great grandfather J.M. Kirkpatrick was one of the founders of Dodge. He was an attorney and his brother Edward ran the dry goods furniture and mortuary pictured on many of the famous old west photos. So I have lots of stories that my grand father and father have passed on to me and I am recording those and others here.

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