“Cowboy Capital of the World”
“Queen of the Cowtowns”
For anyone interested in cowboys or the old west cattle drives a trip to the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, Kansas is a ‘must see’ destination. Housed in a replica of ‘Front Street’, Boot Hill offers a combination of history and entertainment, complete with gunfights and shows at the Long Branch Saloon.
As a genealogist, Boot Hill has proven to be a source of information about my family. As a child, I remember a photograph or postcard that was on display in the building at the top of the hill. This photo was taken of early Dodge City from the Boot Hill area looking toward downtown. My memory says that the house my grandparents lived in was in that photo. Later, while touring the displays housed in the ‘Front Street’ buildings I discovered a minute book for the Ford County Agricultural Society that just happened to be opened to a page mentioning my great great grandfather, Richmond Fisk Hammond.
On a trip to Dodge to visit my grandmother, she encouraged me to visit Boot Hill to see if they had any photographs. Thinking I might find the photo from my childhood memory, I went. Even though I didn’t locate that photo, I did come away with a marvelous find: the only known photo of my great great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford.
In addition to obtaining his picture, I found a group picture that included my great grandfather, Judson Crawford and another group picture containing Judson’s brother, Nelson Crawford.
If you want to find an unusual source for genealogical information, it would be Boot Hill for me. I never imagined that I would find these photos at Boot Hill. I am thankful that they are preserving the early history of Dodge City.