Friday Finds

From my paper research for the CRAWFORD family in Kansas.

Ford County Kansas
Registrar Office
Basement (from when in old building)

Large Black bound — no outside markings

Record of Teachers’ Examination
Ford County, Kansas
E D Webb, County Superintendent, August 1896

Lyda A. Crawford
Age 24
Dodge City P.O.
mos attended normal inst. — 7
Mos. taught — 31
grade of certificate — 2

Orthography – 93 1/2
Reading 86
Penmanship 97
Physiology and Hygiene 87
Arithmetic 93
English Grammar 93
US History 96
US Constitution 84
Theory and Practice 92
Bookkeeping 95
Natural Philosophy 80

Average 91 3/8

Grade Certificate Issued — 1

Roberta Adell Briles Crawford

Roberta Adell Briles Crawford was born June 20, 1930 in Buffalo, Kansas. She was the daughter of Edward Osmund and Pauline (Mentzer) Briles.

Roberta passed away at Sunrise of Lenexa in Lenexa, Kansas on January 9, 2022.

Roberta graduated from Emporia High School in 1948. She attended Kansas State Teachers College where she was a member and president of the Delta Sigma Epsilon sorority.

Roberta married Eugene David Crawford on June 9, 1951 in Emporia. Starting in 1955, Roberta and Eugene lived in Dodge City. While living in Dodge City, they were active members of the First United Methodist Church. The family moved from Dodge City to Lincoln, Nebraska and then to Emporia, Kansas.

Roberta started her career as a medical transcriptionist at the Dodge City Medical Center. Shortly after moving to Emporia, Kansas, Roberta joined the staff at St. Mary’s Hospital as a medical secretary, later becoming the Director of the Medical Records department. In October 1973, Roberta completed requirements for certification as an Accredited Record Technician. As a medical secretary, Roberta was a member of the Kansas Medical Record Association and served as treasurer in 1974.

After two of her children had completed college, Roberta joined her youngest as a college student and completed her college degree, graduating from Emporia State University in 1978.

Roberta and Eugene were long time members of St. Marks Lutheran Church in Emporia

After retiring, Eugene and Roberta became full time RVers wintering in Honda, Texas. They were active members of the Southwinders Association.

Roberta is survived by her three children: Marcia (Mike) Philbrick of Seneca, David (Kathy) Crawford of Blue Rapids, and Terry (Tina) Crawford of Shawnee; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Roberta was preceded in death by her husband in 2006, infant son, Duane Crawford in 1953 and her siblings.

Roberta has been cremated. The family will hold a private memorial service at a later date.

Memorial gifts may be made to Emporia State University. Please direct your gift to the Eugene D. Crawford and Leon R. Crawford II Memorial Scholarship in memory of Roberta Crawford. Gifts may be made directly to Emporia State University Foundation, 1500 Highland Street, Emporia, KS 66801.

Friday Finds

Do you have folders full of research notes you’ve taken over the years? If so, are they well organized to that you can easily find them again? I do have lots of folders full of scanned documents. However, I doubt that I could easily find information in some of those folders.

When I scanned the documents in my filing cabinets, I named the scanned file with the filing code on the document. That code was based on a system recommended by Bill Dollarhide. With that system, my folders were divided by surname and state. Thus, I had Kansas, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia folders for my Crawford research. Within each folder, the documents were numbered. Thus a document in the Kansas folder would have a filing code of where the xxx represent the number of the document. When the document was sourced in The Master Genealogist, I included the filing code with the source.

When I transitioned from The Master Genealogist to RootsMagic, I was using more digital sources. In the process I found a need for better organization and better file names. Even though my recent research uses a better naming and organization scheme, I still have that older research with poor file names.

A consultant recommended that I go back thru my older research since I could have information buried in those files to help me break thru my Crawford brick wall. Thus, I’m going to spend some time in 2022 going thru those poorly named files and renaming them. And on Fridays, I’m going to share some of my finds via ‘Friday Finds’ blog posts.

Today’s “find” is a handwritten transcription of an obituary for James H. Crawford from the Journal-Democrat in Dodge City.

The Journal-Democrat
Friday July 10, 1908
page 4 col 6

Pioneer Citizen Sleeps into Peaceful Death
J. H. Crawford, pioneer citizen of Ford County died at the hospital Wed afternoon. Mr. Crawford has been seriously sick for some weeks and was brought to the hospital that he might have the best of care. Tues. evening he dropped into a quiet sleep from which the attendants could not arouse him and Wed. afternoon the spirit took its flight.
Mr. Crawford came to Dodge City in 1878 adn settled on a claim northwest of town. After proving up he came to the city and entered mercantile life till 1898 when he sold his business interests to P.M. Imel. Since that time he has lived with his daughter, Mrs. Robt. Hazelton on his farm south of the city
Six children are left to mourn, John, Abraham, Clay and Clara live in Colorado. William is a resident of Arizona. Mrs. Hazelton is the only resident of the community.
The funeral services were held form the Methodist Church this afternoon at 2 o’clock. It was Mr. Crawford last express wish that Dr. Vaughn should preach the funeral sermon, “just a plain ‘Uncle Jimmy’ Crawford funeral” was what he wished. Three children from Colorado arrived for the funeral: John, Clay and Clara.

Since the state of Kansas is working on digitizing their newspaper collection, I now have access to digital copies of the Dodge City papers from this time period. Thus, I not only have my handwritten transcription but can also obtain an image of the obituary.

Going thru these files will likely be a slow process, especially if I stop and find the same source in today’s online resources.


Tomorrow is Halloween

Have you ever wondered how your ancestors celebrated Halloween? Curious about my Crawford ancestors, I decided to search those ‘gossipy’ Dodge City newspapers for around the time the family migrated from Indiana to Dodge City (1877-1887). My search turned up some interesting articles.

The first references what was likely traditional ‘shenanigans’ in a rural area.

Halloween made its annual appearance and may have passed unnoticed by many if it had not been manifested, by vehicles, signs, plows and various other articles being disarranged. One man could be seen hunting his buggy, another a wagon wheel, an other a cart and so forth, which brought forth vehement expressions and expressions to the effect if their cart, wagon wheel, or some other article had not been disturbed their peace of mind would not have remained undisturbed. It is remarkable how ell the boys remember a night of so little importance.

“Spearville Splinters,” The Globe Livestock Journal (Dodge City, Kansas) 11 Nov 1884, page 1

Then in an 1887 issue of The Globe Live Stock Journal, we find reference to an interesting tradition.

Editor Globe:

Dodge City, Kas., November 2, 1887

Dear Sir: In the issue of the Dodge City Democrat of Saturday, October 29th we find that someone digging way down into ancient history has discovered the following superstition regarding ladies contemplating or desiring matrimony. “If a single lady wishes good luck and to be married in one year, she must be presented with a pair of yellow garters by a gentleman or lady, to be worn for seven days, beginning the first Saturday after Hallowe’en.”

Being strong believers in this direction and at all times willing to help and aid such movements, we would inform yourself and the general public that we have supplied ourselves with an elegant stock of the “yellow garters” and are ready to fill all calls for them. You will confer a favor by letting the public know that htis article of woman’s comfort and joy may be found at the store of

R. M. Wright 7 Co.,
Dodge City, Kas.

“Letter to Editor,” The Globe Live Stock Journal (Dodge City, Kansas) 1 Nov 1887.

So what was printed in the Dodge City Democrat? On page 3 of the 29 October 1887 issue of the Dodge City Democrat, we find the following:

The ladies in ancient times were as superstitious as those of to-day. In the ruins of ancient Rome was found a scroll on which was written: “If a single lady wishes good luck and to be married within the year, she must be presented with a pair of yellow garters by a gentleman or lady and to be worn for seven days, beginning the first Saturday after Hallowe’en.” It has proved very successful in the east, and our people will confer a favor never to be forgotten by their lady friends to remember them with a pair.

A search of for “Yellow Garters” turned up similar articles.

  • “The Yellow Garter,” Minneapolis Messenger (Minneapolis, Kansas) 13 June 1889, page 7
  • “Story of the Yellow Garter,” Daily Mountain Eagle (Jasper, Elabama) 5 Feb 1913, page 7.
  • “A Yellow Garter for Easter,” The Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, Indiana) 9 Apr 1905, page 36.
  • “The Yellow Garter,” Austin American-Statesman (Austin, Texas) 14 Jul 1889, page 9.

So what about you? Have you heard of this ‘yellow garter’ tradition at Halloween and possibly Easter? Do you have a Yellow Garter?

Merchants State Bank

When researching your family, have you ever encountered a newspaper article that lead to an event the family likely wanted to forget? I would think that being a director of a bank that failed might fall into that ‘want to forget’ category. But, that is where my research in the Dodge City papers has led.

In February of 1886, the Merchants State Bank was formed and J. H. Crawford was one of the directors.

The Merchants’ State Bank

The Merchants State Bank is a new banking institution of Dodge City, and is composed of some of our most influential and wealthy citizens. Geo. B. Cox is President, F. C. Zimemrmann, Vice-President; James Langton, Treasurer, and the following directors: Goe S. Emerson, W. C. Shinn, O. Marsh, W. G. Sherlock, T. L. McCarty and J. H. Crawford. The office of the bank for the present will be located in the postoffice block. As soon as one of the new building is completed ample room will be obtained. This bank will be one of the best in the country, and will meet with confidence and support.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 25 Feb 1886
Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 25 Feb 1886

In 1887, the Dodge City Times was singing the praises of the bank as one of the “most prosperous institutions in the west.” (Dodge City Times 4 Aug 1887) However, by March of 1891, The Dodge City Daily Globe reported the bank had failed.

Gone Under

The Merchants’ State Bank Ceases Operations Friday at Noon

A Full and Complete List of Assets and Liabilities – C. W. Averill Appointed Assignee

Notwithstanding the many rumors concerning the shaky condition of the Merchants’ State Bank it was a matter of great surprise when the doors were locked Friday last. Deposits to the amount of several thousand dollars had been recently withdrawn by parties who knew of the insufficient security that had been taken by the bank upon loses made during the last 18 months. This with the stringent times and depreciated real estate values made it impossible to much longer hold out, and upon the presentation of a check for nearly $4,000 they refused to pay it, for lack of funds. A number of attachments immediately followed. The first being in favor of H. M. Beverley.

The bank was the repository for many school districts, as well as the county and city resources.

The real estate assets of the institution are heavily encumbered and their cash value is difficult to estimate. Although the county may sustain some loss, it will not affect the price of county scrip as there is much more money on deposit in the First National Bank than the total amount of scrip outstanding. Also the amount deposited in the defunct bank was the sinking fund, and should it not all be recovered the loss will be lightly felt by the county.

The complicated affairs of the bank will require some time for a full examination and much litigation will undoubtedly result. A majority of the creditors seem willing to give the bank officials ample time to make settlement. Some, however, seem to think that at least criminal carelessness ahs been shown in the management of the bank and it is not improbable that some prosecutions will follow. A. E. Grier, representing the Rollins Investment Company, of Denver was in the city Monday to investigate the company’s business, they having $4,00 in Ford county scrip which had been forwarded to Merchants State Bank for collection. The county’s check had been given for the amount of the scrip, there being a large amount to the county’s credit, but the check was not accepted by the bank. In some way the scrip has fallen into the possession of the county treasurer and the Rollins Investment Company will bring suit to recover the scrip or its cash value. They have retained Sutton & McGarry to protect their interests.

Shortly after the first attachment issued the county attorney asked that a receiver be appointed, and L. G. Grobety was made receiver. Soon after the receiver had qualified and demanded possession an assignment was made to C. W. Averill. The commissioners and county attorney are awake to the interests of the county, but with the several attachments in the hands of the sheriff, the assignee and receiver each attempting to obtain possession, the assets will be used up in the payment of fees.

The liabilities, with names of creditors, are given below:


H. M. Beverley, Dodge City, treas. $3,495.00
H. B. Bell 11.22
Thos. Brainbridge 100.00
Mrs Brainbridge 3.00
J. R. Bricker 20.00
S. H. Connoway 78.32
Geo B. Cox Co. Treas $20,765.47
Geo B. Cox mortg ac’t 1.00
Geo B. Cox seed com 139.72
Geo B. Cox Flax com 16.67
Geo B. Cox fair ass’n 1.55
J. H. Crawford 12.98
F. W. Coxon 9.92
A. L. Crawford 10.90
J. H. Churchill .35
D. H> Connoway 562.00
G. Davis 138.75
J. M. Doble 9.40
S.W. Furgison 10.00
W.J. Fitzgerald 2.14
Albert Fasig 52.43
P.R. Hobble 144.07
A. Hanna tres dist 16 118.13
E. A. Hickerson Lodge ac’t 176.05
C. L. Kearful 100.00
W.T. Keady 1.20
E. Kirkpatrick .02
Geo. Gray 5.30
Geo H. Karch .78
Thos. Lahey 125.54
L. E. McGarry 165.67
Otto Mueller 2.35
E. W. Marvin 181.42
McCarty & Hoover 34.78
T. L. McCarty 100.06
D. W. Moffit 20.25
W. F. Petillion .17
J. E. Rarden schl tres 100.00
J. H. Ripple .01
J. S. Rush 3.00
A. W. Reudy .01
John Riney schl tres 434.07
T. L. Smith .98
C. E. Smiley schl tres 229.36
Strange & Summersby 45.37
L.K. Soper 19.80
Sam Stubbs 9.11
H. L. Sitler 3.56
E. E. Smith 12.58
Joseph Sizelove schl Tres 118.61
E. T. Thome 12.03
Samuel Wollman 10.56
B.W. Williams .69
G. H. Wilcoxson schl tres 63.25
D. T. Weagly 464.83
Jas. Youngblood .25
Zimmerman hd. Co 12.05
D. H Drake .36
E L. M. Hoare .66
Adam Schmidt 98.30
O. Elswick 800.00
J.F. Dean 50.00
J. M. Kilburn 50.00
J. Beyers 90.00
John Reed 50.00
A. Miller 500.00
J. Collar 1.00
S. S. Griggs 7.00

Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 4 Mar 1891

Then in September of 1891, The Dodge City Daily Globe carried a story describing the cause of the bank failure.

The Recorded Facts

How the Taxes Were Absorbed by the Cox Dynasty

Through the courtesy of the receiver of the Merchant’s State Bank the Globe-Republican scribe has been permitted to make a thorough examination of that defunct institution, and the memoranda therein made by Mr. Cox himself and his employes, most emphatically verify the very worst that has been even suspected by the writer. Space will not permit us this week to give the data in detail, but we have the dates and items carefully preserved for future reference. We will this week briefly summerise the situation, giving fuller details later on in the campaign.

In November, 1887, Geo. B. Cox was elected county treasurer for the first time, over C. N. Van Vilet, who was deputy treasurer under R. M. Wright. In October, 1888, Mr. Wright turned over to Mr. Cox, his successor, every dollar of public funds entrusted to his care as such treasurer, with the books in perfect order. Otto Mueller was installed as deputy by the new treasurer, and has remained in personal supervision of the office until recently, in communication by letter between himself and Mr. Cox, he suggested that the latter return and take charge, while he, Otto, shall make the campaign for election this fall. This suggestion was acted upon and is now in operation.

After taking control of the office, Mr. Cox, who was president and principal stockholder of the Merchants State Bank, made an arrangement, which is permitted by the statutes of this state, whereby his bank was designated by the board of county commissioners as the depository of count funds, on a security bond filed with the county clerk and approved by the board. Mr. Cox gave as such bond his own name and that of one other stockholder and director of the bank, whose stock together with that of Mr. Cox, soon constituted a good working majority of bank shares. — After this, when Mr. Cox had occasion to use money in his private business, or desired to favor a friend or political striker, he could drop into the bank in his official capacity as county treasurer, deposit the cash collections of taxes with Geo. B. Cox, banker. Then Geo. B. Cox, the business man, could write his check or promissory note, leave it with Geo B. Cox, the banker, and take the money to use as pleased him best. The state of affairs continued till the fall of 1889, when the bank had cashed about as much paper bearing the Cox autograph as that gentleman was apparently worth. Then, by herculean effort, and the lavish expenditure of money, he was re-elected against L. Sims, the regular republican nominee. With a new lease of power, Mr. Cox now delved deeper than ever into the treasury vaults In the spring of 1890 the bank held much more paper against him than his entire visible assets could be made to sell for in cash. But as county taxes came in he continued to deposit them in the bank and borrow the money for his own use, and although hopelessly insolvent, took no less than thirteen thousand dollars in addition to what he already owed. The other stock holder who was on the bond to secure the county, was ere this hopelessly involved, notwithstanding which fact he must be provided for, as he had worked tooth and nail for the election of Mr. Cox. Hence he was permitted to take eight thousand dollars of good money. These two hauls left the bank utterly unable to meet the demands of the county, city and school district depositors, and the bond on file with the county clerk having become worthless by the insolvency of the sureties, (who in reality constituted the principal on whose behalf the security was given,) the taxpayers of Ford county have nothing to show for about thirty thousand dollars paid into the treasury as municipal taxes, except the possibility of a slender dividend which the closing out of odds and ends of the collapsed institution may realize. All this money will have to be collected over again in addition to that needed for future current expenses of the county. Old Ford is one of the best counties in the state and by prudent administration of her affairs hereafter, will soon recuperate her wasted resources, but woe be unto us if we again renew the power of the vampire which has to greedily absorbed our revenues in the past.

The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 2 Sep 1891

The September 10, 1891 issue of the Dodge City Globe contains a letter from Geo. B. Cox outlining where the money went. Later papers have several notices for the sale of property owned by Geo. B. Cox and his wife, Amy. Even though the papers covered the scandal and hinted at criminal charges, a search of the papers thru 1892 did not uncover a criminal trial.

Thus, the Merchants State Bank where J. H. Crawford served as a director in 1886 was a failure five years later.

Iowa House

Have you ever tried to research the history of a house? Recently, I learned that my ancestor, Marion (Washington Marion) Crawford, ran a boarding house called Iowa House in early Dodge City.

Since I knew nothing about the Iowa House in early Dodge City, I decided to see what the newspapers had to say about it.


W. C. Beebe has rented the house west of the postoffice, formerly occupied as a court house,, owned by A. J. anthony, which he will open as a hotel, and will be known as the Iowa house. Mr. Beebe is an old hotel man and no doubt will make the Iowa house strictly first class in every particular

The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 14 Mar 1882
Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 23 Mar 1882

Notice to the Public

I have recently opened and fitted up the Iowa House, on Front street, one block west of postoffice, in first class style. Everything pertaining to the house is neat and new, and no pains will be spared to make it home-like and pleasant for customers. My tables will always be supplied with the best the markets afford. Thanking the public for their liberal patronage in the past, I hope to receive a fair share of the same in the future. Call and give me a trial.

W. C. Beebe
Prop’r Iowa House

The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 16 May 1882

The proprietor of the Iowa House has been compelled to rent two or three small buildings in the vicinity of his hotel, to accommodate some of his regular boarders with lodging.

The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 4 Jul 1882

Preparations are being made at the Iowa House to greatly improve the range and variety of the bill of far, so as to furnish meals equal to the very best in the city. The patronage of the house has been increasing very largely of late, and some much needed improvements have been made in the office, dining room, and other parts of the building.

The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 4 Jul 1882


P. R. Hobble has taken charge of the Iowa House and no doubt make a success of the management. We wish also good luck.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 14 Sep 1882


P. R. Hobble has sold the Iowa House to N. Mendehall of Iowa, who has taken charge of the house. The new landlord has had considerable experience at hotel keeping. We wish him success.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 14 Jun 1883


N. Mendenhall has disposed of the Iowa House to Mr. Crawford, a brother of J. H. Crawford. The new Iowa House landlord is lately from Indiana.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 25 Sep 1884

Even though the newspapers reported that Mr. Crawford took over the Iowa House, the advertising did not reflect that change in ownership.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 30 Oct 1884

In January of 1885, a fire spread from the postoffice East along Front Street destroying most of the block to the East of the Iowa House.

Caught It at Last

About three o’clock last Sunday smoke and flames were seen issuing from the grocery house of Perry Wilden. It was inevitable, in the estimation of everybody who saw them that the buildings in the post office block were doomed to immediate destruction. The first thought was to save goods and the work of relieving the business houses adjacent of their stores was commenced with vigor. a thousand people were soon in the vicinity of the fire and everybody lent a willing hand in the effort to rescue property from the destructive breath of the flames. The first building west of Wilden’s was the Union Restaurant which ended in smoke at the drop of the hat. West of that was THE COWBOY building. Before the flames reached it all of the goods in the lower story had been removed. Marsh & Sons had a splendid stock of clothing and gents’ furnishings goods in the front room and Mr. Robbins had a tailor shop with appurtenances and a choice selection of raw goods in the rear, nearly everything was saved. THE COWBOY occupied the whole of the second story. Material probably to the value of five hundred dollars was rescued form there. The power press was destroyed and a large portion of the type was badly “pied.” A printing office is one of the worst institutions in the world to handle when a fire is around. Across the street west from THE COWBOY building is the Iowa House. By heroic efforts it was saved from destruction. At one time all of the east side was in a blaze. Had this building been destroyed the appetite of the fire demon would not have been appeased until every building in the Iowa House block and been swallowed up. Across the railroad on the south the warehouses of R. M. Wright & Co., and Morris collar caught fire and were destroyed, will all of their contents. The warehouse of the York-Parker-Draper company was said to have been saved by the mineral paint on the outside. East of Wilden’s was the dry goods house of Gaede, Baker Co. The building went up a flying, but the most of the goods were saved. Next was Morris Collar’s hardware store and general curiosity shop. It was impossible to save much of his stock, owing to t he nature of the goods. His stock was valued at $30,000, most of which is a total loss. His insurance was only about $2,000. Next was the hardware store and tin shop of Charlie Shields. It went to kingdom come in a hurry, with most of the stock. Mr. Shields is one of the greatest sufferers of this calamity His stock is worth about $4,000 and he hadn’t a dime of insurance. Now here is where the virtue of Brick is demonstrated. East of Shield’s is the brick store just being erected by Jacob Collar. The brick wall was too much for Mr. Fire. His stomach couldn’t digest the brick and he quit his infernal deviltry right then and there. Jake Collar is the man to whom is indebted the salvation of the buildings in the post office Block east of his new business block.

The Times figured up the losses as follows:

Perry Wilden, loss $11,000; insurance $5,000
Albert Etherington, loss $2,800; no insurance
O. Marsh & son, building loss, $2,500; insured; partial loss of goods, covered by insurance
R. R. Robbins, tailor, loss $100; no insurance
COWBOY office, loss $2,000, covered by small insurance
Gaede, Baker & Co., partial loss of goods covered by $5,000 insurance
M. Collar, building and goods, loss $30,000; insurance $2,000
F. J. Durand, building, loss $1,500; no insurance
J. Collar, two buildings, loss $4,000, covered by insurance
Chas. Shields, stock of stoves and hardware, loss $4,000; no insurance
Gorman & Ramer, loss of stock, covered by insurance

Kansas Cowboy (Dodge City, Kansas) 24 Jan 1885


S. B. McNay has taken charge of the Iowa House and will refit the building for the accommodation of the public. He will afford first-class accommodations. Mr. McNay has just returned from Iowa with his family, and took possession of the house on Monday. He is an agreeable and pleasant gentleman and will make an accommodating landlord. He is bound to succeed.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 23 Apr 1885


W. F. Dean has taken charge of the Iowa House and will change the name of the house to the Dean House.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 14 May 1885

The newspapers do no reveal any more information about the Crawford proprietorship of the Iowa House. However, in July 1885, the Crawford family built their own boarding house located North of the downtown district.


Do you have any business owners in your family tree? If so, have you tried to locate their business on a map?

While going thru some of my handwritten research notes, I came across a transcription of a newspaper item regarding J. H. Crawford’s grocery store in Dodge City, Kansas. Based on my previous research, I knew that the grocer, J. H. Crawford, was James H. Crawford, the older brother of my ancestor Washington Marion Crawford. I also knew that I could find most of the Dodge City papers for that time period on So I started searching those papers to learn more about J. H. Crawford and his grocery store.

The Journal-Democrat (Dodge City, Kansas) 19 Apr 1884

What I didn’t know was WHERE the grocery store was located. Fortunately, the add provided a point of reference: the post office. But where was the post office?

So I googled ‘Sanborn map Dodge City Kansas’. The first link was to the 1887 Sanborn maps for Dodge City.

1887 Sanborn Map Dodge City Kansas

The Post Office (PO) was at the corner of 2nd and Chestnut in 1887. Based on the ad telling me the store was ‘five doors west of the postoffice,’ the 1887 map would indicate that the store was at the corner of 3rd and Chestnut. But then, I would see ads stating the store was north of the Wright House or a few doors north of the post office. Neither of these statements made sense with the 1887 map.

So, I went back to the Library of Congress to see if there was an earlier set of maps. Fortunately, there was a map from 1884.

1884 Sanborn Map Dodge City

When I first looked at this map, I quickly found the Wright House but I didn’t see the post office. However, careful study of the map revealed the post office in the ‘back’ of a drug store at the corner of N. Front Street and 2nd Avenue.

Now I just needed to figure out when the store was located at the various locations. To do this, I searched the Dodge City newspapers for Crawford from 1882 to 1887. I then created a spreadsheet for the date of the item, name of newspaper and the location of the store if given. Thus, I was able to create a chronological list of the Crawford grocery newspaper items.

This venture into the grocery business started in 1882.

Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 26 Sep 1882
Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 21 Sep 1882

Then in 1884, news items indicate that the J. H. Crawford store moved to Bridge Street.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 20 Mar 1884
The Journal-Democrat (Dodge City, Kansas) 5 Apr 1884
Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 10 Apr 1884
Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 24 April 1884

In 1885, James H. Crawford’s nephew Colvin Garrett Briggs opened a restaurant just to the north of the Crawford grocery on Bridge Street.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 12 Mar 1885
Kansas Cowboy (Dodge City, Kansas) 2 May 1885

Even though the local news indicated that J. H. Crawford moved his grocery store to a location on Bridge Street, the ads in the various papers continue to place the location ‘west of the post office.’ Thus, it is hard to tell whether J. H. Crawford operated two stores that close together or whether the newspaper just didn’t get the ad changed.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 7 May 1885

While reviewing my handwritten notes, I found transcription of an article from the Ford County Globe.

J. H. Crawford of the Indiana grocery, north of the Wright house has an ad which appears in this issue. He has just recently removed to his new quarters and has put in a new and fresh stock of groceries and provisions. Give him a call.

Ford County Globe (Ford County, Kansas) 27 May 1884

When I tried to find a digital copy of the Ford County Globe, I couldn’t find it on Nor did the Library of Congress show a digital holding for the paper. However, I saw the title while search that is listed under the Dodge City Globe. A search of that paper found the May 27, 1884 issue of the Ford County Globe.

Ford County Globe (Dodge City, KS) 27 May 1884
Ford County Globe (Dodge City, KS) 27 May 1884

By December 1885, the ad in those papers had changed to ‘doors north of postoffice’.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas) 24 Dec 1885

An ad in the 10 June 1886 issue of The Sun described the location as ‘near corner of Chestnut Street’.

The Sun (Dodge City, Kansas) 10 Jun 1886

In the 23 April 1887 issue of The Journal-Democrat, the ad used both the post office and Bridge street to describe the location.

The Journal-Democrat (Dodge City, Kansas) 23 April 1887

Even though I have found all of these ads for the grocery store operated by J. H. Crawford in Dodge City, Kansas beginning in 1882, I have not found a picture of the store. The Kansas Memory project has several photos of early Dodge City.

On Facebook, O. K. Corral, posted an 1878 picture of Front Street.

A picture of the Wright Beverly & Co. building on Front Street is included in the article, “Top 10 True West Towns in 2018” in the True Wes Magazine. (Scroll down for the Dodge City picture and info).

Even though I haven’t found any pictures of the Crawford Grocery store or the Indiana Grocery, I now have a location and a time period that will help me search for a picture.


In the early days of Dodge City, not only did cattle come into town from Texas, but many of the local land owners raised cattle. Without fences around their land, these herds of cattle were allowed to roam freely, becoming mixed in with other herds of cattle.

Then in late spring, the cattle men would conduct a round-up to gather all of the cattle and separate the herds. The post, 1878 Cattle Drives, discusses this process.

It was the work of only a few hours to “cut out” and separate the cattle and start the herds back to their ranges again. Every animal is known by its brand, so that ownership is easily determined, and those that have drifted miles away during the winter storms and become a part of other herds are picked out in a few minutes, claimed by the owners and started back to the range.

The Dodge City papers provided a way for the local cattle men to register their brands by publishing images and information about the owner in the papers.

The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 4 Nov 1884, page 8 available on

After round-up, these cattle men had to brand the young calves in their herds. With a large number of cattle needing branded at the same time, these owners were in the market for anything that could speed up the process.

Thus, James H. Crawford’s installation of a ‘branding device’ appears to have been the solution.

About ten thousand head of cattle have been branded this season at the Crawford corrall, on the south side of the river, in the Parker machine. The capacity of this machine is about four hundred head of cattle daily. The price for branding is from seven to ten cents a head. This week one thousand head of Mathers cattle have been branded there. The machine is about twenty feet long and will hold from four to six head of cattle at a time. It is just wide enough for the passage of a full grown animal. When the cattle enter the machine they find on the bottom a wooden frame crossed by iron rods about six inches apart. when the machine is full the frame is elevated by pulleys operated by a horse. The legs of the animals are between the rods and presently the rods strike their abdomens and lift them from the ground, their bodies resting on the rods, with their legs swinging underneath. While in this helpless condition the branding irons are applied. It requires five men to work the machine.

Kansas Cowboy (Dodge City, Kansas) 27 Sep 1884, page 5 available on