Controlling the Cattle Trade in Dodge City
Hoffman, Thomas A.
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It is the intent of this paper to look at the problem of law enforcement in the longest lived cowtown, Dodge City. The way in which the problems of the cattle trade (e.g. gambling, saloons, prostitution) were handled in Dodge City seems to show that the cattle towns were not nearly so atypical as is often imagined. Instead, Dodge City's responses to its law enforcement problems were very much in the pattern of nineteenth century urbanization. Rather than viewing the cowtown as unique, there is a good deal to be gained from noting how much they had in common with other cities of their time. But, before dealing with these matters, we need to know why the whole situation arose in the first place. Just what do we mean by a "cattle town"?