Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Dodge City was founded in a prairie in the Southwest corner of Kansas in 1872 and was incorporated three years later. The region benefited from large buffalo herds, a nearby U. S. Army Fort, the expansion of the railroad into the area, and the lucrative cattle trade. The Westward movement of the quarantine line ended the cattle trade in Dodge City in the mid 1880s but the little city with a wicked reputation prevailed. The emphasis on agriculture increased, businesses adapted, and three of the city’s proficient leaders stepped forward once again. Robert Wright, George Hoover, and Adolph Gluck were leaders in Dodge City before the end of the cattle trade and in the city’s darkest hour; they remained in Dodge City, they invested and started additional businesses, and they guided the city into the Progressive Era. The development of services and modern amenities such as water, electricity, natural gas, sewer, and graded and paved streets were developed in Dodge City under the initial leadership and persistence of Wright, Hoover, and Gluck. They did not always agree on the next step the city ought to take, nor did they agree on the pace in which new developments should be leveraged against a city that suffered from indebtedness, but they were in unison on the preservation and growth of Dodge City. They were progressive, not socially, as they challenged prohibition vehemently, and not necessarily politically, as they were more concerned with municipal development and reform than they were with political strategy. These three were assisted by other notable residents such as Samuel J. Crumbine, who practiced medicine in early Dodge City, and later served as Secretary of the State Board of Health. Crumbine played an influential role in Dodge City’s first city-wide sewer system at the request of Jess C. Denious, the editor of a prominent newspaper in Dodge City. Crumbine went on to publish a book, Frontier Doctor, and Denious went on to serve in the state legislature and then as Lieutenant Governor of Kansas. Wright, Hoover, and Gluck all passed by 1917, leaving behind a modern city with strong agriculture and commerce, and a growing population. Dodge City sprang up in less than half a century and became a sustainable city, a tribute to Wright, Hoover, and Gluck. An account of their progressive agendas is preserved in the city’s early newspapers, which is examined in this thesis.


Dr. Raymond Wilson

Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type



© 2010 Brian Weber


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