Relive the Old West Legend of Dodge City Through Exhibits, Education and Entertainment.

Chalkley Beeson, Dodge City’s “Man of the Hour”

Chalkley Beeson is perhaps one of the most important figures of Dodge City history and of Boot Hill Museum. Proprietor of Long Branch Saloon, the Saratoga Saloon, founder of the Dodge City Cowboy Band, Ford County Sheriff, State Legislator, prominent rancher, the list goes on and on. There is so much to tell about him, we have decided to tell his story in three parts!
Part 1: Buffalo Hunt with Russian Royalty, Custer, Sheridan and Buffalo Bill Cody
Chalkley “Chalk” Beeson was born in Salem, Ohio on April 24, 1848. He set out west around 1870, first travelling to Colorado. There he became a stage driver for the route back and forth between Denver and Colorado Springs. In 1872, he was chosen to guide the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia on a buffalo hunt. He was overheard in Denver talking about the large herds around the area of Kit Carson, Colorado. His knowledge of the herd resulted in him taking not only the Grand Duke, but also joining the party was Buffalo Bill Cody, General George Custer and General Phil Sheridan. The Grand Duke was delighted to hunt the big brutes, and it was something he had wanted to do when he crossed the Atlantic to America. Not long into the hunt, General Custer stopped the hunting party and advised that this would be a great chance for the group to get a shot at some Indians, as he knew of a tribe camped not far from the herd. As they set out to find the Indians, they came up over a hill upon another hunting party shooting at the buffalo, which sent fire going from both directions! Chalkley described what happened next, “Finally when they stopped and when Sheridan got to his feet, I think he was the maddest man I ever saw. There was only one man in the army who could equal him when it came to a certain type of expletives and that was Custer himself. I don’t know what kind of language Pa Romanoff (the Czar of Russia, and the Grand Duke’s father) used on Alexis when he got mad, but that slip of royalty got a cussing from Phil Sheridan that day that I bet he will never forget.”
Check back next week for the story of Chalkley’s arrival in the wild early days of Dodge City!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someonePrint this pageShare on RedditShare on Google+