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Finding Aid to the Dodge City Cowboy Band and Jack Sinclair Collection MSA.Dodge
MSA.Dodge  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Dodge City Cowboy Band existed from 1879-1916 and performed in cowboy garb, promoting Dodge City and the idea of the Wild West all over the United States. The conductor used a decorated gun as a baton, and the musicians all dressed as cowboys. The band was founded and first directed in Dodge City, Kansas by Chalk Beeson. Jack Sinclair took over as director from 1890-1916 and moved the band to Pueblo, Colorado, where Sinclair was a police officer. This collection includes advertising and promotional materials, photographs, and sheet music for the Dodge City Cowboy Band, much of which refers to the band’s final performance, the opera “The Cowboy’s Dream.” This collection also includes personal papers of Jack Sinclair and his daughter Edith Frances Sinclair, who also performed with the band.
Background
The Dodge City Cowboy Band formed in Dodge City, Kansas between 1879 and 1880 and served as a booster for the town of Dodge City and its citizens. The band was formed and organized by Chalkley McArtor “Chalk” Beeson (April 24, 1848-August 8, 1912), the owner of the Long Branch Saloon. Beeson conducted the band with a revolver, and the musicians dressed as cowboys. Although the band was started in and promoted Dodge City and idea of the Wild West, the band was comprised of professional musicians from Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, and St. Louis. Pueblo, Colorado Police Officer Jack Sinclair became the director in 1890 and moved the band’s base to Pueblo, but they continued to tour all over the United States. Benjamin M. Wilson was the band’s general manager in both Dodge City and Pueblo. The band enjoyed much popular success and also enjoyed notable appointments such as being one of the bands invited to play at the inaugural celebration for President Benjamin Harrison in 1889 and an appointment as regimental band for the 2nd U.S. Cavalry in Cuba during the Spanish American War. In 1916, Sinclair composed their final performance, an opera titled “The Cowboy’s Dream." The opera’s main character is Prairie Flower, portrayed by director Jack Sinclair’s daughter, Edith Frances Sinclair.
Extent
25.2 Linear feet (24 boxes, 2 flatfile drawers)
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Availability
Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org. An item-level inventory is available from library staff.