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.
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.
25.2 Linear feet
(24 boxes, 2 flatfile drawers)
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