Explore The Great Plains Missouri Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska Iowa South Dakota North Dakota Share Portrayed in a handful of 1930s Westerns, DODGE CITY, about 150 miles west of Wichita, is perhaps the most famous of all America’s frontier towns. However, this wildest of Wild West cities had a relatively brief heyday, from 1875 until 1886. Established in 1872 along with the Santa Fe Railroad, which transported millions of buffalo hides, by 1875 the town of traders, trappers and hunters had to find a new economic base – the buffalo had been practically exterminated. The era of the great cattle drives was already underway and Dodge City became a den of iniquity where gambling, drinking and general lawlessness were the norm. Such wickedness led to gunfights galore, and the notorious Boot Hill cemetery (where villains were buried with their boots on) was kept busy by charismatic, if morally suspect, lawmen such as Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp.