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Here are newspaper clippings and photographs showing the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific wreck located two miles east of Smith Center, Kansas.  The wreck occurred when the Rock Island passenger train No. 7, the Rocky Mountain Limited, was derailed, resulting in three cars being burned and passengers and employees being slightly injured.  It was reported the accident was due to excessive speed over a defective piece of track. The train was traveling about 35 miles an hour when the accident occurred.  The locomotive left the rails and landed in a field.  The cars were dragged with the locomotive, and the large tender was wrenched and twisted. One of the mail cars collided with the tender and the wrecked cars immediately caught on fire and quickly burned.  A mail clerk was quite badly wounded and four others were slightly injured.  Ray Wiggins, engineer, and Will Doleman, fireman, were in charge of the engine and retained their places on the locomotive during the accident.  Wiggins sustained slight injuries by being thrown from his seat.  The fireman Will Doleman is credited with rendering assistance to the injured and extinguishing the fire.

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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Kansas Memory Blog

Cowboy Band

Posted by Michael Church (Digital Projects Coordinator) on Sep 10, 2008

Hear the phrase “cowboy band” and you might think of singing cowboys like Gene Autry or maybe a western string band beating out jigs and reels on fiddles and guitars for a country dance. But in Dodge City in the 1880s the cowboy band was a whole different animal. Sporting cornets, tubas and other horns, the Dodge City Cowboy Band brought cow culture to the brass band craze of the late 19th century and drew both praise and criticism for its popularity. In its promotion of Kansas cattle interests, the band spread new myths about cowboys' genteel respectability and perpetuated old myths of cowboys as desperadoes. Selected materials on cowboy bands are now available on Kansas Memory.

 

This 1889 roster shows the band with twenty-three members and standard brass/wind instrumentation for the period, including many horns we would hardly recognize today.

 

This 1886 group photo shows the band flanked by its management with two young boys in the foreground. Notice how prominently members display their guns.

 

 

This photo shows some members of the Dodge City Cowboy Band on a round-up in Indian Territory, possibly in the 1890s. The photo may have been a publicity stunt meant to prove that band members were "real" cowboys.

 

Additional materials on cowboy bands are available by searching "cowboy band." See Community Life - Arts and Entertainment - Music - Musicians - Bands for more materials on bands in Kansas. See Business and Industry - Occupations/Professions - Cowboys for more materials on cowboys in Kansas.

For more information on the Dodge City Cowboy Band see Clifford Westermeier's article "The Dodge City Cowboy Band." Kansas Historical Quarterly v19 n1 (February 1951) : 1-11.

 

 


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