Junction of the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road with the Wet Route of the Santa Fe Trail at Fort Dodge, Kansas. The marker is located to the west of the Kansas Soldiers Home sign on the south side of U.S. 400. This is one of several forts that were along the Santa Fe Trail.
Fort Dodge was established in the spring of 1865. The order to abandon the post was issues by General John Pope on September 16, 1882. On January 10, 1883 the last troops left Fort Dodge. Everything worth taking was hauled to Fort Supply. The process for the State of Kansas to become the owners of the old fort started on July 5, 1884, with the transfer of the buildings and remaining military reservation to the Departmet of the Interior for disposition.
In the final land deal, about 127 acres was sold to the State of Kansas for $1.25 per acre and this amount was to be paid to the Osage Trust fund. This payment was made on June 13, 1889. The remainder of the land was sold at public auction in Dodge City, Kansas on November 14, 1906.
Fort Dodge now the Kansas Soldiers Home was ready for occupancy on January 1, 1890. On February 7, 1890, Andrew Prince, a Civil War veteran became the first person admitted to the new home. Within two year the population of the home was about 160 residents.
Fort Dodge, Kansas is today a part of the Kansas heritage and the old post remains today. Visitors are always welcome, where they may view several of the original historic buildings. The fort has a museum that is open about 1:00 everyday. This is a site along the Santa Fe Trail that you have to see to get the feeling of the old trail days. The spirits of the many soldiers that were at the old fort are still present. About a half mile east of Fort Dodge on the north side of the highway is the old and new cemetery, with graves dating back to the 1880's.
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