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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Historic house could be endangered again

  • The Hinkle House, a small wooden-frame house located at 801 First Avenue, was slated to be torn down and the lot used for parking for City Hall.
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  • The Hinkle House, a small wooden-frame house located at 801 First Avenue, was slated to be torn down and the lot used for parking for City Hall.
    But members of the Ford County Historical Society realized that the house was possibly the oldest dwelling in Dodge City and furthermore had been owned by several of Dodge City's important businessmen over the years.
    The city agreed to leave the house standing until more research could be done and a plan could be developed to preserve and interpret the house as a historic asset.
    The house was built in 1881, the same year as the Mueller-Schmidt house now preserved by the Ford County Historical Society.
    "The Hinkle house represents a middle-income home from the same period as the more elaborate Muller-Schmidt house," said Janice Klein, a member of the local Historic Landmark Commission in a recent interview.
    The house is now listed on the local and state historic registers, qualifying it for preservation funds.
    The problem is that no agency or individual has stepped up to spearhead the house's preservation.
    The wild West
    George T. Hinkle purchased the property for the house from the Dodge City Town Company in 1878 for $44.50.
    According to information posted by the Ford County Historical Society on skyways.org, Hinkle married in 1882 and added his new wife, Annie, to the deed for "consideration of love and affection."
    The original floor plan of the house had three rooms: a parlor, a bedroom and a kitchen.
    Hinkle was a bartender at George Hoover's saloon and wholesale liquor store.
    In 1879 he ran for Ford County Sheriff. His opponent was Bat Masterson. Hinkle won and served two terms from 1880 to 1884.
    Hinkle sold his house in 1883 for $1,800.
    The new owner, Charles Heinz, mortgaged the house to George Hoover and later to Jacob Collar, both prominent men in the history of business in Dodge City.
    Telling the story
    Klein and Terry Lee, also a member of the Historic Landmark Commission, have approached several organizations about taking responsibility for the preservation and use of Hinkle House.
    "We're talked to the Ford County Historical Society, Boot Hill and several law enforcement agencies, thinking it could be a place to document law enforcement in Dodge City, and the response has always been positive but in the form of 'we're willing to help if it doesn't cost us anything,'" Lee said.
    "We're concerned about the lack of progress," Klein said.
    Although the city has not set a deadline for making a decision about the house's future, the house is deteriorating and the issues will come up at some point.
    "The historical society's original intention was to preserve and interpret the house, but we need a person to take charge," Klein said.
    Page 2 of 2 - "The house is in very poor condition — there's a hole in the roof — it needs attention," Klein said.
    "Both the Ford County Historical Society and Boot Hill have told us they have artifacts that could be displayed in the house," Lee said.
    Klein and Lee believe that the house would qualify for Heritage Trust Funds from the state historical society but that grant deadline is early in November.
    "The house in on Dodge City's walking trail, it's included in the downtown historic district and Charlie Meade stops by the house on his tours," Klein said.
    "We hope someone will hear about the house and decide to adopt it as their cause," Lee said.
    For more information or to volunteer to help preserve the house, call Janice Klein at (620) 225-2845 or Terry Lee at the Dodge City Middle School (620) 227-1610 and leave a message.

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