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George M. Hoover Account Book, 1883-1885

Account Book, 1883 - 1885

Microfilm MS 18




Includes accounts of beverages, groceries and supplies needed for the maintenance of his saloon in Dodge City, Kansas.


As one of the founders of Dodge City, Kansas, George M. Hoover was integrally involved in nearly every facet of life of that famed frontier town until his death in 1914.

Hoover was born in Caistorville, Lincoln County, Ontario, Canada. The exact year of his birth is not known. Most speculate it was in 1848. Other sources state it was as late as 1850.

Hoover left his Canadian home in 1870 and made his way to the Fort Dodge, Kansas, area by 1872. Hoover got his start in business by selling “red eye” whiskey to the soldiers stationed at the Fort. However, being a scrupulously honest businessman, Hoover discontinued selling liquor when Prohibition in Kansas began in 1881, though many of his fellow Dodge City saloon owners disregarded the law.

Hoover was deeply involved in nearly every aspect of the development and administration of Dodge City. He was its mayor in 1876 and 1883, he cultivated a 160 acre farm, raised beef cattle, owned and operated a saloon, was the president of at least one bank, was chairman of the Board of County Commissioners of Ford County in 1882 and 1890, and represented the 114th district in the State Legislature. He contracted Wyatt Earp as a law enforcer in Dodge City in order to suppress the rowdiness of the cattle drovers for which Dodge had become well reputed.

Hoover was an astute businessman, amassing a fortune of well over $100,000 by the time of his death in 1914. Having no direct heirs to inherit his estate, Hoover left endowments to a variety of people and institutions ranging from his brothers and sisters; to his home town of Caistorville, Ontario; and to churches, parks and pavilions in the town that he founded. To this day, the name of Hoover is prominently known in Dodge City, Kansas.

Scope and Content

It is not entirely clear whether or not this ledger functioned as an accounts receivable, accounts payable or both. It seems most likely that this book records purchases since most of the transactions were for bulk prices. In addition to recording the purchase of beverages and groceries, Hoover (or his manager) recorded the collection of rents from tenants who boarded at his establishment

Notes On This Microfilm Copy

This microfilm contains the George M. Hoover Account Book, 1883 - 1885, in its entirety. This item is in the possession of the Kansas State Historical Society in the Ford County history manuscript collection, no. 686.

Additional Information for Researchers

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U. S. Code).
The user is cautioned that the publication of the contents of this microfilm may be construed as constituting a violation of literary property rights. These rights are derived from the principal of common law, affirmed in the 1976 copyright act, that the writer of an unpublished letter or other manuscript has the sole right to publish the contents thereof for the duration of the copyright. Unless he or she affirmatively parts with that right, the right descends to his or her legal heirs regardless of the ownership of the physical manuscript itself. It is the responsibility of an author or his or her publisher to secure permission of the owner of literary rights in unpublished writing.

Preferred Citation

Citations referring to this collection should include the George M. Hoover Account Book, Kansas State Historical Society microfilm roll MS 18.

Prepared for microfilming by

Robert A. McInnes 1994.