Chalkley Beeson

A Brief Biography of Chalkley Beeson


Chalkley McArtor Beeson

The following text was taken from Steve Beeson's book on the Beeson/Beason family - Family History Center microfilm #1035659, Item #9.

"Chalkey (sic) McArtor Beeson, seventh child of Samuel and Martha Beeson, was born at Salem, Ohio April 24, 1848. The family moved to Iowa. He left his home in Iowa when he was 19 years old and went to Denver, Colorado in 1868. He was a member of an orchestra there and when the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia visited the United States and desired to hunt buffalo, General Phil Sheridan and General George Custer went with him and his party to the west to hunt...Chalk was induced to go along with the hunting party as a guide...Chalk guided the party to the locality of Kit Carson where they sighted buffalo. They killed about 200 buffalo; and the Duke took some of the hides and meat back to Russia with him..."

Chalk and his wife, Ida Gause (m. 17 Jul 1876) "made their home a couple miles south of Dodge City where Chalk raised an abundance of alfalfa. He became wealthy in cattle business and various other enterprises..."

Chalkley organized the Dodge City Cow-Boy Band in 1878. "They entered a contest at the Topeka Fair. The judges said they were professionals and ruled them out. It is said that Chalk could play any musical instrument. this band played in the Benjamin Harrison Parade in Washington, D.C. March 4, 1889. Upon a time, Chalk owned the Saratoga Saloon and the Long Branch Saloon, and his band played in both. He served as sheriff for two terms, 1892-'96 and was twice elected to the State Legislature. Chalk died August 8, 1912. His wife, Ida, died June 15, 1928....

According to old newspapers in the library at Dodge City: "He was a quiet, almost noiseless, man of medium size." When a representative in the state leguslature (sic), he worked quietly among his collegues and got cooperation instead of making loud speeches. As sheriff, he believed in stopping trouble before it started, yet "he always got his man". He came to dodge City when every man carried a gun, and the fittest survived. Beeson survived. But he is not fierce. He has not shot a man in several days" (yes, it actually says that!)

"From the Kansas City Star: "Finally it occurred to some that perhaps guntoters should be drived off the streets and let the business of the town proceed. It was for this purpose that men like Bat Masterson, Bill Hickok and Chalk Beeson were called in. One may now walk the streets of Dodge City and Abilene, and by exercising reasonable control of his mouth, may get back to the hotel without being carried on a screen door."

The Long Branch Saloon, Dodge City, Kansas

Owned by Chalkley M. Beeson from 1878 to 1883

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