Early Settler of Dodge City – Maple Grove Cemetery. Dodge City, Ford, Kansas
Robert Marr “Bob” Wright was a prominent resident of Dodge City. His namesakes are the town of Wright and Wright Park.
Robert was born in Prince George’s County, Maryland on September 2, 1840. He left home at the age of 16 and headed west. He worked at a farm for three years in St. Louis, Missouri. During that time, he met and married Alice Armstrong (b. 1856) on November 8, 1859. The family was blessed with seven children.
For eight years Bob worked for Barlow Sanderson Stage Company as a contractor and overseer of their interests along the Santa Fe Trail. He made many trips to Denver. In 1866, the family settled along the Cimarron Crossing where his job was to provide hay and wood to Fort Dodge.
For a time, Bob was the operator of the Sutler Store located at Fort Dodge. When the movement was made to establish Dodge City, Bob was elected president of the Town Company.
He built a two-story store building at the corner Front and Bridge Streets (now 2nd and Wyatt Earp just east of the longhorn statue). He bought and sold buffalo hides, and whatever supplies a cowboy, trail driver, stockmen or farmer would need. It is estimated the store brought in $75,000 per year.
Alice passed away on Christmas Day 1892 from heart disease. She is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1907, Bob married Sallie Ivens. A son was born to them. Sally died in 1966 and is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Dodge City.
Throughout his life, Bob was a merchant, post trader, stockman, farmer, postmaster, contractor, county treasurer, mayor, forestry commissioner, and legislator from Ford County. He also wrote a book titled Dodge City, The Cowboy Capital.
Robert “Bob” Wright died of pneumonia on January 4, 1915. He is buried alongside his second wife at Maple Grove Cemetery.