Dobytown

“Two miles west of Fort Kearney was the worst place on the entire overland route. A town had been laid out and christened ‘Kearney City. (It was called ‘Dobytown’ for short.) It was a place of perhaps half a dozen sod structures, just outside of the fort reservation limits at the west. The buildings were occupied almost exclusively by the worst kind of dives, and a number of the people were disreputable characters of both sexes. The soldiers quartered at the post who drank bought their whisky at “Dobytown,” and the large numbers of ox and mule drivers going across the plains seldom failed to stop there a few moments, to fill up on ‘tanglefoot,’ thus making it an immensely profitable business for those keeping such places. Freighters (the owners of the freight, especially) were always glad to get out of ‘Doby town’ and did so as soon as possible. There was a great amount of thieving done in the vicinity, and ox and mule drivers and those who had any money and who spent a night there, would be frequently drugged with the vilest liquor, robbed, and often rendered unable to go on westward with their trains the following morning. Hence, freighters would try to arrange their journey so they would never be obliged to camp in the vicinity of that disreputable place.”