james dodson prescott arizona true west magazine
James Dodson

Prescott, Arizona—unlike so many other Old West towns—was pretty peaceful during the frontier period.  Much of the credit goes to James Dodson, who served as a deputy sheriff, city marshal or chief of police from 1877 thru 1890. He kept a lid on the wild boys who were taking in the city’s saloons and gambling houses.

His reputation probably helped. He was a childhood friend of Frank and Jesse James and rode with Quantrill’s Raiders in the Civil War.  James Dodson was a tough customer; people didn’t mess with him.

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