Fritz Snitzler's Saloon

Old Cowtown Museum Tour

Fritz Snitzler's Saloon

Wichita, Kansas 67203, United States

Created By: Old Cowtown Museum


The Fritz Snitzler Saloon, located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum, represents an important economic and social establishment of the cattle trade industry in the1870s Wichita.

In 1872 Wichita had fourteen saloons. In this era a saloon could be everything from a family restaurant to drinking and gambling establishment. Many of the town residents disapproved drinking and gambling saloons. A growing temperance movement in the late 1870s supported by the 1st Presbyterian Church continued to put pressure on the city government to regulate such businesses.

The city government recognized the saloon contribution to the city economy and saw to it that the "evils" were properly licensed and taxed– thereby profiting from the cattle trade as well.

By 1876 Fritz Snitzler, who simplified the spelling of his name from Schnitzler to "Snitzler," had established a large complex that included a hotel with restaurant, a meat market and a saloon. He also fostered Fechheimers clothing and a cigar store. He lodged his customers' livestock in a large stable out back. The Wichita Weekly Beacon referred to the area as "Snitzville" and often acclaimed the jovial host as a man who spared no expense to provide the best food, drink and cigars at any hour of the day or night. (see photo)

Wichita City Directory, 1877​

FRITZ SNITZLER is the proprietor of a Restaurant at Wichita.... Everybody knows Fritz, and who ever visited Wichita know him. Mr. Snitzler will pull down over two hundred pounds avoirdupois, and is fully as liberal and jolly as he is heavy.... Fritz knows how to run a Restaurant, and never allows his guests to go away dissatisfied. When you go to Wichita take your dinner there.

The building was built in 1885 and is representative of false-front, wood-frame structures of the mid-19th century. It originally functioned as the Rockford Township Hall and was moved to the Museum in 1966.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Old Cowtown Museum Tour


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