How dangerous was it to live in an American Wild West town?

Living in an American Wild West town was not as dangerous as you’d think.

As a matter of fact, the modern-day cliche of using the Wild West as a metaphor for the dangers of big cities does a grave disservice to the olden days.

Take wild, wild Dodge City. Its absolutely worst year for violence was 1878; the total number of shooting deaths that year was five.

Combine the shooting deaths for all of the cattle towns from 1870 to 1885, and you’ll get a total of 45.