What do you mean where Matthew lived? Do you mean Marshal Dillon?? He lived in his office. He slept there, and so did Chester.
Why is this black and white when it looks like it's from the Newly days. (Isn't that him in the back?) Those are the "color" Gunsmoke days! It's sort of like the Wizard of Oz, where Dodge City was once all black & white for the first 10 years or so, and then all of the sudden entered "the land of oz" and everything turned to color, and Miss Kitty's hair turned a brilliant red! :-)
I think I can answer that. Well, it's sort of a "made up" answer though. :-) Actually, I was watching an episode today on encore western, and Doc was talking to Kitty about how poor he was! He even proposed to Kitty (in fun of course) and mentioned about the fact that she'd have to support him on his lowly salary.
Now, of course, how true this is (in this fictional Gunsmoke series) I'm not so certain. For in this same episode Kitty even (jokingly) told Doc that he was the richest man in Dodge! Ha!
But, I still think Doc didn't have that much money compared to all the effort he put out, being the only Doctor in town. I mean, it seemed like he was always delivering someone's baby way out in the country in almost half of the episodes! :-) That buggy of his most had road logged so many miles! And most of his patients, as was said, paid him in eggs, or whatever they could afford, many even owing him. And some for some of them it was "on the house," or "pro bono."
And so my reasoning for him having to have an upstairs apartment for his office and residence is that it's actually all that he could afford! Or there wasn't anything available on the ground level.
Of course, when another doctor came to Dodge and set up residence, he had a ground floor place. In fact, the this same new doctor needed urgent care at the end of the episode. And I remember them even saying (maybe it was Doc) to move him into the new Doc's office (I forget his name) which was right there on ground level!
So, I admit, my theory isn't a very good one! But I'm still sticking with it! I think Doc Adams simply took an available place that was what was affordable at the time. And nothing else was available then. I suppose later if something else opened up he was already settled. And people knew where to go.
Personally, I sort of liked the idea, or "drama" of patients taking that walk up those stairs! i can'
t imagine Gunsmoke without them! I remember Doc or Festus (or whoever) looking out that window watching out. And even saying things, like after someone left, such as a patient (I forget who it was, maybe it was Louie), to someone else in the office, "I hope he doesn't fall down the stairs this time." And then, of course, you hear the noise of someone falling all the way down the stairs. lol
So, I think it adds to the drama. And how many times have we seen Matt walk up those stairs after being shot, barely making it to the top! Can't beat that!
Maybe that's it too! Doc is the type who doesn't want to be bothered by anyone unless it's really important, right? So that's the purpose of the stairs! it's to keep those away unless their problem is serious enough to come all the way up! ha!