Saturday, May 28, 2011
Colorado Chronicles: Buffalo Bill
William Frederick Cody was born February 26, 1846 near LeClaire in the Iowa Territory, destined to become one of the most famous men of the American Wild West era. The Cody family moved to Leavenworth, Kansas when William was seven years old. It was there that the tales of adventure about the cowboys of the day captured young William's heart and imagination. At age eleven when William's father, Isaac, died leaving the Cody clan in desperate straits "he took a job with a freight carrier as a "boy extra," riding up and down the length of a wagon train, delivering messages." (Wikipedia). Three years later, Cody was hit with gold fever and decided to set out to strike it rich. Somewhere along the way he met an agent of the famed Pony Express and the gold fever subsided rather quickly when William was hired by the Express. He built several Pony Express stations along the PE route and was rewarded with a job as a Pony Express Rider. After a stint as US Army Scout, Indian Fighter and buffalo hunter supplying meat to the Army and some other endeavors, Cody, now known as Buffalo Bill, began producing and performing in Wild West Shows all over the world. Though highly rewarding and popular shows, the performances didn't leave Buffalo Bill exactly a wealthy man as one would expect. Bad investments away from the Wild West Shows left Cody with little money to retire on, and though he was ready to call it a career, he kept on keeping on until his dieing day. In 1917, while visiting his sister in Denver, Buffalo Bill Cody died and was buried, per his last wishes, on Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado. His burial site is still a major tourist attraction for people passing along I-70, west of Denver. William Frederick Cody, truly an American original.