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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

William “Buffalo Bill” Cody

William “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846-1917) earned his nickname after being employed in 1867-8 to feed workers building the railways. He personally shot 4,280 bison in seventeen months.

Cody was employed as a scout for a time by the United States Army. In January 1872, Cody was a scout for Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich, the fourth son of Alexander II of Russia, during his highly publicized royal hunt.

Cody was active in the concordant bodies of Freemasonry, being initiated in Platte Valley Lodge No. 32, North Platte, Nebraska, on March 5, 1870. He received his 32nd degree in Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in 1894.

Cody founded Buffalo Bill's Wild West in 1883 in the area of North Platte, Nebraska. It was a circus-like attraction that toured annually with real cowboys and Indians.

In 1884 Oakley approached Buffalo Bill Cody about joining his touring company, and the following year she began to appear as a performer in the Wild West Show. She was an immediate hit, and before long the posters for the show prominently featured her.

Cody took the show to Great Britain in celebration of the Jubilee year of Queen Victoria opening in London on May 9, 1887. Her Royal Highness attended a performance and wrote in her diary afterwards that it was "most exciting."

On October 29, 1901 outside Lexington, North Carolina, a freight train crashed into part of the train carrying Buffalo Bill's show. 110 horses were killed by the accident or were put down later. No people were killed but Annie Oakley's injuries were so severe she was told she would never walk again, though she eventually did.

Cody died of kidney failure on January 10, 1917 at the age of 70, surrounded by family and friends at his sister's house in Denver.

Some 25,000 viewed the body, and the Colorado National Guard marched in the funeral procession.

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