Buffalo Bill Cody
William F. Cody picked-up what would become a world-famous name in the late 1860’s, when at the age of 20, he took on legendary status as “Buffalo Bill Cody”. As a buffalo hunter and scout, it was told that Cody had killed some 4,280 bison. And that was just one of many legends that Buffalo Bill Cody would build in Wyoming, during the Territory Days and well into the early Statehood years.
William H. Cody was born in Iowa, in 1846. But orphaned as a youth, Cody would grow up fast and take off on his first adventure very early. A thirteen-year old Pony Express rider, a teen who enlisted with the 7th Kansas Cavalry as a scout, a soldier during the Plains Indian Wars. Buffalo Bill’s exploits became the subjects of dime-store novels, he was an international star.
And then Buffalo Bill Cody got into show business. In 1883, now in his late 30’s, Buffalo Bill Cody created the Wild West Show. It was a Western extravaganza, that would feature sharpshooters and trick riders. There were Native American cast members, and all-around circus performers involved as well. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show would become a national phenomenon that gained world-wide attention.
William F. Cody would become very involved in the development of the Bighorn Basin, and it was in northwestern Wyoming where he would make his home and help to build the town that bears his name. Cody, Wyoming, is one of many places in the Cowboy State that bears Buffalo Bill’s name.
William F. Cody would die in Denver, Colorado, while visiting his sister, at age 70, in 1916. Buffalo Bill Cody was for many years, one of the most recognized figures in America. And the impact that Buffalo Bill had on a young Wyoming was, of course, both legendary and real.