Member: National Bit, Spur & Saddle Collector's Association and Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America
Item #BB100 / $1,700.
Framed Original 1916 Felt 'Buffalo Bill' and 101 Ranch Pennant
Buffalo Bill (William F. Cody) started a Wild West Exhibition in 1883 with Doc Carver under the name "Rocky Mountain and Prairie Exhibition". The partners argued and split up, and in 1884 Buffalo Bill teamed up with Messrs. Salsbury and Bogardus to put the expedition on the road under the name "Buffalo Bill's Wild West". The first newspaper ad referenced for the reactivated Wild West is from the part of that 1884 first season before Bogardus left the show. The name of the newspaper or exact date in unknown.
In 1909 Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill joined their two shows under the name "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Far East", and in 1910 Buffalo Bill's "Farewell Proclamation" appeared in these ads. An ad in the Stockton Evening Mail of October 8, 1910 states that "Buffalo Bill Positively Bids You Good-By". This was followed by similar ads for several years, but he did not actually act out that "Last Good-By" until the show was broke and attached for Sheriff's Sale in July, 1913.
During 1914 and 1915 Buffalo Bill traveled with the Sells Floto Circus, which advertised in the Stockton Daily Evening Herald on May 4, 1914 as "Sells Floto Circus & Buffalo Bill Himself", in which "Col. W. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) Appears in Parade and Performance." In 1916, the year before his death, he appeared with the Miller Bros. 101 Ranch Shows. The Boston Evening Transcript of June 10, 1916 advertises this show as "Miller and Arlington Wild West Show Co. -- Buffalo Bill (Himself.)" The 'PEPARDNESS' that is mentioned is for a military pageant that is advertised in the poster above.
This wonderfully preserved piece of Wild West history bears the words "BUFFALO BILL and 101 RANCH in PREPARDNESS" with a side view of Buffalo Bill in buckskin and his signature cowboy hat. Under the picture is the word 'HIMSELF'.
William Frederick Cody (1846-1917)
William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody was born just west of the Mississippi River near LeClaire, Iowa on February 26, 1846. At the age of 12, he worked for a wagon train going to Fort Laramie; one year later he participated in the gold rush to Colorado; at age 15, he rode for the Pony Express. By the end of his life, Buffalo Bill had come to symbolize the American frontier itself.
Cody served as a scout for the Union's 7th Kansas Cavalry during the last years of the Civil War. On March 6, 1866, Will married Louisa Frederici (1843-1921) in St. Louis. They had four children: Arta Lucille (1866-1904), Kit Carson (1870-1876), Orra Maude (1872-1883) and Irma Louise (1883-1918). In 1867, Cody began hunting buffalo for Kansas Pacific work crews, earning his moniker "Buffalo Bill" and his reputation as an expert shot. The next year, Cody was employed by the U.S. Army as a civilian scout and guide for the Fifth Cavalry. His experience and skills as a plainsman made him an invaluable tracker and fighter. In 1872, Cody became one of only four civilian scouts to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars for valor in action.
During the height of the Plains Indians resistance to white settlement, Cody returned to the prairies in the summer to scout for the Fifth Army. On July 17, 1876, just three weeks after Custer and the Seventh Cavalry were defeated at Little Big Horn, Cody's regiment intercepted a band of Cheyenne warriors. When Buffalo Bill, in his stage clothing, killed and scalped a Cheyenne warrior named Yellow Hair (often mis-translated as "Yellow Hand"), he reportedly cried out "First scalp for Custer!" Buffalo Bill the frontiersman had proven that Buffalo Bill the character was no mere actor.
In 1883, Cody created what would become Buffalo Bill's Wild West, a vehicle that propelled him to fortune and worldwide fame. The Wild West would run - in one form or another- for 30 years, charming crowds throughout the United States and Europe. In Europe, Cody was called "Nature's Nobleman" because he was someone who had grown up on the frontier yet represented all of those best aspects of civilization.
Despite his characterization as a figure from the past, Buffalo Bill always looked to the future. As a businessman, he invested in projects that he hoped might bring economic growth to the West. With his earnings he invested in an Arizona mine, hotels in Sheridan and Cody, Wyoming, stock breeding, ranching, coal and oil development, film making, town building, tourism, and publishing. In 1899, he established his own newspaper, the Cody Enterprise, which is still the main source of information for the town of Cody today. Taking advantage of his celebrity status, Cody was an early advocate of women's suffrage and the just treatment of American Indians.
By the turn of the 20th century, William F. Cody was probably the most famous American in the world. No one symbolized the West for Americans and Europeans better than Buffalo Bill. He was consulted on Western matters by every American president from Ulysses S. Grant to Woodrow Wilson. He counted among his friends such artists and writers as Frederic Remington and Mark Twain. He was honored by royalty, praised by military leaders, and feted by business tycoons. Cody was America's ideal man: a courtly, chivalrous, self-made fellow who could shoot a gun and charm a crowd. Yet as Annie Oakley put it - he was the simplest of men, as comfortable with cowboys as with kings.
(Biographical information courtesy of the Buffalo Bill Historical Society)
1916 Buffalo Bill Cody and the 101 Ranch Pennant / Item #BB100 / $1,700.
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