“I helped Lettie wash this forenoon. Helped Will Homes clean up wheat this afternoon.”
William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917) was a United States soldier, bison hunter and showman. He was born in the Iowa Territory (now the U.S. state of Iowa), in LeClaire but lived several years in Canada before his family moved to the Kansas Territory. Buffalo Bill received the Medal of Honor in 1872 for service to the US Army as a scout. One of the most colorful figures of the American Old West, Buffalo Bill became famous for the shows he organized with cowboy themes, which he toured in Great Britain and Europe as well as the United States
In 1883, in the area of North Platte, Nebraska, Cody founded "Buffalo Bill's Wild West", a circus-like attraction that toured annually. (Despite popular misconception, the word "show" was not a part of the title.) With his show, Cody traveled throughout the United States and Europe and made many contacts. He stayed, for instance, in Garden City, Kansas, in the presidential suite of the former Windsor Hotel. He was befriended by the mayor and state representative, a frontier scout, rancher, and hunter named Charles "Buffalo" Jones.
In 1893 Cody changed the title to "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World". The show began with a parade on horseback, with participants from horse-culture groups that included US and other military, American Indians, and performers from all over the world in their best attire. Turks, Gauchos, Arabs, Mongols and Georgians, displayed their distinctive horses and colorful costumes. Visitors would see main events, feats of skill, staged races, and sideshows. Many historical western figures participated in the show. For example, Sitting Bull appeared with a band of 20 of his braves.
Cody died of kidney failure on January 10, 1917, surrounded by family and friends at his sister's house in Denver. He received a full masonic funeral. Upon the news of Cody's death, tributes were made by King George V of the United Kingdom, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Imperial Germany, and President Woodrow Wilson. At his death, Cody's once great fortune had dwindled to less than $100,000. He left his burial arrangements up to his wife Louisa. She said that he had always said he wanted to be buried on Lookout Mountain, which was corroborated by their daughter Irma, Cody's sisters, and family friends. On June 3, 1917, Cody was buried on Colorado's Lookout Mountain in Golden,west of the city of Denver, on the edge of the Rocky Mountains, overlooking the Great Plains.
Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill, Montreal, QC, 1885