Buffalo Bill Cody

A story of the real west from the last best west

buffalo bill code history

Buffalo Bill Cody

Buffalo Bill Cody’s show business career began at the age of 26, on December 17, 1872 in Chicago. Ned Buntline (The man that immortalized Cody, Hickock, and scores of other Wild West personalities in his dime novels) had written a play called “The Scouts of the Prairie“.

Buffalo Bill Cody appeared in it, as did Buntline, and another well-known scout – Texas Jack Omohundro.

Reviews of Cody’s acting was mixed but he had a easy-going charm which the audience loved and Buffalo Bill was a natural as a showman.

“Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” used real cow-boys and cow-girls, recruited from ranches in the West. When the show first started few people shared Cody’s admiration of the cow-boys.

The public regarded them as coarse cattle drivers and used the term “cow-boy” as an insult. Because of Buffalo Bill , by the end of the 19th century, the cow-boy became the much more popular “cowboy.”

Bill’s Wild West shows demonstrated bronco riding, roping, and other skills that later cowboy’s would compete against each other at rodeos, for prize money totaling as much as a million dollars.


Old West Character Hat

Longfellow posing with Spokane Cody at the End of Trails festival in Cody Wyoming, 2006

The real wild west started in about 1866 after the American Civil War and co-coincided with the begin of the big Texas cattle drives.

The raw western frontier with Cowboys, and Gamblers, Shootist’s and Marshal’s, Buffalo and Indians; barely lasted fifty years.

Yet the legend continues to grow; Cowboy Hats and Boots are part of the World’s wardrobe, and the western mystic is embraced by million’s of enthusiasts around the globe.

All of this could not have happened without Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, and the man who started Cody off on his career as an entertainer – Ned Buntline and his dime novels of the majestic and mysterious west.

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