Scott County, Iowa

  William Fredrick Cody, or Buffalo Bill Cody, was born on February 26th, 1846. His father was Isaac Cody and his mother was Mary Bonsell Laylock. He was born in Scott County, Iowa, but soon moved to Ontario,Canada, Isaac's home town. After that, they moved to the Kansas territory, where Cody's career started.

Cody at age 19

  After his father's death in April, 1857, Cody set off to find gold in the California Gold Rush. Along the way, he joined the Pony Express, fitting the description 'skinny, expert riders willing to risk death daily'.

Fort Laramie

After the Pony Express,  Cody wanted to serve as a soldier, but was rejected because of his young age. He began working on a US caravan that delivered supplies to a fort near present-day Wyoming. He continued working until discharged in 1865.

Cody and Family

  A year later, in 1866, Cody married Louisa Frederici and had 4 children, two of which died young while the family lived in Rochester, New York.

Soldiers in the Civil War

    Later, he tried again for the army and served in the U.S. Civil War as an army scout. When the war ended, he started hunting buffalo for men working on the railroad.

  Cody had a competition with William Comstock. Whoever hunted more buffalo in eight hours would gain the nickname Buffalo Bill. Cody shot 68 buffalo in eight hours! He beat Comstock and was deemed the name Buffalo Bill.

General George Custer

    Soon, Cody was called to the army after General Custer's defeat at the Battle of Little-Big Horn. He served from 1868-1872.

The first play he starred in was called 'The Scouts of the Plains'. Cody didn't like acting much, but loved entertaining, so he started his world-famous show in Omaha, Nebraska; Buffalo Bill's Wild West. The show included a buffalo hunt, a Native American attack, war re-enactments,and Annie Oakly on it's later years.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West ended in 1913 because it went bankrupt and more people were attracted to films and motion pictures. William F. Cody died four years later in 1917 from kidney failure. He was important to Nebraska because he started his show there and he helped create it's image as the 'Wild West', as well as many states west of it.

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