Every hear about a Buffalo Bill oil company? William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s legacy extends beyond his popular wild west show. A Wyoming town and museum named for him preserve his Big Horn Basin heritage. Lesser known is his brief exploration into the oil business.
In his day, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show made William F. Cody the world’s most famous man. His fantastic travelling presentations of wild Indian attacks on wagon trains, amazing marksmanship by Annie Oakley, and a host of other attractions thrilled audiences across America and Europe.
Buffalo Bill Cody was a tireless promoter of the frontier town he helped found in 1896 that bears his name. A Cody, Wyoming, newspaper he and a partner started in 1899 is still publishing today. The Cody Enterprise acknowledges W.F. Buffalo Bill Cody on its masthead.
As a partner in the Shoshone Land and Irrigation Company, he enticed the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad to build an extension from Toluca, Montana, to Cody to ensure future growth and prosperity in the Big Horn Basin of north-central Wyoming.
Always a businessman, Buffalo Bill had earlier formed the W.F. Cody Hotel Company when the railroad reached Sheridan, about 150 miles east of Cody, in 1892. He will open the Irma Hotel (named after his daughter) in Cody in 1902. Historian Robert Bonner notes that the veteran showman promoted his enterprises endlessly with anyone who would listen.
“He saw great possibilities in every direction, and he had an unquestioned faith in his personal ability to achieve whatever he set out to do,” writes Bonner in William F. Cody’s Wyoming Empire: The Buffalo Bill Nobody Knows. “He was always willing to back up his words with his money.” Read the rest of this entry »