Buffalo Bill Cody

Gift of Franklin L. Farnsworth

What can a railroad jack tell us? (A railroad jack is a tool used to change out tires) Well, for the story of Buffalo Bill Cody it depicts a time period that we don’t know as much about compared to his later years. That’s according to Jeremy Johnston, the curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum.

Buffalo Bill Center of The West. P.6.266

Cody is named after William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, but what not many know is that this was a strategic choice. George Beck, a Wyoming politician and entrepreneur, was the first one to pitch the idea of building a canal in the Bighorn Basin, specifically around present-day Cody region.

“He [Beck] learned that Cody was coming to town and they decided to recruit Buffalo Bill because Buffalo Bill would be the greatest promoter for any project or investment here in the Bighorn Basin,” said Jeremy Johnston, the curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum. 

Kamila Kudelska

Buffalo Bill Cody’s two-story childhood home stands in the courtyard of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. It’s the largest object in the Center’s collection.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

William F. Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill, died in Denver, Colorado on January 10, 1917.  One hundred years later, his name adorns a 300,000 square foot museum complex in Cody, Wyoming: The Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

That complex holds a Buffalo Bill Museum, but it also houses a research library and four other Museums, featuring Western Art, Plains Indians, guns, and the wildlife and wild places of the Yellowstone area. What else did the world famous showman leave behind?

Micah Schweizer

In this installment of Wyoming Stories, Stephanie Reutner interviews her neighbor Noel Richardson, both residents of Jelm. Richardson worked for the Forest Service in 1957, spraying trees against beetle kill around Cody and Yellowstone. He remembers a chef that cooked for the camp.

The chef, named Phonograph Jones, was in his 80s then and had also cooked for Buffalo Bill Cody and Prince Albert I on his trip to Wyoming 100 years ago. His great great grandson, Prince Albert II, is in Wyoming this week.