Western Essays

Western History Essays

These western essays, written by western historian Paul Fees, Senior Curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum from 1981 – 2001, would fit in nicely with studies of the American West, in reality and in drama. They would be appropriate for sixth grade and above.

The essay on William Frederick Cody is a brief, but historically accurate, biography of “Buffalo Bill.”

Wild West Shows describes not only Buffalo Bill’s Wild West but also other Wild West shows of that era.

Annie Oakley is a sketch of the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley, who joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in 1885.


William Frederick Cody

1.69.6132By Paul Fees, Former Curator, Buffalo Bill Museum

William Frederick Cody (1846 – 1917), the boy who would become Buffalo Bill, was born in a log cabin near LeClaire, Iowa Territory, on February 26, 1846. His father, Isaac, worked variously as…


Wild West shows

1.69.2034By Paul Fees, Former Curator, Buffalo Bill Museum

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody opened Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show on May 19, 1883 at Omaha, Nebraska. His partner that first season was a dentist and exhibition shooter…


Annie Oakley

P.71.363.1By Paul Fees, Former Curator,  Buffalo Bill Museum

Annie Oakley was one of the most admired women of her era. She was small, pretty, and gentle. She was also one of the best shots of all time with rifle and pistol…