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Buffalo Bill's Start

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An old Nebraskan was speakiiig of Buffalo Bill recently, and incidentally he told how ho carne to engage in the show business. "Cody -was for years a government scout on the western plains, " said the Nebraska man, "and it was when he condncted the buffalo exterminating expedition for the entertainment of the Grand Duke Alexis in 1870 - Ithink it was - that he got nis name. ' Cody at that time distinguished himself by the nnmber of buffaloes he killed, and thereby earned his cognomen, which was given him by the duke. While he was well known as a scont, he would probably have never been widely known as a ehowman except for an accident. "It was in 1881 that the people of North Platte, Neb., uear wbich town was Cody 's ranch, decided to celébrate the Fourth of July, and at the suggestion of John Kieth, who is a wealthy ranchman at Sutherland and North Platte and formerly claim adjuster of the Union Pacific, they selected a wild west show. Cody was ono of the men most prominently interested in the scheme, and to him was left the work of securiug the cowboys and Indians to help out the show. In North Platte at ■the time was an old stagecoach owned by Jim Stephenson of Omaha, who was the proprietor of the Deadwood-Sidney and other western etage lines. At the euggestion of Cody the Indians were to attack the coach and be repulsed by the cowboys and soldiers. "That Fourth was the hottest celebration of American independence ever seen iu Nebraska. The Omaha papers had men to cover it, and it attracted a crowd from all parts of the west. The programme which Oody and Kieth arranged included riding wild horses, shooting, rope throwingand all the other anmsements and business proceedings of a western man. "It was a few days after the entertainment, if such it may be called, that Matt Kieth, no relation of John, but an old time western man, told Cody that it was a big thing and ought to be repeated every Fourth of July. Cody at once said that it was something new in American entertainments, and he believed that by taking the aggregation east he oould niake money. The matter was discussed in North Platte, and finally Cody said that he would advance the money and start crat. He did so, and his success is well known. "When he flrst started, he had but a small show, but he has added to it. He got with hirn Major Burke, Sherm Oanfield, Bill McCune, and last, but by no means least, Nate Salisbury. There was a quartet that cannot be beat, and with Cody boomed the business. Bill has made and spent a dozen fortunes and is today making money like a cranberry merchant. "■


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News