Thursday, July 23, 2015

Buffalo Bill Cody in Cedar Falls IA in 1912

Greetings from Buffalo Bill
In an earlier post on William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, we shared the story of his only visit to Cedar Falls IA, in 1912, as recalled by Stella Robinson Wynegar. Below is a different account by her son.

Claud R. Wynegar, The Century and I: Memories of Cedar Falls and Beyond. Pacific Palisades CA: Seamount Publications, 1999, p. 51—

I do not remember the year [it was 1912], but I was a small boy when the Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill Circus came to town. They put up their tents out West First Street in Mularkey's pasture [sic, Mullarky's pasture, now called Riverview Park, at Ellen Street and South Park Road]. It was in the summer. I was alone and I got to the grounds early. I had a seat in the open air tent to watch the "battles" between the white men and the Indians, and a lot of fancy riding and roping of horses.

Buffalo Bill was on a horse with a shotgun. Someone ahead of him would throw a glass ball into the air and he would shoot at it and break it into small pieces. There was number of tents. I looked into all of them. It was a show a bit difficult to describe. There were a few wild bison, quite a few cowboys, Indians in native costumes, a few concessions where souvenirs were sold and food stands. It was the first circus I ever saw.

Later in the afternoon my mother drove out in our buggy to get me. While looking for me she met Buffalo Bill and had a nice visit with him. No doubt that was the beginning of my interest in the American West, and it has always stayed with me. I own some Remington bronzes, some western pictures and books about the people who were part of that era.