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SPOTLIGHT
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Of Buffalo Bill

Published on -5/13/2012, 8:52 AM

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The city of Oakley and Logan County are seeking to rewrite history by claiming that Buffalo Bill Cody was a resident of Logan County.

That is not the case. Buffalo Bill Cody, if anything, was a resident of the city of Hays and started Rome just west of Big Creek in Ellis County while he was chief scout for Fort Hays during the Indian Wars. He also was engaged by the Union Pacific Railroad to furnish buffalo meat for the railroad workers and during the course of that employment killed 4,280 buffalo.

While Bill Cornstock was a scout at Fort Wallace and among other things also supplied meat on a limited basis to the railroad at Wallace, Kansas. He also claimed the name of Wild Bill Cornstock, and it became disputed as to who was to claim the name "Buffalo Bill." It was arranged to meet near Sheridan, about 15 miles west of Oakley, Cody to come from Hays and Cornstock to come from Fort Wallace to that area.

In all, they were only present at that location a little more than 2 to 3 days during which time Buffalo Bill Cody killed 69 buffalo and Bill Cornstock killed 48 -- hence Buffalo Bill Cody was given the right to claim the name "Buffalo Bill." After Buffalo Bill Cody's stint at Fort Hays as a scout for the mounted cavalry, he moved on to Colorado and Wyoming. While at Hays, he became famous for the 350-mile ride that he made in 60 hours from Hays to Dodge and back to Fort Larned. This was all subsequent to the contest of Sheridan.

The reason Sheridan was designated as a site for the contest between the two of them was because that was the end of the railroad at the time and all of the people from the East, including newspapermen from as far away as St. Louis traveled by train to that site to observe the contest between the two men.

In an attempt by the city of Oakley or Logan County to create the impression that Buffalo Bill Cody was a resident of Logan County is wrong, and the impression should not be left that was his main base of operation. If anything, the right to claim that in Kansas would be the city of Hays, Fort Hays and Rome, the town he started west of Big Creek, which had only a short life because of an outbreak of cholera which wiped out the town.

Buffalo Bill Cody is buried on Look Out Mountain near Denver because of his choice of the site as being where he wanted to be buried.

He spent his last days in Cody, Wyo., running a hotel after he had conducted Wild West shows all over the world.

Thomas C. Boone

Hays

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