I suppose Buffalo Bill (William F. Cody) is the person who ties everyone in the title together, so I listed him first. I believe all of these people qualify for an entry in the Steampunk Real Life Role Models thread, or at least in the Western Steampunk group, but are also important enough as historical figures, on their own, to make me consider putting one, or more, of them in a blog post. Well, Annie Oakley, and/or Buffalo Bill, that is. I don't feel qualified to make a detailed entry about Sitting Bull (except as related to the first two individuals), and, aside from their connections with Annie Oakley, or Buffalo Bill's Wild West, there isn't a whole lot of information I can find about Frank Butler, and Lillian Smith. (I included et al since there are a few others who could fill out a comprehensive history of the rest of these folks in the context of Buffalo Bill's Wild West.)
I've read two biographies of Annie Oakley, one of William F. Cody, and a book describing his, and other Wild West "shows". (Cody himself never used the word 'show' in any of his presentations.) I've also seen several video documentaries, and read lots of online material about all this. This leaves me in a position, I believe, to distill it all down, and try to remove some of the prevailing misconceptions, as well as clear up some of the conflicting tales, that surround these people. (Of course, readers can always choose to believe what they like.)
So anyways, I'm leaning toward starting with Annie Oakley, but that still leaves me with the question of which area to post it in. Any preferences? For that matter, is anyone at all even reading this? And if so, perhaps someone else might want to tackle one of the other individuals, especially Sitting Bull?
Or, if you just want to enter any comments of your own about any of these people, please do so. I'm always interested to hear what others have discovered.
A bit of information about Lillian Smith, and some good images of her can be found here.
Reading this also brings up another sharpshooter, William Frank "Doc" Carver, who, like John Henry "Doc" Holliday, was trained, and sometimes practiced, as a dentist. Doc Carver was also known as "The Evil Spirit of the Plains", a name purportedly given to him by Spotted Tail, after Carver shot and killed a white buffalo.
Then there's John Baker "Texas Jack" Omohundro, who performed on stage with Buffalo Bill (and James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok), even before "The Wild West" was created. Not to mention Texas Jack's wife, Giuseppina Morlacchi, often billed as "The Peerless Morlacchi", who was known for introducing the can-can dance to the United States. (Texas Jack died at age 33 from pneumonia, and his wife retired from the stage soon after, and died of cancer six years later, in 1886.) There's a website devoted to Texas Jack here.
The 1870s were already filled with theatrical representations of the Wild West.