Buffalo Bill in North Platte

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody considered North Platte, Nebraska, his hometown. North Platte residents basked in Cody’s reflected glory during his lengthy career as a showman. From the Nebraska State Journal, November 12, 1893:

“North Platte people are proud of Buffalo Bill, proud of his world-wide reputation as a showman, proud of his ability to make money, and proud of the fact that Bill loves his home town and spends a great deal of his money here. His neighbors and friends delight to do him honor when he makes his appearance among them, and therefore when it became known that Cody would reach home Thursday night of this week preparations were at once made for a banquet at Lloyd’s opera house Friday night, where he could be warmly welcomed by his many friends. There is no other place in the city large enough to accommodate Cody’s North Platte friends and the opera house, which comfortably seats about fifteen hundred, was none too large last night . . . . Bill was there with his flowing hair, which is somewhat decorated with silvery threads, for age is beginning to tell on him. His tall form, graceful bow and hearty handshake attracted more attention than the food and flowers upon the table. He was happy to find his friends waiting for his coming, and the right royal welcome tendered him was gracefully received and duly appreciated.

“This honor to Cody by his home people is perfectly proper, for no man has done as much for North Platte as he, and if he carries out to completion the enterprise he has planned for improvements here the coming year, much of the money he has earned in Chicago with his Wild West show [at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893] will be used in building up and beautifying this portion of the state. He has just put about $15,000 in a beautiful residence and fine barn erected in the city this year and intends next spring to divide his large ranch property adjoining the city into eighty acre farms, build good improvements on each tract, procure good farmers and furnish them water for irrigating purposes. . . .

“The large two story tallyho coach Bill brought from Chicago with him attracted more attention on the streets today than would a herd of buffalo or a band of Sioux Indians. All citizens will now be treated to a tallyho ride, for Bill is always free with his favors and never stingy with anything.”


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