Buffalo Bill Died 100 Years Ago: But Not In Cody, Wyoming
This week, since the death of Buffalo Bill, it's been one century (1/10/2017). His wishes to be buried on Lookout Mountain near Denver couldn't be fulfilled until the ground thawed, so his body sat embalmed in the basement of a Denver mortuary through spring 1917.
The Wyoming town after which Cody was named wasn't where he was buried. At 70, Buffalo Bill died with family and friends at his sister's house in Denver. One day before passing, he'd been baptized at the Denver Cathedral.
Tributes were made by President Woodrow Wilson, Kaiser Wilhelm II and King George V. His funeral service was held at the Denver Elks Lodge. Leading the procession was Wyoming governor, and his good friend, John B. Kendrick.
According to wikipedia, he left his burial arrangements to his wife. She said that he had always wanted to be buried on Lookout Mountain, which was corroborated by some family, though other family members joined the people of Cody, Wyoming, saying he should be in the town he founded.
A Denver Post story this week quoted Museum Director Steve Friesen, “When I speak with people who are visiting from Europe, they will often express surprise at how much more they know about Cody than Americans do.”
Now Americans may not be clear on Buffalo Bill’s impact on our country. In fact, after 100 years we may never be fully clear. We just know America needed heroes, and it’s never been in question that William Frederick Cody was one.
From those days we could compare Wyoming's love of the late Buffalo Bill with Wyoming’s love today for the late Chris Le Doux. We could, but we won't take it that far.