The Last of the Wild West Cowgirls: A True Story

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Top 5 Old West Facts

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Kay Turnbaugh was born and raised in Colorado, and she now lives in the small mountain town of Nederland where for 27 years she published the town's weekly award-winning newspaper.

Legends of the Old West, #1

After retiring from the newspaper business, she researched and wrote The Last of the Wild West Cowgirls, a biography of Goldie Griffith who rode bucking broncos in Buffalo Bill's Wild West shows and ended up owning rest Kay Turnbaugh was born and raised in Colorado, and she now lives in the small mountain town of Nederland where for 27 years she published the town's weekly award-winning newspaper. After retiring from the newspaper business, she researched and wrote The Last of the Wild West Cowgirls, a biography of Goldie Griffith who rode bucking broncos in Buffalo Bill's Wild West shows and ended up owning restaurants in Nederland.

With co-author Alan Apt. Shooting competitions and displays of marksmanship were commonly a part of the program. Great feats of skill were shown off using rifles, shot guns, and revolvers. Most people in the show were all good marksmen but many were experts. Animals also did their share in the show through rodeo entertainment.

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In rodeo events, cowboys like Lee Martin would try to rope and ride broncos. Broncos are unbroken horses that tend to throw or buck their riders. Other wild animals they would attempt to ride or deal with were mules, buffalo, Texas steers, elk, deer, bears, and moose. The show also demonstrated hunts which were staged as they would have been on the frontier, and were accompanied by one of the few remaining buffalo herds in the worlds. Races were another form of entertainment employed in the Wild West show.

Many different races were held, including those between cowboys, Mexicans, and Indians, a yd foot race between Indian and Indian pony, a race between Sioux boys on bareback Indian ponies, races between Mexican thoroughbreds, and even a race between Lady Riders.

Over time, various Wild West shows were developed. The Esquivel Brothers from San Antonio.


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Wild West shows contained as many as 1, performers at one time cowboys, scouts, Indians, military, Mexicans, and men from other heritages , and a large number of many animals including buffalo and Texas Longhorns. Waterman and his Trained Buffalo, and Johnny Baker. Women were also a large part of Wild West shows and attracted many spectators. One such performer was Annie Oakley who first gained recognition as a sharpshooter when she defeated Frank Butler , a pro marksman at age 15, in a shooting exhibition. She became an attraction of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show for 16 years.

Calamity Jane was another distinguished woman performer. Calamity Jane was a notorious frontierswoman who was the subject of many wild stories- many of which she made up herself. In the show, she was a skilled horsewoman and expert rifle and revolver handler.

The Last of the Wild West Cowgirls - Kay Turnbaugh - Author

Calamity Jane appeared in Wild West shows until , when she was reportedly fired for drinking and fighting. Native Americans were also a part of Wild West shows. They also performed talented dances, such as the Sioux Ghost Dance. In reality the performance of the ghost dance meant that trouble was brewing and about to break out, but it wasn't portrayed as such in the show. During his time at the show, Sitting Bull was introduced to President Grover Cleveland , which he thought proved his importance as chief.

He was friends with Buffalo Bill and highly valued the horse that was given to him when he left the show. Western shows generated interest for Western entertainment. This is still evidenced in western films, modern rodeos, and circuses. The first real western, The Great Train Robbery was made in , and thousands followed after. Contemporary rodeos also still exist today, still employing the same events and skills as cowboys did in Wild West shows. Wild Westers still perform in movies, pow-wows, pageants and rodeos.

Famous Cowboys, Lawmen, Outlaws and Pioneers

There remains an interest in Native peoples through much of the United States and Europe in pow-wow culture of native people. November 27, — Died: Belle Starr The Bandit Queen. February 5, — Died: Big Jim Courtright Tim Isaiah. Bill Pickett The Bull Dogger. December 5, — Died: July 4, — Died: William Henry McCarty Aka: Henry Antrim, William H. November 23, — Died: October 31, — Died: June 17, — Died: May 13, — Died: January 31, — Died: October 29, — Died: February 26, — Died: April 30, — Died: April 13, — Died: May 1, — Died: Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.


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September 28, — Died: March 5, — Died: Marshal, Chief of Police, businessman, and pioneer of the Old West. August 18, — Died: Charley Parkhurst One-Eyed Charley. February 7, — Died: Deputy Marshal in Oklahoma; member of the Three Guardsmen crime fighers. December 25, — Died: May 10, — Died: September 2, — Died: January 15, — Died: September 26, — Died: August 5, — Died: August 14, — Died: January 11, — Died: July 2, — Died: June19, — Died: February 10, — Died: Ella Watson "Cattle Kate". May 3, — Died: September 15, — Died: October 26, — Died: December 16, — Died: January 10, — Died: June 27, — Died: October 2, — Died: March 30, — Died: January 3, — Died: January 6, — Died: November 7, — Died: September 5, — Died: March 17, — Died:

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