Women of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show
“What we want to do is give our women even more liberty than they have. Let them do any kind of work that they see fit, and if they do it as well as men, give them the same pay.”
William F. Cody-1899
With rough-riding cowboys, sure shots, and fantastic reenactments of battles and train robberies, Buffalo Bill Cody brought the myth of the Old West to life for audiences all over the world. His Wild West Show was wildly popular – and some of the most popular cowboys in it were girls. Buffalo Gals tells the stories and celebrates the achievements of these thrill-seeking women, through historic photos, stunning, authentic publicity posters, and the meticulous research of western history writer Chris Enss.
Cody’s cast of wild women captivated audiences – whether they were riding bulls, breaking bucking broncos, roping steers, doing bareback tricks, or out-shooting all comers. The Wild West show made celebrities of women the likes of bronco rider Lillian Smith, dancer-actress Guiseppina Morlacchi, and sharpshooter Annie Oakley, endearing them not only to the audience but to Buffalo Bill as well. He praised the trick sidesaddle riding skills of Della Ferrell and Georgia Duffy and marveled at rider Lulu Parr’s ability to stay on a bucking bronco until it was broken. Altogether, these gals were an unforgettably spunky cast of characters who saddled up and rustled their dreams.