It seems to be a relatively easy task to get a street named after you these days but to have an entire town named for you is a bit of a big deal. Cody, Wyoming was founded by its favourite son- Buffalo Bill Cody. William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody was an American scout, bison hunter, and showman. He was born in Iowa but he lived for several years in his father's hometown in Canada (so we have some claim on him). Back in the U.S., he started working at the age of eleven, after his father's death, and became a rider for the Pony Express at age 14 (Leila E. is 14 and I think she just skis and hangs around on the boat??). During the American Civil War, he served the Union from 1863 to the end of the war in 1865. Later he served as a civilian scout for the US Army during the Indian Wars (serving occasionally with Custer). He received the Medal of Honor in 1872.
Cody received the nickname "Buffalo Bill" after the American Civil War, when he had a contract to supply Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with buffalo meat. Cody is purported to have killed 4,282 American bison (more commonly known as buffalo) in eighteen months in 1867 and 1868. Cody and another hunter, William Comstock, competed in an eight-hour buffalo-shooting match over the exclusive right to use the name, which Cody won by killing 68 bison to Comstock's 48. In later life Buffalo Bill soured greatly on the buffalo hunt which had, by that time, turned into a wholesale slaughter.
In 1869, Cody met a writer who published a story based on Cody's adventures (largely invented by the writer) in a weekly magazine and later published a highly successful novel, Buffalo Bill, King of the Bordermen. Many other sequels followed which made Buffalo Bill one of the most famous Americans alive. He capitalized on that and became even more famous for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, a touring show, which traveled around the United States, Great Britain and Europe- audiences of the day were enthusiastic about seeing a piece of the American West. Performers re-enacted the riding of the Pony Express, Indian attacks on wagon trains, and stagecoach robberies. The finale was typically a portrayal of an Indian attack on a settler's cabin. Cody would ride in with an entourage of cowboys to defend a settler and his family.
As a living legend, he largely created the town that now bears his name. Anticipating the draw that nearby Yellowstone would become he built the Irma Hotel (named after his daughter) which still sits at the centre of the city. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is one of the best western themed museums that we have seen.
I'm assuming that the primary industry in Cody is taxidermy because every hotel, museum, and restaurant seemed to subscribe to a stuffed animal, or mounted animal head decor. DH (where 'DH' stands for Don't Hunt) is particularly sensitive to trophy hunting so when the lobby of our first hotel seemed to be an eerie death scene composed of stuffed and posed animals (including a number of non-Wyoming residents like polar bears), we knew we had to move. We went directly to Buffalo Bills historic Irma Hotel which had nothing but photos hanging in the lobby- after collecting our keys we found that, unfortunately there were animal trophy heads on display just about everywhere else. DH ended up with a number of colourful dreams which seemed to involve me being devoured by vengeful animals (she called them dreams but I'm sure she meant nightmares).
Uncle Mel & Lu-Anne Do they put lights on it at Christmas?
Elaine & Doug The wholesale slaughter of the bison/buffalo in the past and the present-day mass killings of the elephant and other species certainly gives the impression that mankind won't be satisfied until they are living only with the rats, cockroaches and other creatures too difficult to eradicate completely.
Elaine & Doug If we had spent years of time and effort erecting something for our glorification, and which resulted in this goofy-looking disaster, we'd probably be inclined to take a swan dive off a balcony ourselves.