Buffalo Bill Cody
by Dawn Graves
“Buffalo” Bill Cody, famed scout, buffalo hunter and showman in the Old West, was said by some to have been the biggest celebrity of anyone else at the turn of the 20th century.
He founded and performed in Buffalo Bill's Wild West, a show with cowboy themes and reenactments from the Indian Wars and other events from the frontier.
It was extremely popular, and toured throughout the United States, Great Britain and continental Europe.
“Buffalo” Bill visited Sidney often during his life. In 1877, he met with Frank North in Sidney, when it was a wild, exciting place. North, a well-respected leader of Pawnee scouts, served at Fort Sidney for a time.
“Buffalo” Bill was also said to have attended church at the Christ Episcopal Church in Sidney, built in 1886 to serve soldiers of the fort. Apparently, he even carved his name into one of the pews during a service – which was sanded out and stained many years later by a parishioner who didn't appreciate the graffiti.
Both “Wild Bill” Hickok and Calamity Jane, two more visitors of Sidney, were employed as performers in “Buffalo” Bill's show for a time.