Title: Letter from William F. Cody to George T. Beck

Date: August 31, 1896

Author: Cody, William Frederick, 1846-1917

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Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders.
of the World.

Col. W. F. Cody. (Buffalo Bill), President.


Nate Salsbury. Vice-President & Manager.

John M. Burke. General Manager.
Albert E. Sheible, Business Manager.
Jule Keen, Treasurer.

My Dear Beck.

Your favor of 26th recd— In regard to closing down now As you say some of the directors have advised, I am sure would be a fearful mistake. I will never as far as I am concerned agree to it. I should think say that by your force should be increased to such proportions that it could be worked to advantage. As it is now there is two many bosses for the number of men employed. But that cant be helped. to close down now would be disasturous for all time to come. We must get water to the Town. [2] I am glad to hear that the bluff work is working easier then was expected. With your present force how long would it take you to finish Red bluff [3] and get through all rock work? And what would be the cost? Why not let Trego [4] for me do the rest to Town   2). I have said before wait for my pay until Bonds can be placed. You your place is right there— we are all working to place the Bonds. You can be of much more service there. Say George— What would it cost to Bridge the river [5] there at Town? I believe the best play you could make just now is to get up an excitement that we are going to bridge the river— And have a mail route established through to Red Lodge [6] west of Heart Mountain. [7] And you can make a ten strike by going over a route get Chapmans [8] and the people along the route to assist in fixing and laying out a road. Go to Red Lodge and call a meeting and get the Red Lodge people worked up to help build the road. Take the Chapmans to Red Lodge with you to help. It will create an excitement and help to win the County Seat. If a bridge can be built across river for a $1.000 I will agree to build it— And wait for my money if I can ever get it back. I wish you would give me some suggestions And your views. also wish you would write each member of our Co. You could do a great deal to give them encouragement and spur them up if you would write them fully and get them enthused. Now George   3) I wish you would jump in with all the energy and enthusiasm you can muster— and lift things Now is the dark time to show your strength. Put your engineer to work measuring distance accross river for bridge drive stakes put a team or to to grading. Make a bluff— let it be know over south that a shorter road is to be built through our Town to the R.R. it will hurt Otto [9] as much as anything else— I think this plan will help to get the seat. Let me know what you think of it. I will get a letter off to day to R. A. Maxwell— 4th assistant P.M. [10] urgeing him to rush the P.O. along— also urgeing money order office at our place— Let me know what it will cost to build the bridge. Dont fail to write every member of the Co at once— Now or never George— Dont weaken— but get an excitement started— Keep me posted I wish I could get away from this bloom

Show. I feel sure I could place those Bonds—

George— You and I started that enterprize. Lets carry it through. Give every member of Co three letters a day until you get them worked up—


Note 1: Buffalo Bill's Wild West performed in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, August 31, 1896. The day's entry in the 1896 Route Diary: "Sheboygan, Wis. / Monday, August 31. We had to borrow hose from the city in order to sprinkle the arena, it was so sandy, and at night all wagons had to be hook-roped off the lot. At 4 P. M. over two thousand people stood on the bluff to see our Indians go to bathing in the lake. We had for supper some of the fish that the "Fu-kort" Club caught yesterday. / Weather, clear and cool. / Business, in the afternoon big, fair at night. / Lot, So. Eighth and Tellingham streets." [back]

Note 2: The "Town" was officially named Cody, Wyoming, in August 1896. [back]

Note 3: "Bluff" or "Red bluff" is Red Bluffs, a formation to the south and west of Cody, Wyoming, that stands out among the mountainous formations due to its red color. [back]

Note 4: Charles Trego (1856-1925), a personal friend of Cody's and foreman for both Scout's Rest Ranch in North Platte, Nebraska, and the TE Ranch in Cody, Wyoming. [back]

Note 5: Shoshone River. [back]

Note 6: Red Lodge, Montana, lies 65 miles north of Cody and was the closest rail line to Cody, Wyoming. [back]

Note 7: Heart Mountain is an 8,123-foot limestone and dolomite mountain just north of Cody, Wyoming. [back]

Note 8: In 1879 John Chapman (1850-1933) trailed cattle from Oregon and established his ranch near the present-day location of Two Dot Ranch north of Cody. [back]

Note 9: Named for Otto Franc (1846-1903), a local cattle baron who ranched in the Big Horn Basin from the late 1870s until his death in 1903, the small, unincorporated community of Otto is located east of Cody and within a few miles of Burlington and Emblem, Wyoming. [back]

Note 10: Robert Alexander Maxwell (1838-1912) from Batavia, New York, was appointed Fourth Assistant U.S. Postmaster by President Grover Cleveland in 1893 and served until the end of March 1897. [back]

Title: Letter from William F. Cody to George T. Beck

Source: University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Buffalo Bill Letters to George T. Beck (Acc. #9972), ah031390-92

Date: August 31, 1896

Author: Cody, William Frederick, 1846-1917

Topic: Buffalo Bill's Wyoming

People: Beck, George Washington Thornton, 1856-1943 Maxwell, Robert Alexander, 1838-1912 Chapman, John Trego, Charles, 1856-1925 Franc, Otto, 1846-1903

Sponsor: Supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.

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