buffalo bill historic photo on horseback william buffalo bill cody

Follow In The Footsteps: William "Buffalo Bill" Cody

Mar 22,2022read

Follow in the footsteps of the legendary William "Buffalo Bill" Cody by visiting places key from his life, including the town her founded in Wyoming and his grave site!

The name "Buffalo Bill" has become one of the most famous names associated with the Wild American West, but who really was Buffalo Bill, and how can you follow in his footsteps to learn more about this American legend?

Buffalo Bill really was the first international "superstar". He was a showman, and he was also an avid buffalo hunter. He introduced millions of people around the world to the American West, and it was his influence that inspired many to visit for themselves. 

Every journey really should start at the very beginning, and for this particular journey we need to head to Le Claire in Iowa. It was on February 26th 1846 that William Frederick Cody was born in a log cabin built by his parents, Isaac and Mary Cody.

Image Credit: Waymarking

Cody lived in the cabin for only 8 months before it was sold, and ultimately torn down. Today, a plaque marks the spot where the cabin once stood. 

Image Credit: Waymarking

Continuing your journey in Iowa, your next stop really has to be the Buffalo Bill Cody Homestead.  Just like that simple log cabin, this 1847 farmhouse was built was also built by Cody's father Isaac Cody! Today it's been beautifully restored and filled with 19th century furnishings so it really will be like walking through history.

Image Credit: Kepper66

Keep an eye out in the fields for the roaming buffalo too! Also on the grounds is a one-room school house that is just charming. If you love nature you can explore the nearby Cody Trails too!

Image Credit: Kepper66

From Iowa our American hero moved to Canada before heading back to the USA.

His name started to become known at the tender age of 23. Soon after he started performing in various cowboy themed shows showcasing the frontier and Indian Wars.

In 1883, he founded Buffalo Bill's Wild West and his large company went on tours all around the United States and even Great Britain and continental Europe from 1887!

Image Credit: Public Domain

Europe would be fabulous to visit, but our US-based family days out tour moves to Wyoming where you'll find the town of Cody - yes, named after Buffalo Bill himself! As one of the original founders, you'll see a lot of Buffalo Bill's influence around town.

A great stop here is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, where you can enjoy five museums in one!

Image Credit: Center of the West

You can learn all about the wildlife, and the Plains Indians, and of course one of the museums is the Buffalo Bill Museum where you can read all about his life, and his touring successes. You can even see actual items he owned and used throughout his life!

Image Credit: Center of the West

If you stay in Cody, make sure you stay at the Irma Hotel built by Cody himself and named after his daughter.  

Image Credit: Irma Hotel

Buffalo Bill stayed in the hotel frequently when he returned from his famous Wild West Show tours. In fact, his personality and fame kept the Irma packed when he was in town!

Can you see him out standing at the Irma Hotel bar below, looking very dapper in that hat?

Image Credit: Irma Hotel

Irma Cody was Cody's youngest daughter, born in 1898. Enjoy this historic photo of them both against a painted backdrop!

Image Credit: Public Domain

For more on Cody, make sure you check out our Cody City Guide!

William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's story ends across the country in Colorado, where today you can visit the Buffalo Bill Grave & Museum

Image Credit: Public Domain

Cody passed away in 1917, and was buried on Lookout Mountain Park. Today, you can visit not only his actual gravesite but also a museum where you can continue to look back on the life of this American legend. 

In fact, it was Cody himself who picked the very spot he was to be buried - so he could forever look out over the Great Plains where he spent so much of his life.

The museum was opened soon after he died, opening to the public in 1921 and filled with artifacts he collected over the years as well as from those he performed with.

Image Credit: Public Domain

So why not follow in the footsteps of this icon of the American West and learn all about the man that was born in a log cabin in Iowa and grew up to be one of the most notable figures from that icomic period in American history?

The world's first greatest showman!

Main Image Credit: Public Domain

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