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Fun Historical Facts & Timeline

1831 – Sitting Bull is born (estimate) Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake, in Jumping Badger, Dakota Territory.

1846 – William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) is born in Le Claire, Iowa Territory, 2/26/1846.

1847 – Francis E. Butler is born in County Longford, Ireland, 1/30/1847.

1860 – Gordon William Lillie (Pawnee Bill) is born in Bloomington, IL 2/14/1860.

1860 – Phoebe Ann Mosey (Annie Oakley) is born near Woodland, Ohio, 8/13/1860, the sixth of nine children.

1865 – Annie’s father dies.

1870 – Frank marries Henrietta Saunders.

1875 – Annie and Frank meet. She is 15 and he is 28.

1876 – Annie (age 16) and Frank (age 29) are married on August 23rd. Sitting Bull defeats Custer at Little Big Horn (age 45). Frank divorces Henrietta (though the divorce may not have been final until after Annie and Frank were married).

1883 – Buffalo Bill creates his Wild West Show (age 37). Pawnee Bill works for him (age 23).

1884 – Annie (age 24) and Sitting Bull (age 53) meet, and he “ceremonially” adopts her. He gives her the nicknames “Little Sure Shot” and “Watanya Cecilia.”

1885 – Annie, Frank, and Sitting Bull join Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. (Annie is 25, Frank is 38, Sitting Bull is 54, and Buffalo Bill is 39). Sitting Bull leaves the show after four months.

1887 – Buffalo Bill begins touring Europe (eight different tours between 1887 and 1906). Annie and Frank leave the show.

1888 – Pawnee Bill (age 28) creates his Wild West Show.

1889 – Annie and Frank rejoin Buffalo Bill’s show.

1890 – Sitting Bull dies (age 59).

1901 – Annie (age 41) and Frank (age 54) leave Buffalo Bill’s show.

1908 – Buffalo Bill (age 62) and Pawnee Bill (age 48) combine their shows.

1917 – Buffalo Bill dies (age 71), 1/10/1917.

1926 – Annie dies (age 66), and Frank dies 18 days later (age 79), 11/3 and 11/21/1926.

1942 – Pawnee Bill dies (age 82) 2/3/1942.

Come see this amazing and inspirational story come to life on the WCT stage! Based on the true story of Annie Oakley, Frank Butler, Colonel William F. Cody, Sitting Bull, and Major Gordon W. Lillie, and featuring one of the best musical scores ever written by one of the greatest American composers, it truly is a masterpiece. Call our box office (262-547-0708) or get your tickets here: