Annie Oakley

The world’s most famous sharpshooter took careful aim at her husband… and pulled the trigger!

Annie Oakley appeared in a stage play at Richmond’s Gennett Theatre in a one-night only stage comedy called 'The Wstern Girl'. The date was March 10, 1903. She did trick shots to the audience’s delight, and hit the target every time.

Born in Greenville, Ohio in 1860, young Annie began hunting at the age of nine to feed her siblings and widowed mother, and sold game to locals for money.

During the spring of 1881 she competed in Cincinnati, Ohio. Marksman Frank E. Butler placed a $100 bet that he could beat any fancy shooter. Then he competed against Annie.

Frank missed his 25th shot and Annie did not.

He lost the match and also his heart: he was in love.

The 4’ 11 ½“ female sharpshooter rose to international fame as a major star with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, gaining worldwide acclaim and thrilling the crowned heads of Europe. Her early life was the inspiration for the Irving Berlin play - and subsequent movie – ‘Annie Get Your Gun’.

She was named ‘little sure shot’ by her longtime friend Chief Sitting Bull.

The last time she visited Richmond was with the Young Buffalo Bill Wild West Show in May of 191l.

Part of her act was to shoot a cigarette out of her husband’s mouth.

She and Frank Butler had a good relationship apparently.

She never missed.

 


Library of Congress Archives

 


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June 19, 2012