The Myths of the Wild West By Bradan and Barrett

Vigilantes the hero of the West. These were self appointed law enforcers who hunted down thieves and criminals. There were multiple groups in Wyoming, Colorado, California, and Texas. (These are groups that were caught.) They were often opposed by the government as they were unofficial and often violent. There were multiple shootouts between vigilante and the U.S. Army. The ones who were caught were often hung without trial even when the public stood up to the hangings. However smaller towns often used vigilante justice as it was cheaper and multiple committees were formed to fund and supply more vigilante.

Vigilantes in Wyoming

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

Buffalo Bill was a man most commonly known for sparking the myth of the Wild West. He was born on February 26, 1846 in the Iowa territory which is now Iowa state. When he was 2 he moved to Toronto Canada with his family. He the moved backed down West were he worked on the railroad. After this he decided to open a show based on his experiences as a buffalo hunter. The show was somewhat of a circus with people portraying Native Americans and Cowboys as they fought in the desert. Many shooting competitions happened including one with the famous Annie Oakley. Buffalo Bill died on January 10, 1917.

Annie Oakley

Born August 13, 1860-Died November 3, 1926

She was very good at sharpshooting( she could pay able to pay a $200 mortgage on her mother’s house from how much she made form hunting and selling to a grocery store and she was only 15)

In 1885 she was known by the won name after the sharpshooting contest “Champion Markswoman”

At the age of 8 or 9 she went to live with Superintendent Edington’s family at the Darke County Infirmary which housed the elderly, orphaned, and the mentally ill.

She stayed with the Edingtons until she was 13 or 14.

When she returned to her family, her mother had been married for the 3rd time

Soon one of her buyers invited her to a shooting contest against the well-known Frank E. Butler. Annie shot 25/25 shots and Frank shot 24/25 shots.( soon after this contest, the two began a courtship and that led to marriage on August 23, 1867)


Cow towns were cities that sprang up at railroad terminals in the West.

In the years following the American Civil War, the demand for beef rose greatly.

These cattle came from the early Spanish settlers.

Once the Texas ranchers realized the profit that they could make off of selling their cattle, they then searched for the nearest railroads going towards Kansas.

Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell received the major portion of the booming cattle trade.

The Chisholm Trail served as the major trail to many of the Kansas cowtowns. After years of use, it was described as being 200 to 400 yards wide and as bare as a city street.

From 1875 to 1885 Texas cattle followed the cutoff on the Chisholm Trail or the Western Trail to the "Cowboy Capital."

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