The legend of Buffalo Bill is as real as this double-life sized statue located at U.S. 83 and 2nd Street at Oakley. Leoti's Charlie Norton and wife Pat were the sculptors of this massive work of art.
Here is the story in brief. In 1868 and about 10 miles from the location of the sculpture a contest was held to determine whether buffalo hunter Bill Comstock or Bill Cody should get to use the monicker "Buffalo Bill."
Both Bills were paid to provide a specific amount of buffalo meat for the railroad work crews each day. Bill Cody was becoming well known for his abilities as a buffalo hunter and his friends began referring to him as "Buffalo Bill." Well, Fort Wallace, further west, had their own "Bill" hunting buffalo for them and felt that if anyone deserved the title of "Buffalo Bill" that he did. Their hunter was Bill Comstock.
The only logical thing to do was have a buffalo hunting contest to see who would forever be known as THE Buffalo Bill. The contest was designed to determine who could bring down the most buffalo in a single day (the buffalo meat was then used as food for the workers). A wager was set and the contest was held. At the end of the day, Bill Cody had brought down 69 buffalo and Bill Comstock 46. From that day forward Bill Cody has been THE Buffalo Bill.
(story source Wild West Historical Foundation, Inc.)
You can find more information about the contest at a fine display located at the sculpture site.
The Buffalo Bill sculpture is one of the finalists for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Art. Go to www.8wonders.org to see all 24 finalists and to vote. To learn more about this sculpture and all other finalists just click on their picture. The last day to vote is October 15!
Take advantage of this beautiful fall weather and go see some of the wonders of Kansas!
Get Kansas! Kansas Explorer #2 Marci Penner