Cody, Wyoming is named after William Frederick Cody, more popularly known as Buffalo Bill. He’s said to have shot more than 4,000 buffalo between 1867 and 1868. Despite that feat, he wasn’t the only one to have that nickname. For a time, he shared it with a buffalo hunter called Bill Comstock, but the two had a contest to determine who should keep the name and William Cody won.
Born in 1846, Buffalo Bill grew up in Kansas. A Civil War soldier and a scout during the Plains Wars, he claimed to have done several other jobs. Apart from hunting buffalo, he was most famous as a showman. After appearing in others’ shows for a number of years, he founded Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in 1883. This was a touring circus show with performances, races, sideshows and appearances by colorful Western figures.
The town that’s named after him was founded in 1895. Buffalo Bill had passed through the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming in the 1870s and liked what he saw so much that he returned almost 20 years later to found a town. Buffalo Bill had a colorful life and was involved in many business ventures, many of which eventually failed. He died in 1917 in Denver, Colorado. His name lives on as a symbol of the old West and in shows such as Annie Get Your Gun.