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Pawnee Bill Ranch

The Rise and Fall of the Two Bills Show


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Anna: Thank you for downloading the Pawnee Bill Ranch podcast brought to you by the staff of the Pawnee Bill Ranch.

Erin: Welcome to the Pawnee Bill Ranch Podcast, I'm Erin Brown, Pawnee Bill Ranch Curator. Anna: And I'm Anna Davis, Pawnee Bill Ranch Historical Interpreter.

Erin: Well, Anna, we took a little bit of a break this summer from recording the podcast. Between tourist season, rodeos, different events, and much needed vacations it always gets a little hard to find the time to research and write and record. But we're back! We're excited to be back and we're ready to bring our listeners more tidbits of Pawnee Bill history!

Anna: That's right! And the topic that we have chosen today is definitely a doozy. We had originally planned to cut it into two podcasts, but we decided to condense down the information and present it in one. I have to say that this topic is one of the most confusing topics that we have ever researched for this podcast. There are so many different people involved and so many different emotions that it just kind of forms this really tangled web of information and it's really hard to pull the threads apart. It's full of so much drama that it really puts soap operas to shame. Soap operas have nothing on this topic.

Erin: Right, and one of the things that makes it really difficult to try to wade through the information is that we have a lot of different people who are telling the story from a lot of different perspectives with conflicting information. So, it's hard to really figure out what happened. But we're going to present you with what we think truly happened regarding the rise and fall of The Two Bills Show, the largest Wild West Show the world had ever seen. So, one of the things that kind of spurred this topic on was that we took a trip to the National Western Heritage Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame in OKC to see what they had in their archives. We came across an unpublished manuscript that was written in Pawnee Bill's own words. Now, through his life Pawnee Bill had been really quiet about the subject of the Two Bills Show. It was a really sore subject for him to talk about, but this manuscript, which was written in the 1930s, painted an incredible detailed picture of what happened during the Two Bill's Show from Pawnee Bill's perspective.

Anna: I mean, we could talk forever about the Two Bills Show. There's so many different parts of it. The simple story that we usually get tell to the public when we talk about the Two Bills Show is that Pawnee Bill and Buffalo Bill combined their shows in 1908. The show ran until 1913 and it closed due to bankruptcy. Now, as you're going to learn this is the extremely simplified version of this topic. There are a lot of different individuals involved in this story but we are going to try to tell this story without getting overly confused, because it's very easy to do.

Erin: Yes. So, as we always do we always like to start from the beginning. Even though our story technically starts in 1908, it's beneficial to give you a little bit of background on the history of Wild West Shows. Cause that's what we do. In 1873, Ned Buntline, famed dime store novelist, wrote a play, a hugely popular play called "The Scouts of the Plains." This play was specifically created to star three of the biggest draws of the American West. Those were William F. Cody, Texas Jack Omohundro, and Wild Bill Hickok. The play also employed this beautiful Italian actress named Giuseppina Morlacchi who would portray the Indian heroine of the production. The show was meant, it was conceived, to be a serious portrayal of the American West, but many audiences instead found it to be laughable. They thought it was a comedy. However, here was born idea of combining Western mythology with show business really captured people's imaginations. In fact, this is where our story kind of gets more intriguing. In 1873, 13 year old Gordon Lillie happened upon the actors as they were staying at the St. Nicholas Hotel in Bloomington, Illinois. Later on that evening, he had his ticket to see "The Scouts of the Plains" at Schroder's Opera House in Bloomington and he would later say that it was there when he decided that's what he wanted to do with his life.

Anna: Yeah, he described these men on horseback in front of the hotel with this long billowing hair. He was just so intrigued by that, so that's how he got interest in that.

Erin: He decided I want to be a showman.

Anna: He wanted to be a showman with long billowing hair.

Erin: Which he did have!

Anna: "The Scouts of the Plains" ended its run fairly quickly after it began. The play was plagued with problems from its star, Wild Bill Hickok. Hickok would show up drunk to performances. Now, none of these people were stage actors. Like, they were…

Erin: They were just people.

Anna: They were just people. So, Wild Bill would show up drunk. There were stories of him pulling out his six shooters and shooting the stage lights because he was so hung over that they hurt his eyes or there was also a story where he became too amorous with Giuseppina during a love scene that got them labeled as indecent. So, you can imagine how that went down.

Erin: A little too real!

Anna: A little too real. So, Texas Jack, Wild Bill, and Giuseppina were paid off and sent home. Buffalo Bill's legends kind of continued to grow from there. He would star on the stage off and on for the next eleven years until he had gotten financial backing for his new endeavor: Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. The first Wild West Show was in 1883 and Buffalo Bill instantly became an international superstar. Pawnee Bill was with him that first season as the Pawnee interpreter. Another important person with him that first season was a man named Nate Salsbury. And, arguably, Salsbury was the most important person for this show. He was Buffalo Bill's business manager and he would be the man responsible for all of the business deals that were undertaken by this Wild West Show.

Erin: The Wild West Show business was not for sissies. It was cutthroat. It took extreme dedication and innovation to keep a show open and making a profit. Everyone was out for themselves in this business and they were all battling for a portion of the same profit pool. When Pawnee Bill decided to start his own show in 1888, he quickly ran into difficulties resulting from the ruthless business practices of other Wild West Shows, including, and especially, Buffalo Bills. Pawnee Bill would have this to say in 1908about his Wild West Show: "For 20 years we have worked almost night and day and at last we have made a wonderful success. Our show is now considered the third best paying and most attractive show property in the whole United States. During all this time the Buffalo Bill Show did all in their power to stop us. Hiring our best performers, stopping us from getting Natives legally off their reservation. This show at every opportunity would go 30 to 50 miles out of their way to cover our advertisements with theirs reading 'Coming Soon' when they had no intention of playing the town. The people would pass us up and wait for Buffalo Bill who never came." It really seemed like Cody and Nate Salsbury fought Pawnee Bill at every turn.

Anna: It was a really dirty business. Probably the saddest statement from Pawnee Bill on the topic of the Wild West Show business came when he was talking about the failed show in Antwerp, Belgium. If you go back and listen to our Ostendorff letters podcast, you'll learn a little bit about why the show kind of failed in Europe. Pawnee Bill stated "I remember how our friends, when the cable came from Antwerp saying The Pawnee Bill's Show has failed: they all threw up their hats in the air and Hurrahed, with delight at our failure." It was this constant fight against these shows and it would continue all the way up until the combined show happened. Around 1905, however, Buffalo Bill's success started to falter. In 1905, Nate Salsbury, the man who had done everything for the show, died. And that left the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show without their main business organizer. Buffalo Bill was a man who was all about the flash and showmanship of the Wild West Show, but he was not the best business man in the world.

Erin: He was a back end man. He didn't deal with the front end of the business.

Anna: Salsbury had been the one who kept everything organized and everything running since the very beginning. So, when he died it was a big shock. He came from a show business background; he had a great interest in the show being successful. And actually when he died, he was the largest shareholder of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, so without his leadership, Buffalo Bill's show entered into a tailspin.

Erin: So that was something really significant with our story. Nate Salsbury died. Buffalo Bill's show goes berserk. A couple of other really significant things happened that greatly affected wild west show business landscape. The first of which was a reorganization of Pawnee Bill's Show that happened in 1907 when Edward Arlington, who was an advisor of the late James Bailey, purchased a half interest in Pawnee Bill's Wild West and Great Far East. Pawnee Bill remained an active manager and the show continued to tour the country under the same name. When the show went on the road after wintering in late 1906/early1907 promoters boasted of increased proportions and elevated standards complete with the installation of modern innovations. So it was a new and improved show. Secondly, and most importantly, the great force of the Circus Trust was formed. So this was a combination of Barnum and Bailey, Ringling Brothers, Buffalo Bill, and the Forepaugh-Sells organization. The Trust was dominated by John Ringling and this group was a force to be reckoned with. Under their powerful agreement, Ringling Brothers with their two shows, Barnum and Bailey with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show made warfare with other circuses, tent shows and Wild West shows and Pawnee Bill's Wild West under this reorganization had become a throne in their side. Anna: Yes, when Pawnee Bill partnered with Edward Arlington, the show underwent this metamorphosis and this all happened when they were quartered in Cumberland Park near Nashville, TN. With Arlington, Pawnee Bill conceived the idea of the blending the western borders with the exotic and romantic "Great Far East" and this resulted in something that the Wild West shows had never seen before. They sent agents to countries all over the world to find indigenous entertainers and the result was an "exhibition that never before granted startled American eyes." The Far East is a topic that is way too big unto itself to cover right now. We're going to devote a entire podcast to it at some point, but the important thing to note is that Pawnee Bill was doing well and he was achieving a great deal of success and PR due to his restructuring and thus the Circus Trust waged war on Pawnee Bill's show.

Erin: Right! Before the Circus Trust consolidation, Buffalo Bill was faltering. In addition to Salsbury dying, Buffalo Bill was spending out of control. He was operating solely really on advances and loans. The Circus Trust was the best thing that could have happened to him. It offered him protection. And The Circus Trust was just about the worst thing that could have happened to Pawnee Bill.

Anna: The Circus Trust sent expert billposters and lithographers and three special agents to sabotage Pawnee Bill. They covered his billboards with Barnum and Bailey posters. That is actually just one example of the work they did to try to bring other shows down. Surprisingly, the Trust did not last long probably due to the financial strain that Buffalo Bill's show put on the Barnum and Bailey team.

Erin: So we go from this war being waged between two entities, between Pawnee Bill and Buffalo Bill and his people to this consolidation: The Two Bills Show, the largest merger ever in the amusement industry up to that time. We go from this years-long rivalry, you could almost say the two men were enemies for many years, to Pawnee Bill buying at first, a third interest of Buffalo Bill's show and then later, another third and then turning around and giving Buffalo Bill's interest back to him. We can certainly understand why May, Pawnee Bill's wife, was vehemently opposed to the merger and in fact, she vowed never to perform with the show again if Pawnee Bill joined with Buffalo Bill. She stayed true to her word.

Anna: May had a valid argument. Pawnee Bill had worked for years to develop a show on a solid foundation and he had finally reached a point where he was financially secure and he had the public's trust. He was the show that people were coming to see at that time. Buffalo Bill's people had done everything in their power to destroy Pawnee Bill and she felt like it was a move made more out of emotion than business sense. May had the foresight to see the writing on the wall. She kind of knew where this was heading and her advice was to let them fail. Let them falter. They deserved nothing less than to fail in her mind. May Lillie was also shocked that her husband held so much of a grudge for things that had happened decades before. He just couldn't let it go. I don't think anyone knew just how much the constant fighting had taken out of Pawnee Bill. It was kind of like his spirit was deflated at this point. Erin: Pawnee Bill had endured a lot at Buffalo Bill's hand and we can understand how much satisfaction it gave him to now be all those people's boss. Now they all had to answer to him. So it was this really delightful turn of events for him and kind of emotionally satisfying. However, it was not the smartest business decision.

Anna: No, it wasn't.

Erin: And it is sad, because Pawnee Bill was always a brilliant businessperson, but this time he let revenge get in the way of what would have truly been the sensible thing to do. He wanted to get even and he ignored his wife. He ignored May's pleas that he rise above that. She said, and this is in his own words, she told him, these people aren't even in your class. You are a better person than they are, and now, what you're doing here, this act is you sinking down to their level. You're risking it all to get even. Anna: And May Lillie was very right, but The Two Bill's Show enjoyed a great deal of success for a while. Buffalo Bill's name alone was a huge draw. He was the biggest superstar in the world. Combined with Pawnee Bill's ability to negotiate and down to earth knowledge of the ins and outs of the Wild West business, the two men drew large crowds with "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Great Far East." It was sort of an unspoken agreement between Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill that Buffalo Bill would use his star power to bring in the crowds and Pawnee Bill would deal with the business side of things and never the two shall meet. It was when this clear division of power started to get muddled that things really got out of hand. Buffalo Bill was very temperamental and was prone to fighting with his staff and excessive drinking, and this is all according to Pawnee Bill. In fact, Pawnee Bill describes several encounters with Buffalo Bill where the man is just in bed, crying his eyes out. With the covers held over his head. Kind of like a little five year old saying "Just make it go away. Just make it go away!"

Erin: Make it better, Pawnee Bill!

Anna: Not to mention the huge resistance that Pawnee Bill was getting from Buffalo Bill's cast and crew about this new merger. I mean, these people were used to being in charge, and now he was in charge. He constantly had to smooth over hurt feelings and bruised egos and he was just trying to do what was best for this show.

Erin: Right. The two Bills were partners for 5 years. They definitely had ups and downs, definitely had successes and failures, but the point that Pawnee Bill keeps making in his own words regarding this merger and subsequent bankruptcy, is that Buffalo Bill could not face his problems. He also underscores the importance of him being able to get along with Buffalo Bill. He was not easy to deal with and Pawnee Bill repeatedly talks about going above and beyond to make their personal relationship work so their business relationship could thrive. Regardless, they could not work through the problems. When things were great, they were great and when things were bad, sometimes Pawnee Bill was the last to know. Because of the secrets. Buffalo Bill would just keep secrets and all of his people would protect him.

Anna: To complicate matters, organizing the shows administration was difficult. The Buffalo Bill employees did not want to answer to anyone who was with Pawnee Bill and vice versa, so combining the shows was difficult. Pawnee Bill ultimately gave them an ultimatum: Either you deal with it or you get out. Wild West Show performers were replaceable. They could find someone else to do your job. So, some crewmembers left, but for the most part there were no more employee strikes and the cast and crew came to respect Pawnee Bill's leadership. However, there were serious complications arising from the Bailey representatives.

Erin: It's important to note that Pawnee Bill only owned a third.

Anna: Only owned a third of the show. And Mr. Bailey died. He died during the first transitional phase so it's all left in the hands of his widow, Mrs. Bailey. So, she's the one who is kind of calling the shots right now. They demanded that Pawnee Bill fire the Dean of General Agents, whose name was Louis Cook and the Dean of Press Agents, a man named Major John Burke because of the expense associated with paying them and because they had locked horns over the best way to advertise the show. So, there was a lot of fighting going on right now. Pawnee Bill flat out refused. In his own words, he describes how this was just the beginning of him being badgered constantly about the best way to manage the show. He was getting unbelievable scrutiny from the Bailey estate. Pawnee Bill was acting as the sole manager and Buffalo Bill was to be responsible for the back end of the show – the actual performances.

Erin: What is interesting to note is that Buffalo Bill didn't own his show. He didn't have a penny in it.

Anna: No, and he hadn't for a long time. That started back with Salsbury. So, it's been a long time since Buffalo Bill's had any interest in his own show.

Erin: So, Pawnee Bill owned a third. The Bailey's owned two thirds of the show - one third of it was technically Buffalo Bill's interest. They even owned his name on the title. They owned him effectively. They held all his notes and so really, the Bailey's had an incredible amount of leverage against Pawnee Bill. So, they put so much pressure on him, badgered him, they convinced him to buy Buffalo Bill's third from them or their own third interest. They said either buy Buffalo Bill's third interest, buy our own third interest, or we'll continue to own a greater percentage of the show and make all the important decision and call all the shots. At the time, Buffalo Bill was personally a financial mess. He was described as being child-like in terms of his business sense. He had no money and could not buy his own interest from the Baileys. SO it was up to Pawnee Bill to either buy one-third or two-thirds.

Anna: Yeah, now Pawnee Bill had already paid $50,000 for one-third share.

Erin: He paid that in cash.

Anna: He paid that in cash. He ended up paying about $66,000.00 for the other two thirds of the show. So, when everything was said and done he basically told the Baileys I'm taking everything. He owned everything outright. That also resulted in him taking responsibility for all the notes and all the mortgages of the show, including a $12,000 personal note that Bailey had on Cody that have been promised to knock off the interest. He entered into a verbal agreement with Cody that once that show cleared an amount equal to the value of the show, Buffalo Bill would pay Pawnee Bill and he would deed him back one-half equity in the show. So, there's all this confusing…

Erin: A lot of this was verbal agreements. Like handshakes under the table.

Anna: Little did Pawnee Bill know, that he was being conned in this biggest way. They badgered him; they had made his life miserable, and made his job of managing the shows extremely difficult all in an attempt to convince him to buy it. It ended up working. He ended up buying the whole thing.

Erin: Right. So, at this time during the Two Bills era, Buffalo Bill began a new hobby. He started sinking money into what he hoped would be a gold mine. It was like a reverse mine though – it was draining Cody and he just kept sinking money into it. He was trying to get Pawnee Bill to invest money in it and Pawnee Bill was like what are you thinking?

Anna: You have the biggest goldmine in the world and he was talking about his Wild West show. This fantastic thing you're sitting on and you're spending your money on gold mines.

Erin: And so Cody also was involved in some dealings with women. He had some extramarital affairs that cost him financially. Buffalo Bill had unsuccessfully tried to divorce his wife, Louisa Cody, in 1905. He alleged that she was trying to poison him and he wanted a divorce. So, Louisa was like no, I wasn't trying to poison him. I was just giving him this stuff called Dragon's Breath. It was given to people to make them ill when they consumed alcohol.

Anna: She was trying to dry him out basically.

Erin: Yeah. She wanted her husband to be sober. However, besides this, Buffalo Bill didn't even know that Louisa, his much put upon wife, was the sole owner of basically all of the property he had amassed throughout his life. The divorce did not go through, the couple reconciled, but it shows just how much of a mess Buffalo Bill was in financially. He also was borrowing money from friends and acquaintances. At one point, a man came to collect on a personal note and threatened to sue the show. He couldn't get anywhere with Buffalo Bill so he went to Pawnee Bill. Pawnee Bill was like, let me go talk to him. And he found Buffalo Bill in bed, crying with the covers up over his head and Pawnee Bill said there was something inside of him that just was really heartbroken at seeing Buffalo Bill so anxious ridden and crying. So, he felt sorry for him and paid the note even though it really put the show in an unstable condition and it compromised the show's ability to function. But Pawnee Bill was always in these binds.

Anna: Yeah. And you have to remember that this was Pawnee Bill's hero.

Erin: Yeah.

Anna: So, at the same time that he's putting up with all of this, it's really breaking his heart because he loved Buffalo Bill. And this really was a big wake up call for him.

Erin: Yeah, it was a major dysfunctional relationship.

Anna: Yes, you can certainly say that this whole Two Bills thing was Pawnee Bill operating more with his heart than with his head. He needed Buffalo Bill's image to be successful with the show, but Buffalo Bill was draining everything from everyone. He was sucking the life from Pawnee Bill and sucking the money from the show, but they needed this to work because there was so much on the line. So, Pawnee Bill decided to incorporate the show to try and protect all of his property outside of the company's property, so he wouldn't personally be held responsible if the show or Buffalo Bill incurred debt or defaulted on loans. So, he's trying to protect his ranch at this time. The combined show was incorporated in New Jersey in 1909. The show was doing well through 1910 and 1911 but it wasn't enough the keep Buffalo Bill ahead of the creditors. In fact, Pawnee Bill even acquired Cody's North Platte ranch when payment could not be made on some of these loans. And that's really sad because that was Louisa's house. That was where his family lived. And Pawnee Bill actually ended up with it because of the debts.

Erin: So what happened in 1913 that resulted in the demise of the largest Wild West show the world had ever seen? Well, Buffalo Bill needed money to give to Pawnee Bill for his share of the wintering funds. The two men were supposed to split the cost of wintering the show 50/50. He told Pawnee Bill by telegram that he needed to go get money and he told him that it was going to be from his sister. So, Pawnee Bill said, okay, go. Go get the money. And then next thing Pawnee Bill knew he read in the Denver Post that Cody had visited Harry Tammen and that Tammen and Bonfils, his partner, would "preserve" Buffalo Bill's Wild West. So, Pawnee Bill read it in the paper and he asked Buffalo Bill about it and Buffalo Bill denied it. He was like, no no no, that's nothing. It's all a lie. So, the facts really were that Cody had met with Tammen and borrowed the $20,000 to give Pawnee Bill. Tammen took six months' note on the show property as collateral and Cody signed a contract and agreed to leave Pawnee Bill and appear in Tammen and Bonfils circus, which was called the Sells-Floto circus the next year. Cody claimed to be surprised about that. He said he didn't realize that that's what he was agreeing to. And that effectively would end the Two Bill's Show partnership if Cody defaulted on the loan. Buffalo Bill sent Pawnee Bill a telegram that said "Pay no attention to the press reports. I have done nothing that will interfere with our show." So, he just kept telling Pawnee Bill, it's all going to be fine. It's nothing.

Anna: And Harry Tammen and Frederick Bonfils were not people you wanted to mess with. They were like the seediest of seedy people you could ever go to for money. They were publishers of the Denver Post. They were practitioners of yellow journalism. So, they would print these wild stories that may not have been true. They were actually shot one year by a lawyer of a client and then they were actually beaten the next year by another lawyer of another client.

Erin: They are like the typical bad vaudeville villains.

Anna: I mean, William Randolph Hearst started yellow journalism but these people took it to an extreme. You did not want to mess with them.

Erin: And here Pawnee Bill's embroiled with them.

Anna: What happened next is an old story. Cody didn't pay anything on his note to Tammen. When Pawnee Bill found out that Cody had not only mortgaged the show property but also agreed to leave him for a rival, he was angry and the two men didn't speak for weeks. When the show rolled in to Denver in July 1913 there were all these rumors out there that the show was going to be seized. In fact, I think Burke was the one that told Pawnee Bill don't go to Denver because they're going to take it. But Pawnee Bill said, no, we're fine. We're going to go. So the first night, they were fine. The Wild West Show without a problem. The second show, on July 21, 1913, Pawnee Bill stated that he was watching behind the backdrop as the cast entered for their grand entry when a hand suddenly came down on his shoulder and when he turned around there were six Denver sheriffs who had entered the show grounds and informed Pawnee Bill that the entire show had been attached, including the ticket wagon and all the cash. And there was about $6,000 worth of cash in the ticket wagon.

Erin: Just from that night.

Anna: What happened next is this confusing onslaught of ugliness. Legal arrows were coming from everywhere. From Cody, from Pawnee Bill, from Tammen, from the lithography company that had sued them. What actually happened was the proceedings officially brought against them were from a lithography company. These people had printed their playbills and their posters and their programs. The typical deal was they would pay when the season was finished. They would pay everything in full. For whatever reason, the lithography company comes knocking saying we want our money now. Halfway through the season, we want our money now.

Erin: They couldn't pay it.

Anna: So, we have to think that Tammen and Bonfils who are holding this note probably knew that. And they probably badgered this lithography company saying, you need to go after these people. They were pressured by Tammen and Bonfils and so that's really how everything kind of ended. Erin: And then, of course Tammen collected on Buffalo Bill's debt.

Anna: Collected everything.

Erin: So Pawnee Bill when this happened, we have always said he was a scrapper, he just scrambled. The show itself was owned by Pawnee Bill and, now at this point, Buffalo Bill, but the show plant that included all rolling stock and transportation equipment, the railroad cars, was owned by Pawnee Bill and a man named Thomas Smith. The first thing Pawnee Bill did was sign over his portion of the plant to Thomas Smith. Smith in turn mortgaged the plan, complicating matters and causing massive delays to prospective buyers of the show. Basically it entangled it so that no one could get their hands on the show plant, which was hugely valuable. It took years of fighting it out in courts before everything was finally settled. In fact, even though the show ended in 1913, Pawnee Bill was still in court up until the 1920s trying to get what was rightfully his. This included the rights to the name "Buffalo Bill" and his own personal property which had been seized.

Anna: In September 1913 the show was sold at auction. There's a really sad story where Buffalo Bill was watching as they auctioned off his horse, Isham, this iconic white horse that you see Buffalo Bill on. He was sobbing because he didn't have the money to buy his horse. So, his friends who felt so sorry for this downtrodden and defeated man bought the horse for him so they wouldn't have to be parted. So, it's really sad stories at this time. Pawnee Bill came home to Blue Hawk Peak with his trunk and his saddle, the only things he had left of his show. He actually had to sue to get those back in federal court. He was writing these letters saying this is my personal property, I want it back, and you have no right to it. So, it finally was returned to him.

Erin: Because he was smart to incorporate the show. So, nothing that was personally his was touched. The ranch was untouched.

Anna: It's a really sad ending for the largest Wild West Show in history. However, as bitter as Pawnee Bill might have been about the end of his show, he kept quiet about it until the 1930s. He wasn't a man who really talked a whole lot about his troubles. But why did he wait so long to talk about it? Well, by 1934, when these interviews would start coming out about the end of his show, Pawnee Bill was the only one left alive in the entire mess. Buffalo Bill had died in 1917, Harry Tammen had died in 1924 and Frederick Bonfils died in 1933. In July of 1934, Pawnee Bill reminisced about the end of his show with this famous quote to a newspaper: "Time smooths everything. Buffalo Bill died my friend. He was just an irresponsible boy. As for Bonfils and Tammen, well, you can't say very many good things for men who hounded you and broke you just for the fun of it. I never knew that men could be as bitter toward a man they hardly knew."

Erin: Wow. Anna: It's really sad.

Erin: It is sad. But Pawnee Bill, after 1913, that was not near the end of Pawnee Bill's successes. He went on to put on special Wild West Shows all over the United States. He had diversified business interests. He continued to be an entrepreneur until he died. Buffalo Bill lived four years after the Two Bills Show ended. He died in 1917, like Anna said. And he worked up until he died for other people and in other people's Wild West Shows. He never again owned his own show. Well, we hoped you enjoyed this month's topic about the rise and fall of the Two Bill's Show. We will be back next month with a spooky Halloween podcast! We are going to talk about a local mystery that involves a lot of myths and legends. And has some May in it too. It's certainly going to be an interesting topic.

Anna: Definitely. We are also taking our podcast on the road! If you are going to be at the Oklahoma Museums Association conference in Idabel from September 24-26, we will be teaching a class on podcasting with our friends from the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore. We will also be attending the Mountain Plains Museums Association conference in Aspen, Colorado on September 30th. We're excited about that one! We're going to also be teaching the same class at the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums regional conference in Tahlequah, OK on October 10th. If you are a listener of this podcast and will be at any of those events, please stop by and say hello!

Erin: We always love to hear from fans and fellow history buffs. Well, that will end this month's podcast. I'm Erin Brown, Pawnee Bill Ranch Curator.

Anna: And I'm Anna Davis, Pawnee Bill Ranch Historical Interpreter. Thank you for listening and we will see you next time.