Wyoming Arts Council

Robert Bonner resurrects Buffalo Bill

From a press release:

History professor and author Robert E. Bonner will be at the Wyoming State Museum at 11:30 a.m., November 8, to present a lunchtime lecture and sign his new book, “William F. Cody’s Wyoming Empire: The Buffalo Bill Nobody Knows.”

The book chronicles Cody’s accomplishments as land developer and town promoter. Bonner examines Cody’s efforts as president of the Shoshone Irrigation Company to develop the Big Horn Basin through large-scale irrigation and town development. This meticulously researched account shows a Buffalo Bill preoccupied with making a buck and not at all shy about using his fame to do it.

Cody spent huge sums of money, bullied partners, patronized state officials and exercises his charm in pursuit of developing the high plains east of Yellowstone National Park. His efforts helped shape the city of Cody and the big Horn Basin.

With the famous Irma Hotel as a cornerstone, he built the first infrastructure of the Cody-Yellowstone tourist trade and connected his little Wyoming town with the wealth of the East through personal hospitality and travel.

Bonner’s book features engaging anecdotes and more than 20 photographs.

Bonner is professor emeritus at Carleton College, Northfield, Minn. His numerous articles have appeared in such journals as the “Western Historical Quarterly” and “Montana, The Magazine of Western History.”

The Wyoming State Museum is located in the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne. For more information about this and other Wyoming State Museum programs, please call 777-7022.

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