Women of the West: Annie Oakley

Posted on April 23, 2021 by Seth "from Marketing" Spillman in

Our Women of the West blog series is being brought to you by the Museum’s Annie Oakley Society which raises awareness of the outstanding women in all walks of life who exemplify the character, perseverance, and moral fiber in the tradition of Annie Oakley.

Born in a log cabin near Woodland, Ohio, Annie Oakley (1860-1926) was a famous sharpshooter who toured with many shows, including the Merry Makers, Sell’s Circus, and the popular Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. According to her younger brother, John Henry, Annie had a “natural gift and pluck” for the rifle. Newspapers provide a glimpse of what audiences saw and experienced as Miss Annie E. Oakley shattered glass balls and snuffed candles with her aim.

“The lady used the rifle both in the usual position and with the sight turned toward the floor. She also used the rifle with he back turned toward the target and sighted by means of a mirror.” – Alpena Argus, Michigan, July 12, 1882

“Annie Oakley, who is only 19 years old, is a capital shot. She has, in the last three years, shot twenty-three individual matches against men, of which she won nineteen, lost two and tied two. She has a record of breaking 4,772 glass balls in one day. At another time she shot at 1,000 glass balls, and missed but 16.” – The Inter Ocean, Chicago, November 21, 1885

“Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second, and maybe not the third… but keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally, you will hit the bullseye of success.” – Annie Oakley

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