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Annie Oakley, with gun Buffalo Bill gave her / staff photo.


Annie Oakley, with gun Buffalo Bill gave her / staff photo.



Annie Oakley, full-length portrait, facing front.
NYWT&S staff photograph.
Forms part of: New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (Library of Congress).

The New York World-Telegram, later known as the New York World-Telegram and The Sun, was a New York City newspaper from 1931 to 1967. The Library of Congress collection includes about 1 million photographs that the New York World-Telegram & Sun Newspaper assembled mostly 1890 and 1967, the year in which the newspaper closed. This newspaper photo morgue is typical of the files that newspapers maintain of images that either were published or were believed to have some future publication potential. Such files were periodically "weeded" by newspaper staff members. Much of the photography used by newspapers is "quick copy," and many images have been cropped, retouched, or highlighted for publication. Some images were taken by the newspaper's staff photographers while others came from wire press services, studios, or amateur photographers.

Annie Oakley was an American sharpshooter and entertainer who rose to fame in the late 1800s. She was born in 1860 and grew up in Ohio. As a young girl, she learned to shoot and became an expert marksman. She later joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, where she performed for many years and became known for her shooting skills. She was also a member of the sharpshooting team known as the "Little Sure Shots." Oakley continued to perform and tour until she retired in 1913. She died in 1926 at the age of 66. Annie Oakley was born Phoebe Ann Moses—called Annie by her family—on August 13, 1860, in Darke County, Ohio. Oakley developed hunting skills as a child to provide for her impoverished family in western Ohio. At age 15, she won a shooting contest against an experienced marksman, Frank E. Butler, whom she later married in 1876. Annie’s family finances were not good. Annie used her father’s old Kentucky rifle to hunt small game for the Katzenberger brother’s grocery store in Greenville, Ohio, where it was resold to hotels and restaurants in Cincinnati, 80 miles away. Annie was so successful at hunting that she was able to pay the $200 mortgage on her mother’s house with the money she earned. She was 15 years old. Jack Frost, a hotel owner in Cincinnati invited her to participate in a shooting contest against a well-known marksman, Frank E. Butler. Annie won the match with twenty-five shots out of twenty-five attempts. Butler missed one of his shots. This amazing girl entranced Butler, and the two shooters began a courtship that resulted in marriage on August 23, 1876, and working together in a show. Annie filled in by holding objects for Frank to shoot at, and doing some of her own shooting. It was at this time that Annie adopted the stage name of Oakley. At a March 1884 performance in St. Paul, Minnesota, Annie befriended the Lakota leader Sitting Bull. Butler and Oakley joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in 1885. With the Wild West, Oakley, not Butler, was the star. Butler became her manager and assistant. Oakley and Butler prospered with the Wild West and remained with the show for seventeen years. In 1926, after fifty happy years of marriage, the Butlers died. Annie Oakley died on November 3 and Frank Butler died on November 21, within three weeks of each other. Both died of natural causes after a long and adventuresome life. Thanks to Hollywood and history, the legend of Annie Oakley endures into the twenty-first century through motion pictures, television, on the stage, in history books, and in museums.





Library of Congress

Copyright info

No copyright restriction known. Staff photographer reproduction rights transferred to Library of Congress through Instrument of Gift.

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