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Pictures of Visiting Buffalo Bill Cody's Iowa Boyhood Home

Updated on August 9, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Buffalo Bill Cody Homestead
Buffalo Bill Cody Homestead | Source

Buffalo Bill

While visiting my aunt and uncle in Bettendorf, Iowa one year, they graciously decided to show my mother and me a bit of the surrounding countryside which included among other sites Buffalo Bill Cody's boyhood home.

This was interesting because many people from all around the world have heard about this famous fellow who has been memorialized in books, television shows, on Broadway and primarily because of his showmanship and his famous Wild West Show.

William Frederick Cody was born in Iowa near LeClaire on February 26, 1846.

Born in an era when wagon trains were heading west, Indian wars were still being fought and the Civil War was to take place, William Cody would eventually participate in all of that and more.

"Buffalo Bill" Cody Homestead

My mother and I were surprised at the size of the Cody homestead as it was a large and well appointed residence. It overlooked open lands where donkeys and cattle still graze as they would have in days gone by.

William Frederick Cody was a small child when he lived there with his family.

Tickets only cost $2 for adults and children 16 and under are free to tour this home and grounds in Princeton, Iowa. A map is included below for exact directions to this location.

Animals grazing near Buffalo Bill Cody's boyhood home
Animals grazing near Buffalo Bill Cody's boyhood home | Source

There is a replicated log cabin school house on the grounds which is similar to one attended by some of the Cody children.

Sign near replica of Log Cabin Schoolhouse Buffalo Bill Cody attended.
Sign near replica of Log Cabin Schoolhouse Buffalo Bill Cody attended. | Source
Photo of the replicated log cabin schoolhouse that Buffalo Bill attended.
Photo of the replicated log cabin schoolhouse that Buffalo Bill attended. | Source

Slavery

William Cody's parents came from a family background of Quakers. The belief practices of Quakers included among other things equality among people. Thus they were firmly opposed to any form of slavery.

His father paid a lethal price for his speaking out against the practice of slavery as did William Cody in a different way.

His father eventually succumbing to his stab wounds and dying from being assaulted by a pro-slavery opponent, little William at the young age of 11 had to start earning a living to help support his mother and his siblings.

My aunt, mother, me and my uncle standing in front of an old stagecoach on the grounds of the Cody Homestead.
My aunt, mother, me and my uncle standing in front of an old stagecoach on the grounds of the Cody Homestead. | Source

As a boy William Cody rode horses well. He started working to support his family by bearing messages between pioneers heading west in those long and dusty wagon trains.

As he aged he reputedly also did a myriad of jobs including such things as becoming a wagon-master, stagecoach driver, Pony Express rider, and bison hunter.

In fact his nickname of "Buffalo Bill" originated because of his supplying meat to workers of the Kansas Pacific Railroad by supposedly killing many thousands of American bison (also called buffalo).

In later years despite his history of hunting and killing, Buffalo Bill Cody was to become a well known conservationist.

The remains of an old covered wagon on the Cody Homestead grounds
The remains of an old covered wagon on the Cody Homestead grounds | Source

Indian Fighter and Soldier

Buffalo Bill Cody became the Chief of Scouts for the 3rd cavalry during the Plains Wars and received a Medal of Honor in 1872 for "gallantry in action."

Sadly, the primary reason for the Plains Wars between the Indians and the European settlers was the rampant killing of the buffalo which supplied the Indians with their way of life.

He was an Indian fighter during the Utah War and was an American soldier during the Civil War fighting for the North.

Buffalo Bill Cody
Buffalo Bill Cody | Source

Just as he had become a conservationist in later life with regard to the decimated herds of buffalo and other wildlife, Buffalo Bill in later years advocated rights for the Native American Indians and also extended it to Women's Rights.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West

What made Buffalo Bill famous was his ultimate showmanship.

After being introduced to the stage, and starting this portion of his life in 1872 by joining James Butler's Famous Wild West Shows which also had people like "Wild Bill" Hickok appearing in it, Buffalo Bill Cody started his own Wild West show in 1883.

Nebraska would be the premier of Buffalo Bill's Wild West which would eventually travel across the United States and even appear in Europe.

It was a circus-like show with horses, cattle, covered wagons, costumed Indians, campfires and marksmanship.

Another famous person, Annie Oakley as well as her husband performed in Buffalo Bill's Wild West and dazzled the crowds with her accurate hitting of targets using guns.

Millions of people saw this show at Madison Square Garden in New York between the years of 1886 to 1887 during the summer and early fall season.

The Wild West would forever more be engraved into the minds of Europeans and others not familiar with the real thing because of this branding by Buffalo Bill and his troupe of actors.

Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming

Cody, Wyoming

Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in Wyoming in 1895. It became incorporated in 1901.

As his fame and fortunes increased, Buffalo Bill acquired more land eventually owning about 8,000 acres in this beautiful area of the country.

He started a hotel in the town, had an ever increasingly sized ranch, grazed cattle and entertained people by offering camping and hunting trips among other things.

He loved that part of the country but also had a home in North Platte, Nebraska.

A Buffalo Bill Historical Center is now located in Cody, Wyoming where visitors can learn much more about this famous man.

Circumstances can certainly shape a person's life!

Looking at the boyhood home of William Cody, his family was certainly doing well financially.

What would have happened had his father survived the stab wounds?

William Cody would undoubtedly not have had to take on the mantle of wage earner at the young age of 11. He would probably never have had all the life experiences which led him to the nickname of Buffalo Bill and ultimately the world stage.

Would he have become a gentleman farmer and rancher? We will never know!

Buffalo Bill Cody died on January 10, 1917 with much of his fortune that he had earned over the years gone.

His grave-site is on Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado.

Buffalo Bill has been honored with two different United States Postage Stamps.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Disneyland, Paris

His legacy continues to live on even to this day and time and he has become larger than real life in many people's minds due to the hype of shows like the Buffalo Bill's Wild West and other entertainment media sources.

Thanks to my aunt and uncle and their showing us Buffalo Bill Cody's boyhood home in Iowa, Buffalo Bill's life and experiences became of more interest to me. Hopefully this was interesting for you readers as well.

Have you visited the Buffalo Bill homestead in Iowa?

See results
A markerBuffalo Bill Cody Homestead -
28050 230th Ave, Princeton, IA 52768, USA
get directions

© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pencil Drawing,

      That could well be the case. Nice that you have that piece of artwork.

    • profile image

      Pencil Drawing. 3 years ago

      I have a Pencil drawing of Bill Cody's home in McCausland, Iowa. This drawing was done by Paul N Norton. Although the house is built the same

      this was has clabboard all the way around it. There is a tree by the house.

      It has a out building close to the house. A fence of wire with bobwire on top of the fence. I am thinking this was done before the house had been updated.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dolores,

      So happy to be able to share some information about Buffalo Bill Cody's early boyhood home. Thanks for the visit, vote up and the share.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi moonlake,

      The boyhood home of "Buffalo Bill" Cody was much larger than I expected to see. His parents were obviously doing well prior to his father's early death. Thanks for your comment and the share. I enjoyed learning more about him when doing the research for this hub. :)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Peggy - I enjoyed sharing your visit to Buffalo Bill's home. I love to visit historic homes, and visiting the home of an historic person, you get a feel for their personality. Too bad you couldn't get the interior shots but there are a lot of those kinds of places where they do not allow you to take photographs. Voted up and shared!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      How interesting and I love the house. Will vote and share this one. If I ever get there I will have to check out the Buffalo Bill Cody home.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi alocsin,

      We can thank my aunt and uncle who thought to show us Buffalo Bill Cody's boyhood home which happens to be not that far away from where they live in Iowa. It was quite a house! Thanks for your comment.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      You just stumble upon the most interesting places, Peggy. Thanks for pointing this out -- if I ever visit Iowa, it's worth a stop. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Billy,

      Buffalo Bill Cody certainly did his part to keep the images of the wild west alive!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 6 years ago

      I always enjoy a good cowboy yarn - tales of the wild west are timeless.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi WesternHistory,

      Will look forward to reading your hubs about William Cody aka Buffalo Bill Cody. Thanks for your comment.

    • WesternHistory profile image

      WesternHistory 6 years ago from California

      Excellent hub. Enjoyed reading. I also have two blogs regarding William Cody and I've found the subject quite interesting to research.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello agusfanani,

      The reconstructed log cabin and those authentic old wagons that graced the grounds of Buffalo Bill Cody's boyhood home were certainly added attractions. As to my picture...that was quite the crazy outfit looking at it now...but it was lightweight and I used to wear it often. Thumbs down on fashion sense. Haha!

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 7 years ago from Indonesia

      I love this place, and the log cabin is the best attraction. From this hub I can see your picture which makes me know one of my favorite hubbers better.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello hypnosis4u2,

      I was also surprised to learn that "Buffalo Bill" Cody started out in Iowa. Obviously he spent much time in Wyoming and elsewhere for that matter...but even has the town of Cody, Wyoming named after him. Yes those old wagons and stagecoach were fascinating to be able to touch and see up close. Thanks for stopping by, reading and leaving a comment.

    • hypnosis4u2 profile image

      hypnosis4u2 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great subject for a hub and lots of interesting facts and photos. I always associated Cody with Wyoming and not Iowa so thanks for correction. Seeing those old wagons in the photos was fascinating, but being up close to them must have been amazing for you.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Prasetio,

      Glad that you found this hub about Buffalo Bill Cody of interest. We were glad that my aunt and uncle took us to the location of his boyhood home as well as other interesting areas around where they live in Iowa. Thanks for your nice comment, as always.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Peggy, I saw this place like in my television. But you always come up with beauty, like this one. Amazing pictures. I'll put this places in my list. Thank you very much. Vote up!

      Prasetio

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello reddog1027,

      Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed this hub about Buffalo Bill Cody's boyhood home plus a bit more of his history. I also enjoy learning things via hubpages.

    • reddog1027 profile image

      reddog1027 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I love visiting historical or little known places via hubpages. Thanks for the tour complete with a brief history of the Old West.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Mike,

      Glad that you liked this hub about the boyhood home of the famed Buffalo Bill Cody. Yes...I am just traveling down memory lane in creating these hubs. Some memories are further back and some more recent, but I have my photo albums to guide me.

      There is a one room abandoned schoolhouse near where my aunt and uncle live. It is a shame that no one to date has sought to renovate and keep it from entirely falling apart.

      Thanks for your nice comment. You should write a hub about your father's one room schoolhouse!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      I love the fact that all your travel articles are places you have actually visited--documented by your own photographs. The old log cabins are amazing to me and remind me of the schoolhouse my father went to as a young boy on a farm.

      I don't head up to Iowa often, but it is only a short drive and perhaps with luck I can see this in person someday. Thanks for sharing your travels with us!

      Mike

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      Buffalo Bill was certainly an interesting and widely traveled man of many experiences along his life's path. Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi nifty@50,

      Yes...DO check out Buffalo Bill Cody's boyhood home in Iowa the next time you visit your family. In what part of Iowa do they live? My relatives live in Bettendorf.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello SimoneSmith,

      Not only does Buffalo Bill Cody's boyhood home still exist, but it is furnished in period style and is well worth a visit. Had I owned a digital camera back then, I would have provided you with many inside shots as well. Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      Cheryl 7 years ago

      A very interesting presentation on Buffalo Bill. A brave soldier and hunter. I loved the old schoolhouse. Thanks for sharing a piece of history to be remembered.

    • nifty@50 profile image

      nifty@50 7 years ago

      Have family in Iowa, will have to make a detour on our next trip and check this out! Thanks Peggy for sharing!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Gosh, I hadn't realized that Buffalo Bill Cody's old home still existed! Very cool!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Ellimac Ymac,

      I think that you will find visiting Buffalo Bill Cody's boyhood home very interesting. It is quite a house! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • Ellimac Ymac profile image

      Ellimac Ymac 7 years ago

      Interesting post. I live in Iowa and have not been there. I will have visit soon.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Hello, hello,

      Glad that you found this hub about the life and boyhood home of Buffalo Bill Cody interesting. I also found it interesting as I was doing the research for this hub. Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Deerwhisperer,

      Yes, Buffalo Bill Cody certainly had an interesting life. Thanks for taking a look at his boyhood home in Iowa and what followed.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Jess Killmenow,

      Yes...Iowa has all kinds of interesting sites and history...Buffalo Bill Cody's boyhood home being just one. Thanks for the comment.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for such a detailed account of Buffalo Bill Cody'slife and home. You can imagine how I was fascinated reading your hub.

    • Deerwhisperer profile image

      Brenda Krupnow 7 years ago from Bradenton, Florida

      Interesting account, and I loved your pictures.

    • Jess Killmenow profile image

      Jess Killmenow 7 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

      Fascinating! Iowa: who knew?

      Thank you, Peggy

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi dahoglund,

      Glad you liked this hub on Buffalo Bill Cody. If you noticed I put in the link to the one you did on him. Think that they compliment one another perfectly. Iowa has more to offer than most people probably think.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Hi Peggy W

      I sort of miss those places around Scott county, Iowa. My memory is a bit fuzzy on some of it.It's nice to see your pictures.Nice hub on buffalo bill.