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Annie Oakley's story is a must read
Tribune Chronicle ^ | 12-09-02 | By BOB ROBINSON Tribune Chronicle

Posted on 12/09/2002 6:22:16 AM PST by MissTargets

Annie Oakley's story is a must read

By BOB ROBINSON Tribune Chronicle

''At the height of her career, Annie Oakley was called the most famous woman in America - some said, the world.''

That's how an excellent book on Ohio's ''Little Sure Shot'' begins. The book is ''Annie Oakley'' and the author is Shirl Kasper, a Kansas journalist who writes in her forward that the book is dedicated ''to all the little girls who grew up in the 1950s, as I did, looking for a heroine.'' Ten years ago, Kasper wrote this rip-roarin' biography of Annie Oakley, who was born Phoebe Ann Moses in Darke County, Ohio, in 1860. Her father, Jacob Moses, had moved to Ohio from Pennsylvania with her mother, Susan, and three young daughters.

He brought along the most important items for a pioneer family - an axe and a Kentucky rifle. And with these, he built a life for his daughters and, finally, a son. Described to us as an athletic man who even at age 56 could out jump anyone in the county, Jacob knew how to use his rifle, despite his Quaker heritage.

Kasper writes that Annie often accompanied her father and brother, John, into the woods, where she learned to track rabbits, listen to birds and build fences. By the time she was seven, she was trapping quail and rabbits for the family. And then she learned to shoot - when she was 8 years old.

As we know, she shot very well.

''Her legend took root in the dusty arena at Buffalo Bill's Wild West, the great outdoor show that was the forerunner of today's western movies and television programs,'' Kasper writes. ''For 17 years, Annie Oakley performed as a star sharpshooter, shattering clay targets under the bright summer sun from Boston to Denver to Duluth to Macon. By the turn of the century, her name was on the lips of every man, woman and child in America.''

Annie was a petite woman. She stood an even five feet and weighed in at only 110 pounds, soaking wet. She was an Ohioan who probably had never been west of the Mississippi until she went with a circus train. She started her career on the road with the Sells Brothers Circus of Columbus.

It was Chief Sitting Bull, who had tangled with another Ohioan, Gen. George Custer, who dubbed Annie ''Watanya Cicilla'' or ''Little Sure Shot.''

It happened in a St. Paul, Minn., theater. Sitting Bull was the most distinguished prisoner of war in the Dakota Territory. He had wiped out Custer's Seventh Cavalry only eight years earlier, and the citizens of St. Paul never knew whether to hiss or just nod when they saw him on the streets, Kasper tells us.

At nights, Sitting Bull liked to watch plays and live shows. One night, he saw Annie Oakley snuff out a burning candle with a bullet from her rifle. Sitting Bull was smitten. He sent messages to Annie that he wanted to meet her, but she was busy and ignored them. Finally, he sent $65 to her room in hopes of getting a photograph.

This time, Annie returned his money, along with her photograph, and said she would meet him in the morning.

''I did so, and the old man was so pleased with me, he insisted on adopting me, and I was then and there christened 'Watanya Cicilla,' or ''Little Sure Shot.''

Fortunately, Annie's husband, Frank Butler, knew a little about promotion. An Irishman, Butler had met Annie at a shooting match. He was bested, so he proposed to Miss Oakley. He continued from that point as her agent, manager and husband, and he jumped on the story about Sitting Bull to help promote his wife.

Kasper has got it all in her fine little book. And what's more, she's got it right.

Kasper even takes on the job of examining a number of myths about Annie Oakley. One of my favorites was that Annie's hair turned white in one day following a train wreck on Oct. 29, 1901. She and Frank were not hurt, and Annie's hair did not turn white as a result of the train wreck, although she later maintained that was the case.

In fact, her white hair was not mentioned until Jan. 16, 1902, at a shooting match. Annie was only 41 years old, but her hair had turned completely white.

Kasper found an old newspaper clipping with a clue: Annie had been forgotten by an attendant in a hot bath of a celebrated health resort, probably in Arkansas. She was only supposed to be in the bath for a minute. Instead, she was kept there for 40 scalding minutes, and when she was finally released, her hair had turned white.

In the interests of disclosure, I should mention that Kasper and I started our newspaper careers at the same time at The Parkersburg News in West Virginia.

But I can't think of a better book to give a teen-ager, boy or girl, at Christmas this year. It can be ordered from any bookstore.

(Robinson is editorial page editor of the Tribune Chronicle.)


TOPICS: Editorial; Miscellaneous; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: annieoakley; banglist; guns; ohio; shootingsports
Annie Oakley is my heroine. I have not read this book, but have found, a lot on the net, about her.
Of course, she would not be very PC, in these times.
It just might be an excellent gift for some young folks out there.
1 posted on 12/09/2002 6:22:16 AM PST by MissTargets
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To: *bang_list; ohio; ResistorSister; Deadeye Division; muggs
A nice article
2 posted on 12/09/2002 6:25:37 AM PST by MissTargets
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To: MissTargets
I know at least one 57 year old woman who is anxious to read this book! Thanks for pointing it out. I'll look for it on my next visit to Barnes & Noble.
3 posted on 12/09/2002 6:28:44 AM PST by Iowa Granny
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To: MissTargets
Hey there, MissTargets J
LTNS J
(What happened to the flying clay target on your profile page?)
(I think "Annie" was a pretty cool 'ol gal too)
4 posted on 12/09/2002 6:29:13 AM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: MissTargets
In 1953, I was Annie Oakley in my kindergarten program. I think I got the part because I was the only girl with a complete cowgirl outfit. Ha!

I was a devoted fan of the television series, and even made my mother put my hair in pigtails like the star.

Thanks for reminding me of some childhood memories. I will look for the book.

Gail Davis from the TV series, pictured above. Not the REAL Annie Oakley, but it was a good show for girls to watch in the 50's.

5 posted on 12/09/2002 6:37:09 AM PST by Miss Marple
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To: Fiddlstix
Hey hi there!
I know, and after all that help you gave me.
The flyng target took up a lot room. I edited it out, and can't find it now.
6 posted on 12/09/2002 6:56:12 AM PST by MissTargets
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To: Miss Marple; Iowa Granny; Fiddlstix
Annie's Induction in the Trapshooters Hall of Fame
7 posted on 12/09/2002 7:06:32 AM PST by MissTargets
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To: MissTargets

8 posted on 12/09/2002 7:13:44 AM PST by Revelation 911
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To: MissTargets
The flyng target took up a lot room. I edited it out, and can't find it now.

Hmmm.... I can't find it either.....
But
I still have this one on file......

(it's not animated though)

If you ever find the other one, let me know.
We can resize it and make it smaller

Merry Christmas
&
God Bless

9 posted on 12/09/2002 7:27:27 AM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: MissTargets
Before WWI Kaiser Bill volunteered to have a cigar shot out of his mouth. Annie could have missed and prevented all kinds of calamities!

Annie was an amazing shot. It began with her shooting animals to pay off the mortgage on her family home. PETA alert! PETA alert!

10 posted on 12/09/2002 7:34:01 AM PST by Chemnitz
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To: Fiddlstix
Thank you very much. I will use that one, for now.

The same to you and yours.

11 posted on 12/09/2002 7:40:47 AM PST by MissTargets
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To: MissTargets
I was Annie in my high school musical...what a hoot it was!

And it is true...Ya can't get a man with a gun!
12 posted on 12/09/2002 8:21:04 AM PST by AlwaysLurking
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To: MissTargets
A couple of items - Phoebe Anne Mosey was actually younger than that when she learned to shoot, probably around 5 or 6 - by the time she was 8 she was feeding her family because her father had frozen to death bringing supplies to the family one ugly winter. By 15 she was a professional hunter, under contract to a nearby hotel to provide game.

Amazing woman. She was one of those gifted individuals so good at something that she had absolutely no idea how she did it. The chief instructor at the range I patronize starts her women's classes off with one challenge: name a famous marksman, famous only for shooting. Her name is the only one that ever comes up.

Other good stuff to be found HERE.

13 posted on 12/09/2002 9:06:58 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Chemnitz
A few years ago I gave an exhibition at Greenville, and met the old gentleman who had bought all of my game. He showed me some old account books showing the amount of game he had purchased. I won’t say how much, as I might be classed as a game-hog(from the link).

She did what she had to do, to provide for the family.

14 posted on 12/09/2002 9:11:59 AM PST by MissTargets
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To: AlwaysLurking
And it is true...Ya can't get a man with a gun!

I dunno.....There's no better place to meet men, then at a shooting range..lol

15 posted on 12/09/2002 9:20:57 AM PST by MissTargets
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To: Billthedrill
Excellent site! Thanks for posting it.
16 posted on 12/09/2002 9:25:48 AM PST by MissTargets
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To: anniegetyourgun
fyi
17 posted on 12/09/2002 9:29:11 AM PST by Free the USA
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To: MissTargets
Annie was also an instructor for the army in marksmanship. I was at a gun show last weekend and there was a vendor/exhibitor that had a silver dollar that had a chunk blown off one edge and a signed affidavit that Annie had done the deed in one of Buffalo Bill's shows. I couldn't afford it but I would have bought it.

She was a very remarkable woman.
18 posted on 12/09/2002 9:36:29 AM PST by Lee Heggy
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To: MissTargets
"Plinky" Topperwein.

"Her deeds with the gun were not the only things that spoke for her ability. She once was told by Annie Oakley that she was the greatest shooter of all times."

http://www.traphof.org/inductees/topperwein.htm

19 posted on 12/09/2002 9:49:07 AM PST by decimon
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To: MissTargets
I'd like to see a duel between Annie and Sarah Brady!
20 posted on 12/09/2002 12:39:00 PM PST by rockfish59
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To: MissTargets
Excellent post! Yes, Annie is a most un-PC heroine these days.
21 posted on 12/09/2002 2:55:34 PM PST by Molly Pitcher
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To: decimon
Lincoln Was Right
You may hit some of your targets most of the time
And hit most of your targets some of the time
But you can’t hit all of your targets every time all of the time.
No matter how great your skill and how hard you try,
Sooner or later you’ll let one go by.

Great quote from the link you provided about, "Plinky"
There is a wax figure of her, at the "Trapshooting Hall of Fame".

I wonder how these "Great Shooters", would do with modern firearms, and ammo.

22 posted on 12/09/2002 3:08:42 PM PST by MissTargets
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To: Molly Pitcher
Thanks. A lot of interesting reading on the links.
It's fun to read about the past "Greats".
23 posted on 12/09/2002 3:12:37 PM PST by MissTargets
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To: rockfish59
I bet Annie would give ole Sarah, the what for, on gun control.
24 posted on 12/09/2002 3:14:21 PM PST by MissTargets
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To: MissTargets
The server's kinda slow so I'll just post a link. Here's a picture of Annie herself.
25 posted on 12/09/2002 3:25:28 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: MissTargets
Here was an interesting bit of trivia from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary

Main Entry: Annie Oakley
Pronunciation: "a-nE-'O-klE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural Annie Oakleys
Etymology: Annie Oakley died 1926 American markswoman; from the resemblance of a punched pass to a playing card with bullet holes through the spots
Date: circa 1910
: a free ticket

I remember seeing in a couple of old movies where a character would say that they were given a couple of Annie Oakleys to some event. I think it was even used to describe free movie passes. So her name is also a defintion.
26 posted on 12/09/2002 3:36:53 PM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult
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To: Free the USA; MissTargets; Billthedrill; Iowa Granny
Yeehaw! Phoebe/Annie is clearly one of my heroines. I don't hunt, but love to shoot and am a bit of a sure shot myself!

I have a daguerreotype photo of me in Annie-style western gear (had to fake the guns though, because all they had were some silly pistols). I am just 5'2" and weighed about 100 lbs. at age 19 when the picture was taken. It's the one I would put on my profile page....if my hubby let me post pictures of myself. But alas, he is about as protective as I am independent!

Thanks for the ping, FtUSA and for the post Miss T. I gotta get this one for my daughter for Christmas!

27 posted on 12/09/2002 3:48:25 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: annie oakley
Ping!
28 posted on 12/09/2002 3:49:59 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: MissTargets
"Oh, a man may be hot....but he's NOT when he's shot!
Oh ya can't get a man with a gun!"
----Musical, Annie Get Your Gun
29 posted on 12/09/2002 5:32:51 PM PST by AlwaysLurking
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To: MissTargets
bttt
30 posted on 12/09/2002 8:59:47 PM PST by Deadeye Division
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To: Deadeye Division
Please let me know, if you hear anything today, on the vote.
31 posted on 12/10/2002 4:13:38 AM PST by MissTargets
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