"The story of Cody's efforts as a town builder and irrigation
Celebrated showman of the Old West, William F. "Buffalo Bill"
Cody took on another role unknown to most Americans, that of the
western land developer and town promoter. In this captivating
study, Robert E. Bonner demonstrates that the skills Cody acquired
from decades in show business failed to prepare him for the
demanding arena of business and finance.
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 us a Buffalo Bill preoccupied with making
a buck and not at all shy about using his fame to do it.
Cody spent huge sums, bullied partners, patronized state
officials, and exercised 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
Laced with engaging anecdotes and featuring more than twenty
photographs, "William F. Cody's Wyoming Empire "is a much needed
look at an overly mythologized character. There was more to William
F. Cody than the Wild West show--and we cannot construct a full
picture of the man without understanding his entrepreneurial
activities in Wyoming.
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