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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Vintage Cowgirl Photos

Cowgirls have had an active role in the history of the United States. The story of the Wild West cannot be told without focusing on several famous cowgirls. Some very notable cowgirls include Annie Oakley, Velma Bronn Johnston, Rose Dunn, Pearl Hart and Ellen Liddy Watson. These women helped to shape the West and the United States as we know it. There are many artists who have created vintage cowgirl photos and paintings to remember these special women. Some of these women are honored in the Cowgirl Hall Of Fame for their influences in history.

Annie Oakley was born in 1860 as Phoebe Ann Moses Butler. She was a successful sharpshooter and the first woman to perform in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show which traveled the world. Being born to a poor family in Ohio, Annie rose above the poverty and became one of the best sharpshooters ever. Annie strove to maintain her femininity as well as assisting her poor family. At the age of fifteen she challenged and beat Frank Butler, the local sharpshooting champion. Annie is depicted in many vintage cowgirl photos due to the popularity of her talent.

Wild Horse Annie was born Velma Bronn Johnston in 1912 in Nevada. The nickname came from her devotion to animal rights. Velma Bronn Johnston was so devoted to the wild horses that she even took her activism to Congress. Most women during this time period were housewives but she was so affected by the cruelty done to the wild horses. Wild Horse Annie was the cornerstone of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act which was passed in 1971.

Rose Dunn was born in 1879 in Oklahoma to a poor family. Rose was fortunate enough to receive a formal education at a parochial school. Rose Dunn is more commonly known as the “Rose of Cimarron”. She was married to George “Bittercreek” Newcomb, an outlaw with the Wild Bunch gang at the age of fifteen. Newcomb and his gang member Bill Doolin were eventually killed by Rose Dunn’s brothers to collect a five thousand dollar bounty. The Dunn brothers were able to easily kill Doolin and Newcomb when they came to visit Rose.

Pearl Hart was born in Canada in 1871. At the age of seventeen she married a gambler and relocated to the United States. Hart suffered from addiction to cigarettes, alcohol and morphine. When her husband left to fight in the Spanish-American war, she began robbing stagecoaches with Joe Boot to support her habits. She was eventually caught and put in jail for her crimes but is infamous for the last stagecoach robbery ever.

Ellen Liddy Watson was born in 1861. Ellen was a cook at the Rawlins House Hotel where she met her husband. Watson and her husband were law-abiding citizens but she was killed in 1889 by a group of vigilantes who thought they were cattle rustlers. The death of Ellen Liddy Watson is still a mystery of the Wild West.


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