44 Facts About Annie Oakley


Annie Oakley earned more than anyone except Buffalo Bill himself.


Annie Oakley instructed women in marksmanship, believing strongly in female self-defense.


Since her death, her story has been adapted for stage musicals and films, including Annie Oakley Get Your Gun.


Annie Oakley was born Phoebe Ann Mosey on August 13,1860, in a log cabin less than two miles northwest of Woodland, now Willowdell, in Darke County, Ohio, a rural county along the state's border with Indiana.


Annie Oakley's birthplace is about five miles east of North Star.


Annie Oakley's parents were Quakers of English descent from Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania: Susan Wise, born 1830, and Jacob Mosey, born 1799, married in 1848.


Annie Oakley's siblings were Mary Jane, Lydia, Elizabeth, Sarah Ellen, Catherine, John, Hulda and a stillborn infant brother in 1865.

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Annie Oakley spent about two years in near slavery to them, enduring mental and physical abuse.


Around the spring of 1872, Annie Oakley ran away from "the wolves".


Annie Oakley began trapping before the age of seven, and shooting and hunting by age eight, to support her siblings and her widowed mother.


Annie Oakley sold the hunted game to locals in Greenville, such as shopkeepers Charles and G Anthony Katzenberger, who shipped it to hotels in Cincinnati and other cities.


Annie Oakley sold the game to restaurants and hotels in northern Ohio.


Annie Oakley's skill paid off the mortgage on her mother's farm when Annie was 15.


At five feet tall, Annie Oakley was given the nickname of "Watanya Cicilla" by fellow performer Sitting Bull, rendered "Little Sure Shot" in the public advertisements.


Annie Oakley temporarily left the Buffalo Bill show but returned two years later, after Smith departed, in time for the Paris Exposition of 1889.


Annie Oakley earned more than any other performer in the show, except for Buffalo Bill himself.


Annie Oakley performed in many shows on the side for extra income.


Annie Oakley supposedly shot the ashes off a cigarette held by the newly crowned German Kaiser Wilhelm II at his request.


Annie Oakley promoted the service of women in combat operations for the United States armed forces.


Theodore Roosevelt, did name his volunteer cavalry the "Rough Riders" after the "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World" where Annie Oakley was a major star.


In 1901, Annie Oakley was badly injured in a train accident but recovered after temporary paralysis and five spinal operations.


Annie Oakley left the Buffalo Bill show and in 1902 began a less taxing acting career in a stage play written especially for her, The Western Girl.


Annie Oakley played the role of Nancy Berry who used a pistol, a rifle and rope to outsmart a group of outlaws.


Annie Oakley believed strongly that it was crucial for women to learn how to use a gun, as not only a form of physical and mental exercise, but to defend themselves.


Annie Oakley never failed to delight her audiences, and her feats of marksmanship were truly incredible.

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Annie Oakley playfully skipped on stage, lifted her rifle, and aimed the barrel at a burning candle.


Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull purportedly met and bonded while working together on a Buffalo Bill show in Minnesota.


Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst published a false story that Annie Oakley had been arrested for stealing to support a cocaine habit.


Annie Oakley spent much of the next six years winning all but one of her 55 libel lawsuits against newspapers.


Annie Oakley collected less in judgments than the total of her legal expenses.


Annie Oakley continued to set records into her sixties and engaged in extensive philanthropy for women's rights and other causes, including the support of young women she knew.


Annie Oakley embarked on a comeback and intended to star in a feature-length silent movie.


Annie Oakley hit 100 clay targets in a row from 16 yards at age 62 in a 1922 shooting contest in Pinehurst, North Carolina.


In late 1922, the couple were in a car crash that forced Annie Oakley to wear a steel brace on her right leg.


Annie Oakley eventually performed again after more than a year of recovery, and she set records in 1924.


Annie Oakley's health declined in 1925 and she died of pernicious anemia in Greenville, Ohio, at the age of 66 on November 3,1926.


Annie Oakley was cremated and her ashes buried at Brock Cemetery, near Greenville.


One rumor claims that Annie Oakley's ashes were placed in one of her trophies and placed with Butler's body in his coffin prior.


Annie Oakley has been inducted into the Trapshooting Hall of Fame, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas, the National Women's Hall of Fame, the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, and the New Jersey Hall of Fame.


Such tickets traditionally have holes punched into them, reminiscent of the playing cards Annie Oakley shot through during her sharpshooting act.


Annie Oakley did not forget her roots after gaining financial and economic power.


Beyond this offer to the president, Annie Oakley believed that women should learn to use a gun for the empowering image that it gave.


Laura Browder discusses how Annie Oakley's stardom gave hope to women and youth in Her Best Shot: Women and Guns In America.


Annie Oakley was a key influence in the creation of the image of the American cowgirl.