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On this day in 1860, Annie Oakley was Born in Darke County, Ohio
August 13, 2023
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On this day in 1860, American sharpshooter and showwoman Annie Oakley were born in Darke County, Ohio. She began her shooting career at the age of 8 in order to help support her large family. She not only put food on the table but was able to pay off the family’s mortgage by selling her game to a local grocery and restaurants.
As an adult, Oakley toured as a sharpshooter, including with Buffalo Bill’s famous Wild West Show. During her time with Buffalo Bill, she became friends with Chief Sitting Bull and the two maintained mutual respect and affection for each other. Sitting Bull lent Oakley her famous nickname, “Little Sure Shot,” from the Sioux “Watanya Cicilla.”
Did you know? As a young woman, she outshot a professional sharpshooter, Frank Butler, who became her husband the following year. The young couple toured together, but Oakley soon outshone her husband, who opted to support and help manage her career. The marriage lasted 50 years until their deaths in 1926.
Profile of Annie Oakley, c. 1903