Buffalo Bill's 1906 Will Excerpt

Here is the paragraph from Buffalo Bill's 1906 will that describes his burial wishes:

"It is my wish and I hereby direct that my body shall be buried in some suitable plot of ground on Cedar Mountain, overlooking the town of Cody, Wyoming, in order that my mortal remains shall lie in close proximity to that fair section of my native Country which bears my name and in the growth and development of which I have taken so deep and loving an interest, and to which wheresoever and to whatever parts of the earth I have wandered I have always longed to return. I further direct that there shall be erected over my grave, to mark the spot where my body lies, a monument wrought from native red stone in the form of a mammoth buffalo, and placed in such a position as to be visible from the town, in order that it may be a constant reminder to my fellow citizens that it was the great wish of its founder that Cody should not only grow in prosperity and become a populous and influential metropolis, but that it should be distinguished for the purity of its government and the loyalty of its citizens to the institution of our beloved Country. I give to my said executors the sum of Ten Thousand dollars for the cost of the monument and its erection and to carefully keep the ground about it in proper order."
William F. Cody

Editor's Note: Buffalo Bill filed a second will in 1913 that gave all his possessions to his wife Louisa and made her executor of his will. Hence Louisa had the power to decide where to bury Buffalo Bill. She selected Denver. The Denver leaders claim that Buffalo Bill selected the Denver burial location on his deathbed in a conversation with Louisa and a Catholic priest. There is no written evidence of his change of wishes and the controversy cannot be resolved.

As for the monument, according to an inflation calculator, ten thousand dollars in 1906 dollars would be $205,000 in today's money. Clearly Buffalo Bill had a massive statue in mind. It is a shame that nearly 90 years after his death, Cody, Wyoming has not fulfilled the last wishes of its founder by placing the mammoth monument he wanted on Cedar Mountain, overlooking the town he loved. - Mike Johnson