buffalo bill cody, mason and frontiersman






Buffalo Bill Cody

Mason and Frontiersman

Posted September 3, 2013

Buffalo Bill Cody was born in LeClaire, Iowa, on February 26, 1846, but his family moved to Leavenworth, Kansas when he was still young. By age fourteen he already had a job as a rider for the Pony Express, and joined the 9th Kansas Cavalry by the time he turned seventeen.

Three years later he married Louisa Frederici in St. Louis, but by then he was working as a scout providing buffalo meat for soldiers and railroad workers. That meant he was constantly on the move, but she had a lot of patience and managed to make the marriage work.

Buffalo Bill in Masonry and on Stage

At age 24 Buffalo Bill, as he was now known, became a Master Mason at Platte Valley Lodge No. 32 in Nebraska. Two years later his life changed dramatically when he traveled to New York to see himself portrayed in a stage play, then agreed to go onstage himself. From that point onward he began dividing his time between working on the plains and acting on stages all along the East coast.

Buffalo Bill founded his Wild West Show in 1883 and became a household name. While enjoying this life, he went on in Masonry to work his way through Royal Arch and the other York Rite degrees, culminating in his being dubbed a Knight Templar. He followed that by joining the Shriners, then rising through the 32 degrees of Scottish Rite. Clearly he reveled in being a Mason in every way he could.

Buffalo Bill's Masonic Funeral

After a long and active life, Buffalo Bill passed away on the 10th of January, 1917. The Masonic funeral service that was held for him on Lookout Mountain in Colorado drew 15,000 people. That is believed to be the largest such service ever to be held in America.

Buffalo Bill Days Festival 2013

Masonic author Sanford Holst spoke at the Buffalo Bill Days Festival held on September 14 and 15, 2013, at the invitation of Kansas Masons in Leavenworth. He described the life of Buffalo Bill as a Mason, and related this to Masonry's influence in America. Holst's book Sworn in Secret explores the rise of Masonry and its early members' contributions to the creation of the United States of America.  

Buffalo Bill Cody, Mason

Sworn in Secret

is available on Amazon



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