Annie Oakley’s Rival

Lillian Smith True West
Lillian Smith

Annie Oakley wasn’t the only great female sharpshooter in the 19th century.  In fact, many people thought that Lillian Smith was even better than “Little Sure Shot.”  So why isn’t Smith more famous?

Oakley had some responsibility. Both were part of Buffalo Bill’s show in 1886—Smith was just 15—and their rivalry became personal. Annie told Cody that she wouldn’t be part of the show unless Smith was fired, and he met the demand.  As a result, Smith’s fame faded while Oakley’s continued to soar.

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