My maternal grandmother was born in 1880 and grew up in Wyoming. She told me that when she was a very young girl she saw the body of Wild Bill Hickok, which was shown in a traveling show. Do you have any idea what the case may be?

My maternal grandmother was born in 1880 and grew up in Wyoming. She told me that when she was a very young girl she saw the body of Wild Bill Hickok, which was shown in a traveling show. Do you have any idea what the case may be?

Harvey Sinesio
Goodyear, Arizona

Sounds like a hoax to me. Famous names are often substituted to sensationalize a tale or event. We call it the Jesse James Syndrome.

Some carnival huckster may have claimed the body was that of Wild Bill, but it’s a fact that he was buried on Boothill in Deadwood, South Dakota, on August 3, 1876.

Three years later he was dug up and reburied at Mount Moriah Cemetery.

(See True West, September 2001.)

With the exception of that disturbance, Wild Bill’s body has been RIP in Deadwood.

There was an Oklahoma outlaw, Elmer McCurdy, whose carcass was embalmed and put on exhibit in a carnival, but that’s a story we’ll save for later.

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