Did You Know . . .

 

On his way to California, William Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, met Pony Express agents and started working for them. He became a Pony Express Rider at the age of 15. When his relief rider was killed, he made his longest ride of 322 miles over dangerous territory in 21 hours and 40 minutes. He changed horses 21 times.

Buffalo Bill also worked on the railroad, herded cattle, and took part in the gold rush. He received his nickname when he scouted during the Civil War. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Rough Riders of the World Show used some of the Pony Express Riders.

Bronco Charlie Miller, who worked on Buffalo Bill’s show, became a rider at the age of 11. His father heard they needed a rider and volunteered Charlie. He claimed to be the last one to ride before the Pony Express shut down. He outlived the rest of the riders. He died in 1955 at the age of 105.

James Butler Hickock, also known as Wild Bill Hickock, worked at a station and never rode because he was too heavy. He also performed in Buffalo Bill’s show. During a blizzard, Billy Fisher lost his way. He dismounted and sat by a tree. When he fell asleep, something jumped on his legs. He woke up to find a rabbit licking his face. Billy climbed back on his horse and continued his ride. He believed that God sent the rabbit to save his life, because he might have frozen to death without ever waking up.

These brave young fellows, and many others like them, showed great courage as they rode through lonely territory. They all understood that the mail must be delivered. They traveled at night under starry skies and during thunderstorms. Rain, snow, and the summer heat didn’t stop them. Native Americans, who lived in the area for many years before California became a state, attacked some of them as they rode.

Their bravery lives on and inspires us today.

 

– Sandra M. Hart loves to learn
about history and wants to
share some fun facts with you!
She has written some historical
novels she hopes to publish.

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