Who Is Annie Oakley

Phoebe Ann Mosey (regularly misspelled as Mozee or Moses) was born in a log cabin in Darke County, Ohio, in 1860. She fired her first shot at the age of 8 and by age 12 was the chief provider for her large and hungry family. Thanks to her mastery of the rifle and shotgun, she paid off the mortgage on the Mosey homestead through the sale of surplus wild game to a Cincinnati hotel owner. The fame of this wonderful tiny shooter exploded through Ohio and the mid-west when she triumphed over Frank Butler, vaudeville’s champ marksman and trick shot. Butler not only lost the match, he lost his heart to this shy little shooter. One year later , Frank and Annie were married. Frank felt certain husband and wife teams would face difficulty being scheduled by agents, and he and Annie decided that she ought to have a professional name. Annie selected “Oakley,” after a kind and generous man who had befriended her in an earlier time of crisis. As Annie Oakley’s fame grew, Frank realized his bride was enticing far more notice than he as she shocked audiences with her unusual precision. He shortly brought her to the awareness of Nate Salsbury, the genius chief of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Frank withdrew from competition to concentrate on managing Annie’s career. Touring Europe with the Wild West Show in 1887, Annie twice gave personal demonstrations for Queen Victoria, defeated Grand Duke Michael of Russia in a match organized by the Prince of Wales, and in Berlin shot a cigarette from the lips of Kaiser Wilhelm. After a sad train accident, Annie retired from the Wild West Show in 1901. She headlined in a Broadway play, THE WESTERN GIRL, in 1902 and ’03. She also continued to perform at Charity events? Annie Oakley never refused a Charity request if the beneficiaries were either orphaned girls, meriting younger women, or actors. Annie Oakley’s feats as a sharpshooter are legendary. At 30 paces she shot a dime from between her husband’s thumb and forefinger with a .22 rifle and with this weapon could hit two-inch flying balls by sighting them in the shiny surface of a bowie knife. Once she hit 943 out of 1000 flying balls in a rapid fire demonstration and, at the age of 56, using three double-barreled guns, punctured in midair 6 balls sprung from as many traps. Her prowess was immortalised in the lingo of Broadway when, in the pre-computerized days of hard tickets, complimentary tickets identified by the holes punched in them were called “Annie Oaklies” since they duplicated the holes Annie shot in flying playing cards. Annie Oakley died in Greenville, Ohio on Nov 3, 1926. Frank Butler died eighteen days later . They are buried side-by-side in Brock Graveyard, just a few miles from her birthplace. The stories of Annie and Frank have been immortalized in Irving Berlin’s musical Annie Get Your Gun . This action packed broadway musical first presented in 1946 has delighted audiences around the world and is still a great draw for theatres around the country. GNTC is 1 the community support they receive. Membership grows with each production and draws volunteers from Eden Valley, Watkins, Albany, Paynesville, Sauk Rapids, Waite Park, Kimball, St. Martin, St. Joseph, St. Cloud and beyond. A community theater in Cold Spring, Minnesota was formed in September of 1991 when interested people came together to dedicate the Rocori Highschool Auditorium to long time humanities fan and Cold Spring resident Glanville Smith. Work commenced on our first production and the Great Northern Theatre Company was officially incorporated in 1992.

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