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Postcard from the Past - Col. Cody Touts Business Growth

Written by Dick Perue

A recent newspaper headline declares, “Wyoming icon ‘Buffalo Bill’ to be inducted into Business Hall of Fame.” An article that follows noted that William F. Cody was a businessman and entrepreneur during pioneer days of Wyoming.

Several newspaper articles in the Nov. 13, 1903 issue of the “Grand Encampment Herald” declared that fact in an interview years ago, and we pass that information along to our readers through these news items:

The Great West

“All we need in Wyoming is capital. In America there are 80 millions of people, and the western half of the country has only 15 millions of them while it is capable of sustaining 100 million more. This fact is just becoming known. Why, many people who live in the far East think that when they get west of the Missouri River they will find nothing but rocks, sagebrush and desert, but in the face of that sentiment the most progressive and enterprising people in the country are those who come West. They venture out and seek new fields.

“Fact is, right in Congress, the brightest senators and representatives are those from west of the Missouri. And it is also true that the Wyoming senators and our congressman are closer to President Roosevelt and the administration than the statesmen of any other state in the union. Take Congressman Mondell, for instance. It takes a pretty progressive state to produce a man his equal; you cannot give Mondell too much credit.”

This is a quote from Col. Cody in 1903 “Grand Encampment Herald.”

About railroads

Asked about the railroad situation in Wyoming, Col. Cody said:

“It won’t be long before there will be a north and south railroad through the state to connect with the Burlington at Cody. Why, people laughed at me when I started the town of Cody. I told them I would have a railroad there in six years and got it in four. Railroads will come where the business is, and the central part of Wyoming is rich in a score of industries.

“Only a few years ago there was not a railroad west of the Missouri. Today there are six trans-continental lines and a network of roads between Wyoming and the East. Do you think railroad building will stop? Not on your life. They are going to keep coming.”

Removing the capital (sic)

Col. Cody was asked his opinion of Mr. Emerson’s scheme to build a new city in central Wyoming and make the city of Emerson the state capital (sic). He replied...but, then, that’s a crazy scheme for our next “Postcard.”