FROM THE MORGUE
Copyright 2009 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
March 7, 1903
Annie Oakley, the "Police Gazette" champion woman shot, is without doubt one of the most remarkable performers in the world. She has been shooting since nine years old and twice has she chased the best live bird shots of the world under the wire at the Grand American Handicap. Twice has she killed twenty three birds out of a possible twenty five at this great shoot but on each occasion have members of the sterner sex killed twenty five straight.
Twice at Monte Carlo has the little woman, born and bred in Ohio, taken first money shot in the Grand Prix, however. On each of these occasions she won with thirteen straight kills, the cracks all being miss and out.
Annie Oakley gained world-wide fame when a girl in short dresses at last beating the man, now her husband, in a match at live birds. She was then but fifteen years old. She was a little Quakeress born in Woodland, Darke county, O. Her father carried the mail bag once a week across the country to Greenville, the county seat.
When nine years old she began to use an old musket which belonged to her brother. She would lean it over a fence and shoot wild turkeys and other game which abounded in that locality. She killed so much game that her father would carry it over to the county seat on his weekly trips and sell it.
When Annie was eleven years old she got her first real shotgun, paying $7 for it out of her own profits. By the time she was fifteen she had paid off the mortgage on her father's home. It was but a few hundred dollars, but every cent was earned with the little $7 shotgun. Then she met Frank Butler and her fate.
In speaking of his first defeat Mr. Butler says:
"In 1881 myself and partner were shooting against all comers with a shotgun. When we got to Cincinnati we put up at a hotel where farmers stopped. One of them said he had an "unknown" who would meet me at Greenville, O, for $100 a side. As I knew that it was not either Bogardus or Carver who was to be my opponent I thought I had a cinch.
"From the day the match was made until I started for the shooting ground I heard nothing from the unknown or his backer. The ground was eighteen miles from the nearest station, but I went cheerfully, thinking I could well afford to do so for the $100 and some more I could get. Since I would be able to get some money down against the 'unknown.'
I got there late and found the whole town, in fact most of the county, out ready to bet me or any of my friends to a standstill on their 'unknown.' I did not bet a cent. You may gamble, however, that I almost dropped dead when a little slim girl in short dresses stepped out to the mark with me. I then knew I was to shoot against Annie Oakley, of whose childish prowess I had heard in a faint way. I was a beaten man from the moment she appeared, for I was taken off guard.
I never shot better in my life. Never were the birds so tight for two shooters as they flew from us, but never did a person make more impossible shots than did that little girl. She killed twenty three and I killed twenty one. It was her first big match, my first defeat.
[The next year I came back to engage with the girl who had beaten me, and see would she be my wife from then.]
Since it was originally presented as a direct quote from Frank Butler, the last sentence of this article is contained in brackets and represents a best guess by our editors as it is largely illegible in the faded original.
|How She Defeated the Man Who is
Now Her Husband.
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