In the sepia tones of an America long past, captured in the amber of time, we see the titans of the Wild West. The scene is set in late 1873 when the earth beneath their feet seemed to tremble at their fame. At the time, these three men were the most famous Westerners alive. Seated on the right is Buffalo Bill Cody, the legendary scout whose exploits were as vast as the plains he roamed, a man whose name would become synonymous with the very spirit of the West. On the left sits the enigmatic Wild Bill Hickok, whose pistols were as quick as lightning and whose legend as a lawman remains etched into the annals of American lore.
And looming behind them, a figure of rugged charisma with his hand resting familiarly on Wild Bill's shoulder is Texas Jack Omohundro. Neither a famous buffalo hunter nor a man who enforced the law in western cowtowns, but a cowboy, pure and simple. Texas Jack, the archetype of the cowboy spirit, a man who drove cattle through lands where danger lurked behind every shadow. "Buffalo Bill had always been in Government employ as a scout,” the Earl of Dunraven wrote, “but Texas Jack was a cowboy, one of the old-time breed of men who drove herds of cattle from way down South to Northern markets for weeks and months.”
Together, these three men were The Scouts of the Plains, and their names drew crowds into theatres, yearning for a glimpse of the West’s most iconic scout, gunfighter, and cowboy. Their fame was such that nearly a century and a half later, they still cast long shadows over the stories we tell of the American frontier. Buffalo Bill, a name that conjured images of the Wild West for audiences from every walk of life. Wild Bill, whose legacy endures even in the face of his death by an assassin’s bullet in Deadwood, a name that stirs the soul and fuels the imagination of those who hear it.
Texas Jack didn't live long enough to ensure his name would be remembered forever and he didn't "die with his boots on" to go down in history. He remains the unsung hero whose influence permeates every tale of cowboys and cowboy life that came after him. Texas Jack’s life and his legacy as America's first famous cowboy—the man who introduced the lasso act to the stage and rode with Pawnee warriors across the western prairie—has influenced every cowboy story that followed. From Owen Wister's The Virginian to Louis L'amour's Hondo, from Tom Mix to Cary Grant, from Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name to John Wayne's Ethan Edwards—every cowboy that came after has been cast in the mold of Texas Jack.
Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok, and Texas Jack Omohundro—three icons who rode across the sweeping canvas of the American West, leaving their outsized bootprints on the cultural soul of a nation. Together, they epitomized the frontier spirit: Cody, the consummate showman who painted the West with broad, thrilling strokes; Hickok, the embodiment of the lawman in a lawless land, his legend as sharp as the crack of his revolver; and Texas Jack, the quintessential cowboy whose saddle was the cradle of the archetype that still resonates in every corner of American mythology. They were men, but when they stood together on stage they were something more—they were the living, breathing essence of an era defined by adventure, courage, and the endless quest for freedom. Their combined legacy is a mosaic of grit, showmanship, and rugged individualism, a testament to the enduring allure of the Wild West.
The saga of Texas Jack Omohundro remained a whispered legend, until "Texas Jack: America's First Cowboy Star" by Spur and Western Heritage Award-winning author Matthew Kerns brought it thundering to life. In this groundbreaking book, Kerns illuminates the life of a man whose story was as vast and sweeping as the prairies and plains he once rode across. The book finally returns Texas Jack to the spotlight he deserves.
Immerse yourself in the untold story of America’s first cowboy star. The time has come for the world to remember the name—Texas Jack Omohundro.
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