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Where was Texas Jack

It's now February, which means we have just two months until the release of Texas Jack: America's First Cowboy Star. Have you preordered your copy yet?

The book has a lot of great information about Texas Jack Omohundro, but there was a lot of information I uncovered in my research that there simply wasn't room for in the book. Long pieces by Jack, including writings about his favorite rifle, Lazy Kate, and his adventures hunting bighorn sheep in Montana have already been posted to this site. More of Jack's writing, and some never before published pictures of Jack and some of his closest friends and colleagues are coming soon. Everything you see on this site is supplementary to the book, which tells the story of Texas Jack and how he elevated his chosen profession, the cowboy, from the dusty trails of Texas to the finest theatres of Broadway, influencing every cowboy story in books, tv, and movies that would follow.

My assumption, when I began my research, was that the majority of Texas Jack's stage career was in the company of Buffalo Bill Cody, including one season where the pair were joined by their famous friend Wild Bill Hickok. What I discovered, largely based on notices in magazines like the New York Clipper and advertisements in countless local newspapers, is that Jack's theatrical career after his last show with Buffalo Bill in June of 1876 was much more extensive than previously believed.

Railroad map of the United States

In his 1954 biography of Texas Jack, Herschel C. Logan says, "From all indications Texas Jack and his troupe were performing during the season of 1877-1878, though it is not possible to name the many places and dates of showing...very little is heard of Texas Jack during the next two years; it is presumed that he spent at least a part of his time hunting...some time was undoubtedly spent on the stage." The advent of digital newspaper archives and nearly 70 years of research into Jack's friend and stage partner Buffalo Bill helped me to expand upon Logan's assumptions. Jack did spend some of that time hunting—leading at least three trips into Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana, encountering Chief Joseph on one trip and Thomas Edison on another. And he most certainly did spend some time on stage.

Advertisement for the Texas Jack Combination's May 25, 1878 show at City Hall in Burlington, Vermont.

From the time Texas Jack and Buffalo Bill's long run of over 550 performances together (not counting matinees) came to an end on June 3, 1876, until Jack's last known performance on April 10, 1880, at the Chestnut Street Theatre in Leadville, Colorado, Texas Jack staged a minimum of 426 of his own shows, again not counting the frequent matinees and shows in locations that haven't had their local papers digitally archived. As I researched, I compiled a spreadsheet detailing Jack's documented theatrical dates, which I am presenting for other researchers and people interested in Texas Jack, Buffalo Bill, and theatrical combinations in the second half of the nineteenth century. I've decided to maintain this online, rather than in the book, to ensure that it can be updated if and when unknown shows come to light. I am indebted in this research to Sandra Sagala, and the wonderful list she included in Appendix Two of her wonderful book, Buffalo Bill on Stage. A full list of the dates, as well as a map showing Jack's theatrical travels, is available at:

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