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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

"Trick"? Shooting - Skill:

When young Phoebe Ann Mosey met and married Frank Butler in 1876 she might have become Mrs. Butler -but she actually changed her name to Annie Oakley.

Born in 1860 to a Quaker family in Darke County, Ohio -  'Annie' had a hard early life being temporally fostered-out aged ten to a family that treated her harshly. When still at home she began trapping very young and by age eight she was hunting and shooting game - that she sold so successfully that her earnings helped to pay-off the family farm mortgage.

She met her future Irish immigrant husband Frank by outshooting him in a shooting match and they married one year later - the pair performed together for the rest of their lives - splitting playing cards and using a mirror to shoot over her shoulder at glass balls tossed by Frank - joining the Buffalo Bills Wild West  show in 1885.

In 1884 Annie had hit 943 tossed glass balls out of a 1,000 - using a Stevens .22". - in 1901 Oakley was badly injured in a train crash and temporally paralysed - but she recovered and could still hit 25 airborne pennies in a row with a rifle when aged 62.

Annie was once quoted as saying: "I would like to see every woman know how to handle firearms as naturally as they know how to handle babies." - It is claimed that she taught more than 15,000 women how to shoot over her career. - She disliked her skill at arms being called "Trick Shooting" ..

"When a man hits a target they call him a marksman. When I hit a target, they call it a trick. - Never did like that much."

This petit 100 pound five foot girl was sweet tempered and lived, still performing, to be sixty-five.

Aged 62 in 1922.

- Husband of fifty years - Frank was so grieved by Annies death that he stopped eating and died himself 18 days later.


Marty K.