Annie Oakley (a.k.a. Phoebe Ann Mosey)
Born Aug. 13, 1860, Mar. June 22, 1876, Died Nov. 3, 1926

Annie was born in western Ohio near the City of Greenville. Her family was poor and her father died when she was only six. To put food on the table she learned at an early age to shot her father’s handmade Kentucky rifle. There were squirrels, rabbits, and game birds in the woods around her house. The restaurants around Cincinnati paid Annie extra for game shot through the head for they knew that their customers didn’t like their meat filled with buckshot. Word of her skill began to spread. A match was set up with a marksman named Frank Butler who put on shooting shows. Good as he was, Annie was better and she beat him in the shooting match. Then a strange thing happened.

Frank Butler and Annie fell in love and got
married. She was just sixteen and he was
ten years older. Frank brought her into his
show and then became her manager. They
lived happily together for the next 50 years.
They died within 18 days of each other in 1926.

Phoebe Anne Mosey chose her stage name. The name fit her like a glove. She had been a little acorn of a girl, sprang to the strength of a young sapling and finally to the grandeur of a full groan oak. It matches our idea of the Old West.
The following is taken directly from her obituary in the Greenville Daily Advocate:
….During her first year of public life, she played with vaudeville companies giving exhibitions of fancy shooting. Then she joined the Sells Bros. Show and for two years gave exhibitions under their tents, shooting from the back of a running horse. After this came a long engagement with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, beginning in the spring of 1885. With this show she visited the London and Paris expositions, and the great world’s fair at Chicago. She was with this show seventeen years in all, visiting fourteen countries. ….Annie Oakley was feted by Queen Victoria, and given many valuable presents by her hosts and hostesses. She loved to be among people of that class, but she did not forget her old friends, nor her early poverty, as it is said she generously gave most of her salary of $150 per week, to the poor…..During her career, Annie Oakley established many records with a rifle, among her best being the breaking of 945 tossed balls out of a 1000; 50 straight double clays and 49 live birds out of 50. It is also recorded that she broke 4,772 glass balls out of 5,000 in one day’s shooting….In 1893 she built a fine home at Nutley, N.J., and spent her winter vacations there. During the late war (WWI) Annie Oakley gave her services to her country, entertaining the soldier boys in the cantonments with her shooting and in working with the Red Cross….Annie Oakley is no more, but her feats with the rifle, and her love for those of her profession will always remain a memorial to her greatness. Here among the people of her native heath (a tract of uncultivated land), she will ever be remembered for her winsomeness, her sincerity, and her love of the country in which she was born. Her remains will be cremated and the ashes interred in her native soil, and in the years to come her grave will be a shrine for those who loved this woman, before whom the kings and rulers of the earth bowed, and paid tribute, and whom all honored.
Annie was able to do manly things in a man’s world while still acting like a lady. What was the secret to her success in shooting? “Nothing more simple,” she once said. “Don’t look at your gun. Simply follow the object with the end of it, as if the tip of the barrel was the point of your finger.” What was the secret to her success in life?
Aim at a high mark and you will hit it,” she said.

In 1950 Hollywood made a movie called “Annie Get Your Gun” with Betty Hutton and Howard Keel.
Memorial songs included “Anything You Can Do” and “Doing What Comes Naturally.