Almost met Annie Oakley in person

by Mike Newton
(Hamilton, Ohio)

I live in southwestern Ohio, near Cincinnati, and both my dad and I had an interest in Ohio history. Dad learned that Annie Oakley's niece still lived in Darke County, Ohio so one Sunday, Dad, Mom and I drove up there. Dad stopped at a general store to get information of where the niece lived. When he came back out, he asked me "Who plays Annie Oakley on TV" and I said, "Gail Davis" He laughed and said that the guy in the store had said that Gail Evans was up at the fairgrounds making a personal appearance. We finally went to the niece's house and she gave us a tour. She was in her seventies by then but recalled visiting her aunt when she was with the Buffalo Bill Wild West show. The aunt also told of giving lectures to local schoolchildren about her aunt and them asking questions like "What many bad guys did she shoot?" I dont think the niece was too happy with the TV show. After all, how many misconceptions do Americans get from old Western movies about how the West really was. I later got an autographed photo from Gail Davis via contact with a friend who was a big Gene Autry collector and even had entertained Gail in his home.

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