Cody History

Cody History Articles are written by Marylin Schultz of the Park County Historical Society.

The Cody Enterprise’s Early History

William F. Cody was not just a figurehead in the planning of the town named for him.  He took an active part in providing what was needed to make Cody grow and thrive.  Cody’s sister Helen and her husband, Hugh Wetmore operated The Duluth Free Press in Minnesota, and provided Bill with a printing press. Cody persuaded Col. John H. Peake, a journalist from Washington, D. C. to move west and be the first editor of The Cody Enterprise. Peake died in 1905.  His widow, Anna was editor for a short time, and Caroline Lockhart bought the paper in 1920 and was editor and publisher until 1925.

On May 19, 1974, a fire consumed the building housing The Enterprise on Thirteenth Street. Volunteer fireman, Bob Moore tried to rescue trapped reporter Eric Olson, but they both died from smoke inhalation.

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Buffalo Bill Cody’s Family History

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and wife Louisa had four children.

Most people know of Irma-the hotel is named for her.  What is now called City Park was donated by Col. Cody and he had named it Arta Park, after another daughter.

Arta was born in 1866. She married Dr. Charles Thorp on January 1, 1904, but less than a month after their wedding she died from complications after surgery.

The Cody’s only son, Kit Carson, was born in 1870, and died at age 5 from scarlet fever. Another daughter, Orra Maude, born in 1872, was only 10 years old when she died.

Orra, Arta and Kit are all buried in Rochester, N.Y., where the cody’s had purchased a home in 1873. At that time, Buffalo Bill was a stage actor for Ned Buntline.

Irma married Fred Garlow, and they had three children, Fred Jr., Jane and Bill.

Col. Cody died in 1916, so he did not suffer the further grief of the deaths of Irma and her husband, just three days apart in 1918, from the influenza epidemic.

Louisa cared for her grandchildren until she died in 1921. Fred Garlow Sr.’s sister, Geneva Walliker, and her husband cared for the children until they were one their own.