We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. Read more…

Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok

The Gaylord Building
Event organized by The Gaylord Building

Get Directions

#var:page_name# cover

Visit the Historic Gaylord Building's 2nd floor banquet room and see All of My Children's Walt Willey for his one-man-show Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok.

Tickets are $50 and include a themed menu served buffet-style provided by the delectable Public Landing Restaurant.




SHOW SUMMARY: The show opens as we find Hickok in the Number Ten Saloon, the site of his assassination in 1876 at thirty-nine years old. Hickok is trapped there, between life and “whatever may await me, be it the pearly gates of Heaven or the deepest pit of Hell”. He is convinced that if he reveals to the “excursionists” in the audience his “real story, as best and as honest as I can…that a toll may be paid and I may – finally – be ferried to that far shore”.

What follows is Hickok’s account of his life: from humble beginnings in Illinois to his times as farmer, trapper, scout, guide, sheriff, marshal and actor. The themes of reputation, celebrity, heroism and bravery are all explored, as is Hickok’s intolerance for bullies; “I don’t like bullies…not by themselves or by the bunch. I never was much for the stronger taking an advantage over the weaker…or standing by and a-watchin’ it happen.”

In the course of the two forty-five minute acts (followed by question and answer period/meet and greet), Hickok regales his audience with stories of his experience with the “underground railroad”, his time in the Civil War, scouting for Custer, “that damned fool”, and his adventures with “Buffalo Bill” Cody, “How he got that moniker is a mystery to me. Took him six shots to even slow a buffaler down”, “Calamity Jane” Cannery, “Always had this odd odor about her, Jane did”, and “Colorado” Charley Utter, “Charley’s a good friend to me. Kinda keeps my nose clean fer me, ol’ Charley does.” and how - because of his exploits - most “shootouts” in Westerns take place in the streets and a pair of aces and a pair of eights in a poker hand is referred to as “the dead man’s hand”. Hickok talks about several of his gunfights and his times as sheriff of Hays City, KS and marshal of Abilene, KS, his love of women “and they was awful fond of me”, and his untimely end in the infamous mining camp of Deadwood.

Please contact Gaylord Building Staff with any questions! 815-838-9400