The fact that ‘The Young Riders’ has so many die-hard fans is due to the wonderful and talented cast. Each actor contributed something different to the show. If you’re like me, you switched favorites from time to time and maybe just settled in on one which may be William F. Cody. Even if he isn’t your favorite, I bet you can appreciate his likable and original character. He (along with Teaspoon) contributed the necessary humor and warmth to make the show more than just a straight action/drama. It’s been a while since I’ve seen all the episodes so I’ll just give you the impressions that have stuck in my mind. I feel like I really know him. I will overlook the real-life character because there are some contradictions.
The character I know was presumably an orphan. He came to work for the Pony Express along with Kid, Jimmy, Lou, Ike and Buck. He thought he was pretty slick and used his talent with a rifle to ‘save the day’ many times. He was a little bit conceited, believing himself to be the best rider, the smartest and the best-looking cowboy in the world. He liked fancy hats, fancy knives, fancy guns and to fantasize about his talents. He liked to read and even wrote his own ‘dime-book’ which he thought reflected real-life. In his dreams and his writing he was always the hero. His own hero is the author Hezakiah Horne and in my favorite Cody episode 'Requiem for a Hero', we realize that he is not just a comical character and that he does feel deeply and he does hurt.
We see this side again when Noah is killed in the final episode. Cody is best remembered however for his comical scenes. Like the part when Buck exacts his revenge after Cody steals his protection pouch and fills it with sand. Ha ha. I also like it when he sits at the table in a clean white shirt gobbling his food and when he repeatedly sings ‘Yankee Doodle’ in ‘A Tiger’s Tale’ The episode where he joins a theater group showed his creative side as did the episode where he shows the west to three-old men and, in a nice twist, he suggests that he bring a wild-west show to New York which is precisely what the real William F. Cody did.
He falls in love a couple of times, with a nun and a widowed mother. He was the only rider (that I can recall) to visit a prostitute. I was always kind of disappointed in the last few episodes when Cody joined the army and got really serious. I will always remember him for his fringed-jacket, he's goofy walk, his blue eyes, and his humor. Thank you Stephen Baldwin.
Buffalo Bill, real name William Frederick Cody (1846-1917), American guide, scout, and showman, born in Scott County, Iowa. In 1854 his family moved to Kansas, where his father died a few years later. Cody briefly attended school in 1859. At the age of 14, he became one of the riders of the newly established Pony Express. When the American Civil War began in 1861, Cody served as a scout and guide for the Union Army. In 1863 he enlisted in the Seventh Kansas Cavalry as an army scout. At the close of the war in 1865 he contracted with the Kansas Pacific Railroad to furnish buffalo meat to the workers on the line. His claim of killing more than 4000 buffalo in less than 18 months earned him the nickname “Buffalo Bill.” He served as an army scout again from 1868 to 1872. In 1872 the United States government awarded Cody the Congressional Medal of Honor but revoked it 44 years later because he had not been a member of the military at the time the award was given.
As Buffalo Bill, Cody became a feature of dime novelist Ned Buntline's stories. From 1872 to 1883, Cody was a showman, usually acting the part of himself in one of Buntline's melodramas. Cody occasionally returned west during this period to guide cavalry and raise cattle. He also fought in the Sioux War of 1876. In 1883 Cody organized his Wild West Show, a representation of life on the plains, which toured Europe and the United States for almost 20 years. The legendary Native American leader Sitting Bull and sharpshooter Annie Oakley were stars in the show. In 1901 Cody became president of the Cody Military College and International Academy of Rough Riders, a riding school he established on his property in Wyoming. The town of Cody, Wyoming, is named after him.
A bit about the Pony Express if you are interested.
Pony Express, mail service operating between Saint Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, inaugurated on April 3, 1860, under the direction of the Central Overland California and Pike's Peak Express Company.
At that time, regular mail delivery took up to three weeks to cross the continent. The Pony Express carried mail rapidly overland on horseback the nearly 2000 miles between St. Joseph and Sacramento; the schedule allowed ten days for the trip. The mail was then carried by boat to San Francisco. Stations averaging at first 40 km (25 mi) apart were established, and each rider was expected to cover 120 km (75 mi) a day. Pony Express riders were usually lightweight young men, often teenagers. Special saddle bags that could be moved to a fresh horse very quickly at a change station were used. Buffalo Bill was a famous Pony Express rider.
Eventually, the Pony Express had more than 100 stations, 80 riders, and between 400 and 500 horses. The express route was extremely hazardous, but only one mail delivery was ever lost. The Pony Express is credited with helping to keep California in the Union by providing rapid communication between the two coasts. News of the election of Abraham Lincoln to the United States presidency in 1860 and of the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 reached California via the Pony Express. The regular Pony Express service was discontinued in October 1861, after the Pacific Telegraph Company completed its line to San Francisco. The Pony Express was developed by William H. Russell, William B. Waddell, and Alexander Majors. Financially, the Pony Express was a failure, leading its founders to bankruptcy. However, the drama surrounding the Pony Express made it a part of the legend of the American West.
The above bios and information were given to the site by a fan, if you have any corrections to make, please email us!