BUFFALO BILL'S TRIBUTE TO TEXAS JACK

William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody

The following tribute was paid to Texas Jack at his gravesite by his old friend Buffalo Bill Cody, as reported in the Leadville, Colorado, Herald Democrat on Sunday, September 6, 1908, 28 years after Jack's death.

 

“My friends, perhaps many of you do not know this man whom we have gathered to honor. No doubt you would like to know something of him, who was one of my dearest and most intimate friends.

 

John B. Omohundro, better known as "Texas Jack," was a Virginian by birth. The blood of the Powhatan Indians flowed in his veins. He was of proud and noble birth. During the Civil War he was a member of the cavalry commanded by Col. J.E.B. Stuart of the Confederate Army. He was one of his most trusted and faithful scouts, and performed almost invaluable service for him.

 

After the war he drifted westward and located in Texas, where he took up the hazardous work of a cowboy. He was one of the original Texas cowboys, when life on the plains was a hardship and a trying duty. When they began to drive the cattle to the northern country, he engaged in that occupation, following the herds northward, and returning after each trip for another herd.

 

Finally, he located at North Platte, Nebraska. It was there that I first met him. He was an expert trailer and scout. I soon recognized this and... secured his appointment in the United States service...In this capacity I learned to know him and to respect his bravery and ability. He was a whole-souled, brave, generous, good-hearted man. Later he and I went East to go into the show business. He was the first to do a lasso act upon the stage.

 

During this tour of the large cities he met and married Mlle Morlacchi, a famous dancer, who traveled with him. After I left him, he and she continued to travel. They came to Leadville, where she was engaged as a performer. Becoming attached to the place, my friend and his wife remained for a while.

 

It was while here that he was stricken with pneumonia, which was then prevalent. He succumbed, and was buried here under this mound by his many friends.

 

Jack was an old friend of mine and a good one. Instead of this board which now marks his grave, we will soon have erected a more substantial monument, one more worthy of a brave and good man.

 

May he rest in peace.”

Cody, dissatisfied with the modest grave marker, arranged to have erected a "suitable monument" in the Leadville cemetery. The marker is there to this day.

 

Gravestone of John B. "Texas Jack" Omohundro

Evergreen Cemetery, Leadville, Colorado