Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show

Buffalo Bill brought his Wild West Show to Owlerton, just the other side of the river from Wardsend Cemetery, twice – once in 1891 and again 1903. The show featured a cast of roughly 250, and showcased shooting skills, mock attacks between Indians and cowboys, buffalo hunts, lassoing and bucking horses. Crowds queued for 90 minutes to gain entry, and many went to surrounding high points, including Wardsend Cemetery, to catch a view.

Buffalo Bill

In the 1903 show, one of the performers suffered a fatal injury. Paul Eagle Star fell from his horse and sustained a compound leg fracture. He was taken to Sheffield Infirmary where his condition worsened and he contracted tetanus. As a result of his lockjaw, the decision to amputate his leg was made in an attempt to save his life, however he soon died from the infection.

Rumour has it that Paul Eagle Star was buried at Wardsend Cemetery. However, in truth his body was taken on to Nottingham, where the show had moved on to, for his colleagues to pay their final respects. He was then interred in Brompton Cemetery in London. Nearly 100 years later, in 1999, his body was exhumed and taken to the United States to be laid at rest in his homeland.

Paul Eagel Star

References:

Howard Bayley

Julia Armstrong, ‘Retro: When real Wild West stars came riding into Sheffield’, The Star http://www.thestar.co.uk/retro/retro-when-real-wild-west-stars-came-riding-into-sheffield-1-8286118