When William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody died, citizens of his namesake town—Cody, Wyoming—thought they had lost their inheritance.
Cody died in Denver in 1917 and requested that he be buried on Lookout Mountain, nearer the town of Golden. The locals worried that tourists flocking to his grave would visit that town rather than Cody. In an era when tourism was one of the main sources of revenue in the West, the citizens of Cody quickly founded the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association, opening the Buffalo Bill Museum a decade later in 1927. Over the next century, four more museums and a research library opened: the Whitney Western Art Museum, the Plains Indian Museum, the @codyfirearmsmuseum, the Draper Natural History Museum, and the McCracken Research Library. Together, they make up the Buffalo Bill @centerofthewest.
The Center has been supported by 12 NEH grants since 1978, totaling $2,004,761.