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Phoebe Anne Butler (Mosey)

Also Known As: "Little Sure Shot", "Little Missie", "America's Sweetheart"
Birthplace: Willowdell, Darke County, Ohio, United States
Death: November 03, 1926 (66)
Greenville, Darke County, Ohio, United States (Pernicious anemia)
Place of Burial: Greenville, Darke County, Ohio, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Private Jacob Mosey and Susanna A Shaw
Wife of Francis "Frank" Edward Butler
Mother of Jane Butler
Sister of Mary Jane Mosey; Lidia "Lida" Stein (Mosey); Lizzie Mosey; Ellen Grabfelder (Moses); Catharine Mosey and 5 others
Half sister of Emily Patterson

Managed by: Glenn Edward Malone
Last Updated:

About Annie Oakley

Sharpshooter. She was born Phoebe Mosey in Darke County, Ohio. She never attended a regular school and was introduced and taught to shoot by her father in the woods around the farm where she lived. During hard times, she helped support her family with the game she caught. Her career as a sharpshooter stated at age 17, when she defeated the noted marksman, Frank E. Butler at a competition in Cincinnati, Ohio. The two eventually married and traveled with the Buffalo Bill Show for 17 years (1885-1902). She assumed the show business name of Anne Oakley. On a trip to Europe, Queen Victoria of England was quite impressed with her abilities, and on one occasion the crown prince of Germany encouraged her to shoot a cigarette from his mouth. Her expertness in marksmanship at the height of her career made her the best known cultural icon in the United States. At 30 paces, she could slice a playing card held edgewise, shoot holes through coins at a smiliar distance and scramble eggs in midair. She shot ashes out of cigarets, snuffed candles and shot corks out of bottles. A railroad accident in 1901 partially paralyzed her, but she continued to tour regularly. In 1916, she and Frank made Pinehurst, North Carolina their winter retirement home. At the famous resort known for its golf course, fox hunting, and its trapshooting range, Anne Oakley became a teacher. She taught women how to defend themselves as well as the fine art of trap shooting. Her health began to fail, suffering from pernicious anemia (Lead Poisoning) from all the ammunition she'd handled. In 1922 the couple moved back to Darke County, Ohio where the anemia took her life. When Frank was told, he simply stopped eating and died 18 days later. The couple is buried near the woods where little Annie Mosey first hunted and trapped to sustain her impoverished family.

Bio by John R. Bacak

Cause of death: pernicious anemia

On March 15, 1870, at age nine, Annie Oakley was admitted to the Darke County Infirmary, along with elder sister Sarah Ellen. According to her autobiography, she was put in the care of the infirmary's superintendent ,Samuel Crawford Edington (Eddington), and his wife Nancy, who taught her to sew and decorate. Beginning in the spring of 1870, she was "bound out" to a local family to help care for their infant son, on the false promise of fifty cents a week and an education. The couple had originally wanted someone who could pump water, cook, and who was bigger. She spent about two years in near-slavery to them where she endured mental and physical abuse. One time, the wife put Annie out in the freezing cold, without shoes, as a punishment because she had fallen asleep over some darning. Annie referred to them as "the wolves". Even in her autobiography, she never revealed the couple's real name

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Annie Oakley's Timeline

August 13, 1860
Willowdell, Darke County, Ohio, United States
November 3, 1926
Age 66
Greenville, Darke County, Ohio, United States
Brock Cemetery, Greenville, Darke County, Ohio, United States