William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917) was an American scout, bison hunter, and showman. He was born in Le Clair, a small town in the Iowa Territory (now the U.S. state of Iowa), but he grew up for several years in his father's hometown in Canada before his family moved to the Kansas Territory.
Buffalo Bill loved Lookout Mountain and spent some of the happiest times of his life here. As I stood atop Lookout Mountain, I could envision Buffalo Bill sitting on his horse, enjoying this beautiful scenery.
Lookout Mountain is a foothill on the eastern flank of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains boasting a 7,377 foot (2,249 m) peak that not only overlooks the natural beauty of the Great Plains and the Rockies, but offers some great views of the cities of Golden (seen above) and Denver (seen below).
It doesn't surprise me that Buffalo Bill wanted to be buried atop beautiful Lookout Mountain. In fact, he made this wish very clear to his wife (Louisa), his sisters, close friends Goldie Griffith and Johnny Baker, and the priest who administered his last rites.
Cody died of kidney failure on January 10, 1917, surrounded by family and friends at his sister's house in Denver. Cody was baptized into the Catholic Church the day before his death by Father Christopher Walsh of the Denver Cathedral. He received a full Masonic funeral. Upon the news of Cody's death, tributes were made by George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and President Woodrow Wilson. His funeral service was in Denver at the Elks Lodge Hall. The Wyoming governor John B. Kendrick, a friend of Cody's, led the funeral procession to the cemetery, and on June 3, 1917, Buffalo Bill Cody was buried on Lookout Mountain. Louisa (Buffalo Bill's wife) was buried next to her husband four years later.
Unfortunately, residents of Cody, Wyoming (a town which was founded by Buffalo Bill), argued he should have been buried on a different mountain: Cedar Mountain (which is located near Cody, Wyoming). Unbelievably, this controversy continued for a few decades and culminated in 1948 when the Cody chapter of the American Legion offered a ten thousand dollar reward for the "return" of Buffalo Bill's body. So, to deter any grave robbers, the Denver chapter of the American Legion mounted a guard over the grave until a deeper shaft could be blasted into the rocks and 11 feet of concrete poured onto the grave.
Today Buffalo Bill's grave is one of the top visitor attractions in Denver and Colorado. attracting over 400,000 annual visitors. If you plan on being one of these annual visitors, please be aware of the following: When driving up Lookout Mountain, "lookout" for elk who often wander onto the road. The stroll from the parking lot to Buffalo Bill's grave is relatively short, but you are at an elevation of 7,377 feet (2,249 m) and the air is getting thin up here, so don't overexert yourself...take your time and enjoy the views and the walk.