Annie Oakley: America’s Greatest Female Sharpshooter in Color

Annie Oakley was born on the 13th August 1860 in Darke County, Ohio, United States of America and is widely regarded as one of the best women sharpshooters in history. She started shooting at 8-years-old but did not gain popularity until she was 15 when she defeated well-known marksman, Frank E. Butler (who she went on to marry in 1876), at the age of 15. Both Annie and Frank joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West touring show and her popularity grew from there.

Famous American Sharpshooter, Annie Oakley, photographed during her 20s in the 1880s. Colorization by JabbaLeChat
Buffalo Bill, creator of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, with his horse Isham in c. 1905. Colorization by Jecinci

There is footage of a 34-year-old Annie Oakley shooting glass balls in a production by Thomas Edison’s company called The “Little Sure Shot of the Wild West,” an exhibition of rifle shooting at glass balls, etc. It was filmed in 1894 on a Kinetoscope. Despite living until 1929, this is the only known footage of Annie Oakley showing off her shooting prowess.

A photograph of Annie Oakley posing with one of her guns in 1888. Colorization by Geebix
In this rare video you can see Annie Oakley, one of the most famous sharpshooters to ever live, shooting in 1894. This is to believed some of the only footage of Annie Oakley showing off her skills with her rifle. This was filmed by the Edison Company. She died in November 1926.
A photograph of Annie Oakley in 1903 at the age of 43. Colorization by Marina Amaral

Oakley continued to shoot her whole life. She was breaking records during the final decade of her life. She also campaigned for women’s rights during the 1920s. On the 3rd November 1925, following a significant decline in her health throughout the year, she died of pernicious anemia in Greenville, Ohio, United States, at the age of 66. Her husband Frank E. Butler died only 18 days later and he was buried next to Annie’s ashes.

A photograph of a young Annie Oakley. Colorization by Jargo1

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