GORDON W. "PAWNEE BILL" LILLIE - GREETING CARD SIGNED CIRCA 1938 - HFSID 157610
Sale Price $510.00
GORDON W. "PAWNEE BILL" LILLIE
Gordon W. "Pawnee Bill" Lillie signs a greeting card of thanks on his Golden Anniversary.
Printed Golden Anniversary Card signed: "G. W. Lillie/'Pawnee Bill''" on inside front cover, 4p, 4½x6. Captioned on front cover: "1886/1936". Imprinted inside: "Mrs. Lillie and I wish to thank you for your very kind remembrance on occasion of our Golden Wedding Anniversary." Unsigned b/w photo, 3½x5, on inside page. The photo can be seen from the front of the card, which has an oval opening at the upper portion. Lightly creased. Fine condition. With original printed 6¼x4¾ envelope, printed caption on reverse flap: "Pawnee Bill Golden Wedding Anniversary, Pawnee Oklahoma", postmarked Pawnee, Okla., September 25, 1936. Typed address to Mrs. A. J. Mack in Manhattan, Kansas. Lightly creased and soiled. Overall, fine condition. Mrs. Lillie was the former MAY MANNING, whom GORDON W. LILLIE had married in Philadelphia on August 31, 1886. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Taos, New Mexico, where they spent their summers in their later years. More than 500 guests and spectators were present at the picturesque event, which was held in the town plaza in front of a simple altar bedecked with flowers in Indian vases. Navajo rugs were spread across the green grass and red, blue, green and purple Taos blankets were draped from the bandstand. The Mayor of the town, John B. Sanchez, issued a proclamation (in both English and Spanish), declaring a holiday that Monday afternoon between the hours of noon and 2:00 p.m., and he urged that all citizens of the town attend the ceremonies dressed in native costume. The couple was presented a gold-tinted automobile by admirers. Less than two weeks later, on the evening of September 13, Lillie was driving the golden automobile from Tulsa to Pawnee when the couple crashed head-on into an approaching car. He suffered a severe scalp wound and May had a concussion and fractured right knee. She weakened throughout the night and died with her husband beside her bedside. This card is postmarked just 11 days after her death! After Pawnee Bill died on February 3, 1942, he was laid to rest beside May and their son Billy in the Lillie mausoleum at Highland Cemetery. In 1883, Lillie (1860-1942) had joined the newly formed Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show as an interpreter and performer. In 1888, he formed his own Wild West Show with his new wife, May Lillie, the Rifle Shot, who performed amazing feats of marksmanship from the back of a racing horse, and he became known as Pawnee Bill, the White Chief of the Pawnee Indians. In 1908, Lillie merged his Wild West Show with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. The combined show, which became known as The Two Bills' Show, was billed as the entertainment triumph of the ages. It traveled all over the world, entertaining audiences with both realistic and fantasy views of the Old West. The show closed in Denver, Colorado in 1913 after touring for five seasons as Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Great Far East Show. Two items.
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