Blast from the Past: Annie Oakley comes to Winston-Salem


Annie Oakley, Frank Butler, and George Maxwell, all representatives of the Remington Arms Company, came to Winston-Salem to give a shooting exhibition. Approximately 1,000 people braved the inclement weather in Piedmont Park on January 15th, 1909 to witness the trio demonstrating their sharp-shooting skills.

Annie Oakley and her husband, Frank Butler, often gave shooting exhibitions, and first met when they competed against each other, a competition that led to their marriage in 1876. George Maxwell, the third member of the trio, was a one-armed shooting wonder who lost his arm in a hunting accident. Together, the three marksmen attracted crowds wherever they appeared.

On this particular visit to Winston-Salem, Miss Oakley was touched by an article in the local newspaper about a young woman whose husband had died in a West Virginia mine accident. The widow wanted to bring her husband’s body home, but she did not have the necessary funds. So, Miss Oakley sent a check for $4.00 to the young and pregnant widow, and began a fund so that others could also contribute. In a few days, $20.00 had been collected, and a friend was sent for the miner’s remains.

Miss Oakley often made charitable contributions for many causes that she heard of during her travels.

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