Texas Jack Omohundro dies
On this day in 1880, John Burwell Omohundro Jr., better known as Texas Jack, died. Omohundro, born in Virginia in 1846, traveled to Texas while still a teenager and worked trailing cattle. He served as a scout and spy under Gen. J. E. B. Stuart during the Civil War. By 1866 he had resumed his life as a Texas cowboy and rode in several early cattle drives, including a drive across Arkansas to Tennessee, where he received his nickname “Texas Jack.” After he moved to Cottonwood Springs, Nebraska, in 1869 he met William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody, and they engaged in buffalo hunts and Indian skirmishes. In Chicago in 1872 the two made their debut in The Scouts of the Prairie, one of the original Wild West shows, and Texas Jack was credited with introducing roping acts to the American stage. Throughout the 1870s Omohundro divided his time as a stage actor in the East and a hunting guide on the Great Plains. After his death, the Texas Jack legend was popularized in “dime novels” until the early 1900s.