As a young man, Jordan, like so many others, decided to "go west"
and become a cowboy or puncher as he often referred to himself. While in
Wyoming in the 1890's Jordan met William F . Cody "Buffalo Bill",
who was by this time the best known showman in the world. In 1898 Jordan
B. Cottle began to tour with "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress
of Rough Riders of the World" as an "American Cowboy" and
member of the "Wild Bunch".
As far as research can tell J.B. Cottle was with "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" off and on until 1907, when he settled back into banking in Chicago and soon became President of the Central Hyde Park Bank. At some time after leaving the "Wild West", Jordan started to assemble a scrapbook of photographs, and other mementos of his time as a cowboy/showman. He kept in contact with William F. Cody and other people he had ridden with.
As a member of the Showman's League of America, Cottle published bits of information on members of his group of close friends. Many of these people have become known to us because of their connection with " Buffalo Bill's Wild West" or later in life deeds. Some of Cottle's 'pards' were Walter Scott " Death Valley Scotty", George Gardner, whose trophy belt and gun leather appear in many of the latest Old West books printed, other notables are Vincente P. Oropeza " Champion Lasso Thrower and Bullfighter of the World", and the Gabriel brothers, Jim and "Kid". Jim went from army scout to wild west performer and early movie cowboy to barnstormer, in his long career as a showman.
The most important friend of J.B. Cottle was William F. Cody of course, and the scrapbook contains several letters from Cody to Cottle. Most correspondence was sent to the bank addressed "J.B. Cottle Puncher". They discussed hunting trips to the TE Ranch and the building of the road into Yellowstone National Park from the east and Cody's failing health. Cody once dedicated a photograph " To J.B. Cottle, the only cowboy I know who ever had money".
Robert G. Brubaker
custodian "the Cottle Collection"
The entire "Cottle Collection" is reproduced by permission exclusively by Western Icons Old West Imaging.