Do you remember Annie Oakley? by Barbara Schlichting

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Annie Oakley (born Phoebe Ann Mosey; August 13, 1860 – November 3, 1926) was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter.


Annie Oakley was born Phoebe Ann (Annie) Mosey on August 13, 1860, in a cabin less than two miles (3.2 km) northwest of Woodland, now Willowdell, in Darke County, Ohio, a rural western border county of Ohio.  Her birthplace log cabin site is about five miles east of North Star. There is a stone-mounted plaque in the vicinity of the cabin site, which was placed by the Annie Oakley Committee in 1981, 121 years after her birth.

Annie began trapping before the age of seven, and shooting and hunting by age eight, to support her siblings and her widowed mother. She sold the hunted game to local shopkeepers in Greenville. She also sold the game herself to restaurants and hotels in northern Ohio. Her skill eventually paid off the mortgage on her mother’s farm when Annie was 15.

Traveling show marksman and former dog trainer Frank E. Butler (1847–1926), an Irish immigrant, placed a $100 bet per side (worth $2,181 today) with Cincinnati hotel owner Jack Frost that Butler could beat any local fancy shooter.  The hotelier arranged a shooting match between Butler and the 15-year-old Annie, saying, “The last opponent Butler expected was a five-foot-tall 15-year-old girl named Annie.” He soon began courting Annie, and they married. They did not have children.

Here is a picture of the Buffalo Bill Traveling Wild West show which she participated in.


Oakley continued to set records into her sixties, and she also engaged in extensive, albeit quiet, philanthropy for women’s rights and other causes, including the support of specific young women she knew. on a comeback and intended to star in a feature-length silent movie.

Her health declined in 1925 and she died of pernicious anemia in Greenville, Ohio, at the age of 66 on November 3, 1926. Her body was cremated in Cincinnati two days later and the ashes buried at Brock Cemetery near Greenville, Ohio. Assuming their marriage had been in 1876, Oakley and Butler had been married just over 50 years.


In the third First Ladies mystery book series, I feature Edith Roosevelt: the Clue of the Dancing Bell.  It begins with a National Park Exposition in St. Paul, MN where a murder occurs. Needless to say, the Annie Oakley imposter is considered a suspect.  Many imposters factor into this mystery, including Teddy Roosevelt.

The links for my website, Barb’s Books, and Goodread’s are below.



Barb’s Books

Many thanks to Wikipedia for the information.











Dolley Madison and Ice Cream by Barbara Schlichting


In 1790, the first ice cream parlor opened in New York. In late June 1791, a notice appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette announcing the details of that ear’s July 4th celebration. On the menu that year at Grays Gardens were the confections of Mr. de la Croiz, including “iced creams of a great variety.” Great estates, including Mount Vernon and Monticello, had their own “cream machines for ice.”


Dolley Madison, the first lady of the United States and wife of James Madison, fourth president of America, popularized ice cream in the White House. It was still a very impressive dessert because modern freezers were not introduced yet. To make ice cream, an estate relied on an ice house with large blocks of ice cut from frozen water, packed on straw and held in a cool place.

Dolley preferred oyster ice cream. She used small, sweet oysters from the Potomac River near her home to churn up an interesting dessert. In 18th century cookbooks, chefs didn’t stick to the basics. Recipes for parmesan ice cream, asparagus ice cream, chestnut cream and many other flavors that don’t grace our modern day tables were popular.

I couldn’t find her recipe for oyster ice cream, but she’d probably poach oysters in a cream base. The amount of oysters would dictate the intensity of the oyster flavor.

Here is Dolley’s Peppermint Stick Ice Cream.

3/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
3 c. whole m ilk
3/4 c. light corn syrup
2 whole eggs, beaten lightly
1 c. cream
4 drops natural peppermint extract
2 drops red food coloring
3/4 c. peppermint candy, crushed

Mix the sugar and cornstarch in the top of a double boiler. Stir in the milk, syrup and eggs. Cook over boiling water, stirring all the time for 10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Chill. Stir in cream, extract and coloring. Freeze in a 2 quart ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When partially frozen, add crushed peppermint and continue frequently. Yields 2 quarts.

I write the First Ladies Mystery Series and the first in the series is Dolley Madison: the Blood Spangled Banner.   I love Dolley Madison, and I’m sure that you’ll love one of my books.  Historical characters make Modern history.

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