Lot 195: ALS signed "W. C. Cody," one page both sides, 8.5 x 11, Chicago Shan-Kive and Round-Up letterhead, September 18, 1916. Letter to his attorney Henry Hersey regarding his grim financial situation, in part: "Frederick H. Garlow, my manager of Cody to send you…Barney Link's judgments, petitions &c, and to write you fully, so you could advise with W. L. Walls, my attorney. They can explain the situation to you better than I can for they have not kept me well footed. But if you do not hear from them, I'll write you all I know. First Link got judgment for about $11,800 and sold the Irma Hotel and four lots, and bid it in him self. I have until Jan 15th 1917…to reclaim the property. Then separately he sold the fixtures, paintings &c—I furnished the money, and had W. L. Walls bid them in for me. Then Link advertised and sold a hotel of mine called Pahaska Tepee…The balance due Link is about 23,000 and it appears he has asked for a ruling as there is mortgages on my other property to other parties. And I don't know the law on such things, but it seems to me, a first or prior mortgage should hold first…The Irma Hotel & 4 lots is worth $35,000." Intersecting folds with partial edge separations to top and bottom, a small hole to upper left, and light dampstaining to lower edge, otherwise fine condition. Nearing the end of his life, Cody was constantly facing financial difficulties—he had lost his Wild West Show to Harry Tammen in 1913 after a failed loan, but was able to continue his career touring with other groups. The 1916 tour was organized by the Miller & Arlington Wild West Co. with the central theme being a 'Military Preparedness Pageant' to coincide with the public's support for the Allies in World War I, but this theme was changed for the Chicago show due to the city's large German population. A fascinating letter detailing the intricacies of Cody's seemingly insurmountable financial straits.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
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