Sampson Kelly (1871-1932) was a Southern Cheyenne. He was the son of Monahsetah (also known as Meotzi, and later known as Morning Alfrey). His name is sometimes given as Sampson Kelley, Sampson Killer, and Stands Above. He was allotted land near Kingfisher, Oklahoma, and lived there until his death. Sampson is believed to have performed in Wild West shows in the early twentieth century, but I have been unable to find any records of him as a Wild West performer. Does anyone have any information about the show(s) in which he performed?
Somebody from an earlier generation in my family attended a 101 Ranch exhibition and collected picture postcards that are now among my family's collection of memorabilia, so I wondered if Sampson Kelly might have been involved with the 101 Ranch in Oklahoma. link to 101 Ranch poster www.101ranchota.com/images/101RanchWildWest_big.gif
Excerpts from www.101ranchota.com/history.html History of the 101 Ranch By Al Ritter Featuring at least 200 local cowboys, ranch hands and Indians, arrangements were made to have the imprisoned frontier warrior Geronimo brought to the ranch under military guard from Fort Sill, O.T. With assistance, the aging warrior killed a buffalo in the arena from a motorcar, signed autographs and sold souvenirs. Among other larger than life promotions, the Millers advertised in area newspapers they would offer a $1000 prize to anyone who would submit to being scalped by Geronimo.
More than 65,000 people attended the long afternoon of events of June 11, 1905 and overflow crowds easily filled a huge grandstand built for the event. Performing ranch honed skills, cowboys and cowgirls paraded that huge grandstand on the south side of the Salt Fork River along with vividly costumed Ponca, Kaw, Otoe, Missouri, Tonkawa, Pawnee and Osage Indians, marching bands, soldiers and Geronimo. Along with Geronimo’s mock ‘buffalo hunt’, trick riding, bucking horses and a performance by the bulldogging ‘Dusky Demon’ from Texas, Bill Pickett, the evening ended with an unannounced frontier style wagon train attack by Indian performers.
The remarkable performance gained national attention and brought the 101 Ranch into the venue of thrilling western entertainment. So successful was the show, Colonel Joe Miller and his brothers formed the 101 Ranch Wild West Show and began to tour the United States. They joined the ranks of such notables of that era which included Buffalo Bill’s Congress of Rough Riders, Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show and P.T. Barnum as well as a myriad of smaller circuses and western shows touring the U.S.