Annie (Mosey) Butler

Phoebe Anne (Mosey) Butler (1860 - 1926)

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Phoebe Anne (Annie) Butler formerly Mosey aka Oakley
Born in Patterson Township, Darke, Ohio, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married in Ontariomap
Died in Greenville, Darke, Ohio, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 8 Apr 2013
This page has been accessed 8,204 times.
Annie (Mosey) Butler was involved in the westward expansion of the USA.
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Annie Oakley was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter.[1][2][3]

Phoebe Mosey

Phoebe Anne Mosey, "Annie" was born to Quakers from Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania, Susan Wise and Jacob Mosey, on 13 August 1860.[4][1][2][3][5]The couple had moved to a rented farm, which they would later buy on mortgage and pay off with Annie's hunting income, in Patterson Township, Darke County, Ohio sometime around 1855.[4][2] That is where Annie was born.[4][1][2][3][5]

Annie was the sixth of Jacob and Susan's nine children.[4][2] She was born in a log cabin and grew up in poverty; after her father froze to death in a blizzard, she helped support her family by hunting.[4][1][3] She and her sister, Sarah Ellen, would later be put in Darke County Infirmary, in the care of the superintendent's family who would teach her to sew, a skill used later in making her own costumes.[4][1][3] Around age 13, she was sent to live and work as a mother's helper to another family, where she endured both mental and physical abuse, instead of garnering wages as were promised.[4][3] She never gave the name of the family, but instead referred to them as "the wolves".[4][3] Following her departure, she returned briefly to her mother's home with her third husband.[4][3]

Annie's family name was Mosey, though it is often found as Moses.[4] Her brother,John Henry Mosey, was the first of the family to officially spell his name Moses.[4][3] Their father and Annie insisted it was spelled Mozee, but the military spelled it Mosey as does her father's headstone.[4][3][5] Annie's known aliases include Miss Annie Oakley, Little Sure Shot, Little Miss Sure Shot, Watanya Cicilla, Phoebe Anne Oakley, Mrs. Annie Oakley, Mrs. Annie Butler, and Mrs. Frank Butler.[4][1] She had taken the Oakley name after either the Cincinnati neighborhood or possibly after a man who had paid her train fare when young and trying to escape "the wolves'.[4][2][3]

Annie Oakley, Sharpshooter

In 1881[6][4], Annie entered a shooting contest and won, beating a well-known marksman named Frank Butler.[4][1][2][3] Frank was an Irish immigrant, traveling show marksman, and former dog trainer.[4] He placed a $100 bet per side with Jack Frost, a Cincinnati hotel owner, that Frank could beat any local trick shooter.[4][1] Jack set up a match between Frank and Annie saying, "The last opponent Butler expected was a five-foot-tall 15-year old girl[6] named Annie."[4] After missing his 25th shot, Frank lost the match and the bet.[4][3]

Frank began courting Annie, and they were married August 23, 1881 in Ontario (some indicate 1876 in Ohio, but several situations make this date impossible).[7][4][1][2][3] They did not have children, but they doted on their nieces and nephews, and did have beloved dogs, George and Dave.[4][1][3] Part of their married life, they lived in Ohio, later in Nutley, New Jersey, a brick home in Maryland, and finally in North Carolina in 1917, when she and Frank reentered the sharpshooting stage.[4][1] At the very end of her life, they returned to Ohio to be near her family.[1][3]

Frank made Annie part of his touring act.[4][1] When Buffalo Bill Cody's famous Wild West Show needed a new performer in 1885, Oakley auditioned, and she became the star of the show.[4][1] She ended up earning more than anyone else in the show, save for Buffalo Bill himself.[4] Annie performed all over the world, and was a favorite of Queen Victoria.[4][8][1] Her feats included shooting the ashes off cigarettes in Frank's mouth and slicing playing cards in half when held on their sides.[2]

Annie was injured in a train accident in 1901, which resulted in temporary paralysis and several spinal operations.[4][1] She retired from Buffalo Bill's show, as well as shooting for some time, acting in stage plays.[4][1] She recovered and started shooting again, performing several years later. She endured another accident in 1922, recovered and began shooting and setting records for a couple years more.[4][1]


Oakley engaged in much philanthropy for women's rights as well as giving support to individual women she encountered.[4] At one point she offered the US President McKinley the services of a group of women sharpshooters, if the US would enter into a war with Spain.[4][2] McKinley turned down her offer, as was another offer made during World War I.[2] She was also known for teaching thousands of women how to shoot and use a gun.[4] She believed women should know how to support and defend themselves as well as they mothered.[4] Much of the paraphenalia related to Annie's life, as well as numerous possessions of hers, are on permanent display at the Garst Museum and the National Annie Oakley Center in Greenville, Ohio.[4] She was inducted into the Trapshooting Hall of Fame, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the National Women's Hall of Fame, the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, and the New Jersey Hall of Fame.[4]

Her health declined in 1925 and she died of pernicious anemia in Greenville, Ohio, at the age of 66 on November 3, 1926.[4][3][5][9] Frank was beside himself with grief, and died only 18 days later in Michigan.[4][2][3]

Frank and Annie's ashes were mixed together and buried in the Brock Cemetery, in Greenville, Darke, Ohio.[4][3][5][10]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 "Annie Oakley", Buffalo Bill Center of the West, (accessed 10 Aug 2017).
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Klein, Christopher, "10 Things You May Not Know About Annie Oakley",, 3 Nov 2016, (accessed 10 Aug 2017).
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 Annie Oakley Center Foundation FAQ, accessed 10 Aug 2017
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 4.33 4.34 4.35 4.36 4.37 4.38 Wikipedia contributors, "Annie Oakley," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed August 10, 2017).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Image of Annie Oakley Butler's Ohio Death Certificate on
  6. 6.0 6.1 Some accounts refer to 1875 for the date, but most circumstances point to 1881 being the actual date and the memory being incorrectly recounted as 1875. Another thing leading to the confusion was Annie often referring to herself as younger than she was while on tour.
  7. Ontario Marriage Record on
  8. Baird, Julia, Victoria: The Queen, Random House, New York, 2016.
  9. and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.
  10. "Find A Grave Index," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 July 2016), Phoebe Ann Mosey Butler, 1926; Burial, Greenville, Darke, Ohio, United States of America, Brock Cemetery; citing record ID 774, Find a Grave,
  • 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. Year: 1910; Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1026; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0679; FHL microfilm: 1375039
  • 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1870; Census Place: Harrison, Preble, Ohio; Roll: M593_1259; Page: 78B; Image: 198343; Family History Library Film: 552758

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Annie by comparing test results with other carriers of her ancestors' mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Annie:

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Images: 8
Mosey family burial site
Mosey family burial site

Annie Butler Image 2
Annie Butler Image 2

Annie Oakley, Frank E Butler, and their dog Dave.
Annie Oakley, Frank E Butler, and their dog Dave.

Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley

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On 25 Apr 2018 at 18:13 GMT Gillian Wagenaar wrote:

Mosey-13 and Mosey-62 appear to represent the same person because: Clearly the same person (Mosey-62 is just a later duplicate)

On 21 Aug 2017 at 09:14 GMT Colin Bluett wrote:

I guess we are all wondering who were Annie's other husbands!

On 19 Aug 2017 at 16:02 GMT S B wrote:

I always loved Annie Oakley on TV! I am so excited we share DNA!

On 16 Aug 2017 at 21:15 GMT Heather Douglas wrote:

Wonderful what a wonderful woman an example to us all that when life hands us a dirty deal not to sit down and take it.

On 16 Aug 2017 at 20:58 GMT Sharon (Troy) Centanne wrote:

Nice biography, but all the numbers in the bio and in the sources are very confusing! Are they really necessary?

On 13 Aug 2015 at 23:24 GMT Bree Ogle wrote:

Check out this short video on Annie's life: [1]

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Annie is 20 degrees from Deb Durham, 25 degrees from Lou Gehrig and 19 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.