The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence and a wide range of files compiled by Mary Jester Allen, the first director of the Buffalo Bill Museum. These files document the building and growth of the first Buffalo Bill Museum, and contain artist files, and general correspondence from a wide variety of sources
Mary Jester Allen was born in West Chester, PA on 1/11/1875 and died in Cody, WY on 11/23/1960 the only child of Helen Cody Jester and Alexander Jester.
Buffalo Bill’s niece, Mary Jester Allen, became the catalyst for commemorating her beloved uncle. She was described as “…gray-haired, steely-eyed, of considerable dignity, an imposing air of authority and dogged determination.” Her residency in New York City from ca. 1917 until 1926, gave her the opportunity to establish Eastern connections and gain experience in journalism and public relations. She was also active during that period in the Women’s Roosevelt Memorial Association, displaying her interest in a museum that memorialized a national figure. Through channels established while she lived in New York, Allen managed to involve Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875 – 1942), the renowned patron of American art, a sculptress, and daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Whitney would sculpt the monumental bronze, Buffalo Bill—The Scout.
Restrictions: McCracken Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials. Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation or publication. Contact McCracken Research Library for more information.
Preferred Citation: Mary Jester Allen - Original Buffalo Bill Museum Collection, MS 41, McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West