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Omundro, John B.

(TEXAS JACK) ( ?-1880)

John B. Omohundro, of Irish descent, †fourth child of J. B. Omohundro and his wife Catharine S. Baker, was born †July 26, 1846 on a farm† near Palmyra in Fluvanna County, Virginia, some twenty-five miles from Richmond. As a boy he attended a country school, riding five miles each way on horseback. When fifteen years of age he decided to go to Texas. All that he had, besides the clothes he wore, was an extra woolen shirt, an overcoat and a blanket, ninety dollars, his horse, saddle, rifle, and revolver. His first work in Texas was on a ranch at twenty dollars a month; then he became a hunter for the fort, and later was promoted to scout. At one time he was captured by Indians, and lived among them for two months. During the Civil War he was a scout in the Confederate army, and afterwards became a cowboy and scout. He was associated with Buffalo Bill in his first theatrical attempt during the season 1872-73, and again in 1873-74 and 1875-76. †He married Mile Josephine Morlacchi, the actress, on September I, 1873. He died of pneumonia in Leadville, Colorado, †June 28, 1880.(†1)

While Omohundro's name is given as the author of one of Beadle's novels, "Ned Wylde," Patten(†2) said that Col. Ingraham told him personally that he, Ingraham, was the author of that story. This novel, therefore, is listed among those written by Ingraham. Omohundro figures as a character in many of the Beadle publications.

† He is also a character in Joel Chandler Harris' 'On the Wing of Occasion . . . including the Hitherto Suppressed Narrative of the Kidnapping of President Lincoln.'

REFERENCES: W. P. Cody, Autobiography; P. Ingraham, "Texas Jack, the Mustang King," Beadle's Boy's Library, quarto, No. 5, and octavo, No. 10, fact and fiction. See also "Texas Jack, the Prairie Rattler," Dime Library, no. 304. A full-page portrait, in costume, and one in civilian dress in New York Weekly, XXVIII, November 18, 1872. †Additional data received from Herschel C. Logan, in letters to me February 28 and July 4, 1952. See also Logan's Buckskin and Satin, Harrisburg, Pa., 1954.

† Correction made as per Volume 3.


1 † His tombstone incorrectly gives his age at death as thirty-nine, but actually he was not quite thirty-four. The monument is marked "Texas Jack J. B. Omohundro / Died June 28, 1880 / Aged 39 years. / Erected by Wm. F. Cody Buffalo Bill / John M. Burke / Johnny Baker."
2 Gilbert Patten, "Dime Novel Days," Saturday Evening Post, CCIII, February 28, 1931, 126.

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