Princess Wenona
AKA Lillian Smith
February 6, 1930 Ponca City News

Indian Circus Queen Is Buried at Ponca City Of Ponca City Portrait, Rifles of Wenona are Given to Historical Society of State

Ponca City, Feb. 5-Special- Funeral services for Princess Wenona, Indian woman, for a score of years queen of the sawdust ring and for 40 years a champion rifle shot, were held from the First Christian Church here Wednesday. Burial services were held at the Ponca City Cemetery.

There were no relatives of the famous Indian woman present but many who had known her during the last ten years of her life and a scattered few who had associated with her during her circus career were there. Rev. G. Frank Sanders officiated the rites.

One of the final requests of Princess Wenona was that she be buried under her maiden name of Lillian Smith, and this was done.

She had designated Arthur Rynearson, druggist of Marland, as her administrator and her will is to be probated at Perry February 17. She was 59 years old.

Among the bequests of Princess Wenona is the following list of her personal effects which are to be given to the State Historical Society.

One life size portrait of Princess Wenona, world's greatest horseback rifle shot. One beaded surcingle. One beaded blanket. One pair silver-plated spurs. One ermine trimmed buckskin squaw dress. Four Winchester carbine rifles, 44-40 calibre. Two gold-plated Winchester rifles, .22 calibre. One gold plated Smith and Wesson revolver, .38 calibre. One bullet proof vest.

Records, which Princess Wenona left, show that she started as a rifle shot at 9 years of age, and that she joined the Buffalo Bill show as an expert in 1886, and that she later was with the Pawnee Bill and the 101 Ranch Wild West shows, finally retiring from show life in 1920. She had called Oklahoma her official residence since 1907. She was presented to Queen Victoria of England, and personally met and shook hands with 140 members of royalty. It was in 1887 that Buffalo Bill offered $10,000 to anyone who could defeat her as a rifle shot.

Some of the records as a rifle shot made by Wenona and thus far remaining unbroken include the throwing into the air of 323 glass balls, broken by her in succession without a miss using a .22 calibre rifle. Then she was 10 years old. Later she broke 495 glass balls out of 500, an unbroken record.

No one else has ever equaled her record of breaking 300 swinging balls in 14 minutes and 33 seconds, using a single .22 calibre rifle, nor her other record of shooting from the back of a horse and breaking 71 out of 72 balls thrown in the air.

Princess Wenona broke 72,800 swinging balls in six days, using four Winchester repeating rifles, .22 calibre, shooting three hours daily. Another unbroken record is her breaking 20 swinging balls in 12 seconds, using a .22 calibre Winchester rifle.