Texas Jack, Peerless Morlacchi and the Lowell Connection

Here is another one to place in the category, “there is a Lowell Connection”.

I’m almost through reading a book about Buffalo Bill Cody titled The Colonel and Little Missie written by Larry McCurtry, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Lonesome Dove. In one of the later chapters McCurtry mentions John Omohundro and Giuseppina Morlacchi.

These two are the Lowell connection.

McCurtry’s book on Buffalo Bill only briefly mentioned that Morlacchi had been buried in Lowell…but I became curious about the “Lowell Connection”…so I googled it. The Center for Lowell History, University of Massachusetts, Lowell served as a great sources of information  regarding Omohundro and Morlacchi. Check it out.

The famous Lowell couple is better known as Texas Jack and Peerless Morlacchi (Josephine). For a number of years Texas Jack performed alongside Buffalo Bill Cody in both his Wild West Show and some independent stage productions. It was during one of these stage shows that Jack met Josephine and they quickly married.

Peerless Morlacchi was one of the most famous dancers in America. Before the marriage, she often performed in Boston, but she didn’t want to live in the city.  The solution? Morlacchi bought a “summer house” in a rural town not far from Boston, Billerica.

While living in Billerica, Morlacchi often visited Lowell and became well known in the Mill City.


John Baker Omonhundro (Texas Jack) was a renowned scout for the US Army and considered as able as Buffalo Bill himself. His fame spread rapidly. Texas Jack, like Bill Cody, became the subject of many dime novels.

After their marriage Peerless Morlacchi and Texas Jack continued to tour, but soon grew tired of the road. They purchased a second piece of property in the Merrimack Valley on the corner of Market and Suffolk Streets in Lowell.

No long after, Texas Jack died while on a trip to Colorado. He was only thirty three years old. His wife returned to Billerica and spend her time either in Lowell or “the summer house” in Billerica.

Peerless Morlacchi died in 1886, six years after Texas Jack. She is buried in St Patrick’s Cemetery in Lowell.

8 Responses to Texas Jack, Peerless Morlacchi and the Lowell Connection

  1. Casey Swan says:

    That is awesome! I love “The Wild West” and I have visited Texas Jack’s grave in Leadville, CO, but I didn’t realize we had a Bill Cody friend buried here in Lowel. I’ll have to seek her out. Thanks for the history.

  2. Guy Lefebvre says:

    There is a great book on Jack and Guiseppina (Josephine), Buckskin and Satin, written by Hershel Logan. Texas Jack met Guiseppina (Josephine) while performing in “Scouts of the Prairie” in Chicago. The play was written by Ned Buntline. The next season 1873-1874 Guiseppina (Josephine) and Wild Bill Hickock were added to the cast of “Scouts of the Plains”. Jack and Guiseppina were married at Rochester NY on August, 31, 1873. If anyone is interested, I have Texas Jack memorabilia at the Lowell Gallery.
    I also have a radio show scheduled on WCAP in October on Texas Jack and Guiseppina Morlacchi. Guiseppina and her sister’s graves are visible from Gorham st and not far from the office at St. Pat’s Cemetery.

  3. EileenL says:

    So there is a stone? It’s not in the genealogy listing because she died before most of the listings. I would love to see a picture of the stone. Do you have one? Thanks. It’s a great story and I hope Dave includes it in the fall tour………..

  4. Anonymous says:

    Eileen, I showed Dave the stone last summer. Send me your E-Mail and I’ll send you a picture of the stone.

  5. Tony says:

    On May 24, 1911 on Buffalo Bill’s way to perform in Lowell, a train carrying his “show” was involved in a wreck in Westford. According to a newspaper article written on the following day, Buffalo Bill paraded his animals and show-people from Westford to Lowell in time for the Lowell performance. You can read the full article on the wreck by following the link below.


    According to buffalobill.org Buffalo Bill perform in Lowell, MA on the following dates:
    March 14, 1873*

    February 16, 1874*
    June 10, 1874*
    January 20, 1875*
    May 1, 1876*
    December 30, 1876*
    November 19, 1877*
    April 9, 1880*
    November 29, 1880*
    April 3, 1882*
    February 22, 1883*
    January 19, 1884*
    August 28 – 29, 1884
    July 1 – 2, 1895
    June 3, 1897
    July 10, 1899
    July 8, 1908
    May 24, 1911
    June 19, 1916