Two Wisconsin business partners are donating a historic piece of ore from a mine once owned by a local legend to his museum in LeClaire.

Loren Breckenridge and Jackie Lee, from Appleton, Wisconsin, are donating a 5,200-carat, $156,000 rare specimen of “Cody Stone” containing gold, silver, copper, and tungsten to the Buffalo Bill Museum in LeClaire. Cody Stone is milky quartz ore from Buffalo Bill Cody’s Campo Bonito Gold Mine in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona.

The museum will hold a ceremony to commemorate the donation on November 19th at 1 p.m. 

“This significant ore was extracted from the Cody tunnel at Buffalo Bill’s Camp Bonito Gold Mine in 2010 by Jackie Lee and a trusted friend who is also a seasoned prospector that had a claim to the mine in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona,” said Breckenridge. “We are overjoyed to share this special Cody Stone, photographs and correspondence in Buffalo Bill Cody’s own hand with the Buffalo Bill Museum to preserve the history for future generations.”

Aside from its historical significance, this isn’t just any ordinary ore from a typical mine. The tungsten from this ore was provided to Thomas Edison to use in the filaments of his first commercial light bulbs. Some of those light bulbs are still in use today. 

William Frederick Cody, more commonly known as “Buffalo Bill,” was an American scout, Pony Express rider, bison hunter and entertainer. He was born in the Iowa Territory town of Le Claire on February 26, 1846. In 1883, he founded Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and began touring the United States.

He toured Great Britain and continental Europe with his large company starting in 1887. In the early 1900s, he was a shrewd businessman with mining interests in the Santa Catalina Mountains. His mines were well-known for producing gold, silver, copper and tungsten. 

To learn more about the Buffalo Bill Museum, click here.