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Colonel Prentiss Ingraham
Room 211

Prentiss Ingraham (1843-1904) was born in Natchez, Mississippi, on December 28, 1843. He was educated at St. Timothy’s Military Academy in Maryland, as well as Jefferson College in Mississippi, and Mobile Medical College in Alabama. Prentiss Ingraham left school to enlist in the Confederate army. At the end of the Civil War, he chose to become a soldier of fortune, fighting on the side of Juarez in Mexico against Maximillian. During his sporadic paramilitary career, Ingraham also served in Crete against the Turks, in the Austrian army during the Austro-Prussian War, in Egypt with the Khedive’s army, as a colonel in the Cuban rebel army, and as a captain in the Cuban navy. Captured by the Spanish at one point, Prentiss Ingraham narrowly escaped execution.

Beginning in the early 1870s, Ingraham began writing dime novels for the New York publishers Beadle and Adams. His initial dime novels, for which he became famous, began with Pirate stories and had nautical themes. Ingraham often based his novels on his own military experiences as well as themes originally devised by his father. In 1878, Buffalo Bill hired the Colonel to write a play “The Knights of the Plains; or Buffalo Bill’s Best Trail,” which went on a highly successful six-week West Coast tour. The play continued to run in select locations, such as the Central City Opera House.


In 1881 Ingraham was hired by Buffalo Bill to work as a press agent for the Wild West show. This personal experience prepared Ingraham later to take over the Buffalo Bill series of dime novels. Eventually, Prentiss Ingraham would write over two hundred Buffalo Bill stories alone.  Throughout his career, Ingraham wrote a total of six hundred novels and four hundred novelettes. However, this style of speed-writing didn’t allow for subtlety of character. Ingraham’s writing style allowed his work to be produced cheaply and quickly, attracting readers around the world with the fantasies of the Wild West. Ingraham is credited with popularizing the cowboy hero, as well as shaping the popular perception of the Western frontier, both in the US and abroad. In his later years, Ingraham lived in Maryland and Illinois. Prentiss Ingraham died of Bright’s disease on August 16, 1904, at the Beauvoir Confederate Home in Biloxi, Mississippi.

(The Colonel Prentiss Ingraham room is a suite that features 1 Queen Size bed, 2 Twin size beds, a single lavatory, & tub with a hand shower.  All rooms have wired and wireless internet & individual heat/ac.-Facing South towards the Mountains)