Priscilla Alice Mosey, Twin Sister of Annie Oakley

Priscilla-Alice-MoseyPriscilla Alice Mosey is the fraternal twin sister of Annie Oakley. Annie’s birth name was Phoebe Ann Mosey, known as Annie to her family. She took the surname Oakley after the town of Oakley, Ohio.

Priscilla kept her birth name both because she liked it, and because the sisters, since childhood, enjoyed fooling people into thinking they were strangers, who happened to be doppelgängers who didn’t think they looked alike. The stunt later became part of Annie’s act, carried out between performances of her gun show.

The sisters, dressed identically, would casually cross paths amongst the crowd. Someone, at times a shill, would point out how similar the women looked. They’d stop and stare at one another, from hat to boots, then pretend not to notice any resemblance between them. A debate would ensue, with Priscilla eventually changing her mind and exclaiming she did see a resemblance after all. She’d tell Annie how their eyes looked alike, their noses, the texture of their hair, even their earlobes. Annie would say she just didn’t see it. Priscilla would not back down, and the sisters would enter a heated argument. Annie would pull out her gun and threaten to shoot her sister if she didn’t leave the grounds post haste. Audience members were initially stunned, then delighted, by their shenanigans.

In reality, the sisters were extremely close, able to communicate, they said, by thought. Priscilla lived with Annie and her husband, Frank Butler, and traveled with them on the Wild West circuit performing The Non-Resembling Twins act to audience acclaim.

Priscilla and Annie died of Pernicious Anemia on the same day in 1926, at the age of 66. They were buried next to one another. Their tombstone reads, “OK. Fine. We do look alike.”

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