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Nan Aspinwall

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Nan J. Aspinwall

Nan Jeanne Aspinwall Gable Lambell (February 2, 1880 in New York – October 24, 1964)[1] was the first woman to ride on horseback across North America alone.[2] She rode from San Francisco to New York from September 1, 1910, arriving on July 8, 1911[3] on a bet from Buffalo Bill, whose Wild West show she performed in with her husband.[4][5] She rode her Thoroughbred mare, Lady Ellen, on the journey.[1]

She was born in New York under the name Nan Jeanne Aspinwall.[1] She performed as an oriental dancer as well as a horsewoman, sharpshooter, and roper.[4] She also had a vaudeville act with her husband.[4]


The actress Penny Edwards appeared as Nan Gable in the 1958 episode, "Two-Gun Nan," of the syndicated anthology series, Death Valley Days. In the story line, sharpshooter Nan, affiliated with William F. Cody's Wild West Show, sets out on a daring thoroughbred horse ride from San Francisco to New York City to prove that a woman could undertake such a task, which required 180 days. Robert "Buzz" Henry (1931-1971) played her husband, Frank Gable, and William O'Neal (1898-1961) was cast as Cody. Still living in 1958, Nan Gable appeared with series host Stanley Andrews at the conclusion of the episode.[6]

Two Gun Nan aged 78

A book about her life was published in 2007.


Higginbotham, Mary C. (October 10, 2007). In Genuine Cowgirl Fashion - The Life and Ride of "Two-Gun" Nan Aspinwall. Preface: Winchester, Juti. The Long Riders Guild Press. ISBN 9781590482582.


  1. ^ a b c "Aspinwall Family". Nebraska State Historical Society. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ ""Two-Gun Nan" Aspinwall-Gable". The Long Riders Guild. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  3. ^ "From Sea to Sea Rode Nan in Saddle" (PDF). The New York Times. July 9, 1911. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Good Morning! A Cowgirl Named "Two-Gun Nan" Made History 101 Years Ago Today". Waco, Texas: KWTX-TV. July 8, 2012. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  5. ^ "Nan J. Aspinwall, Western Entertainer". Nebraska State Historical Society. 2012. Archived from the original on May 2, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ "Two-Gun Nan on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved August 30, 2018.