But each time, the runaway Earp was caught before he ever reached the battlefield, and was returned home. At the age of 17, Earp finally left his family, now living in California, for a new life along the frontier. He worked hauling freight, and then later was hired to grade track for the Union Pacific Railroad. In his downtime, he learned to box and became an adept gambler. In , Earp returned to the fold of his family, who had made a home in Lamar, Missouri. A new, more settled life seemed to await Earp. After his father resigned as constable of the township, Earp replaced him.
By , he had married Urilla Sutherland, the daughter of the local hotel owner, built a house in town and was an expecting father. But then, everything changed. Within a year of their marriage, Urilla contracted typhus and died, along with her unborn child.
Broken and devastated by his wife's death, Earp left Lamar and set off on a new life devoid of any kind of grounding. In Arkansas, he was arrested for stealing a horse but managed to avoid punishment by escaping from his jail cell. For the next several years, Earp roamed the frontier, making his home in saloons and brothels, working as a strongman and befriending several different prostitutes.
In , he moved to Wichita, Kansas, where his brother Virgil had opened a new brothel that catered to the cowboys coming off their long cattle drives. There, he also began working with a part-time police officer on rounding up criminals. The adventure and the little bit of press Earp received from the job appealed to him, and eventually, he was made city marshal of Dodge City, Kansas. But while he had reinvented himself as a lawman, the speculative spirit that had driven his father ran in Earp as well.
In December , Earp joined his brothers Virgil and Morgan in Tombstone, Arizona, a booming frontier town that had only recently been erected when a speculator discovered the land there contained vast amounts of silver. His good friend Doc Holliday , whom he'd met in Kansas, joined him.
But the silver riches the Earp brothers hoped to find never came, forcing Earp to begrudgingly to return to law work. Cochise County in the Old West.
Rural outlaw cowboys and allies vs. Corral hearing and aftermath Earp Vendetta Ride. Retrieved from " https: Use mdy dates from March Articles with short description Coordinates on Wikidata All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from May Articles with unsourced statements from September Articles containing potentially dated statements from All articles containing potentially dated statements Articles with unsourced statements from April Views Read Edit View history.
While many people moved to Tombstone for adventure, James Clark sought it as a refuge. Now the owner of the Tombstone Mercantile Company, stocked with western antiques and collectibles, he raced locomotives into ambushes or train wrecks and performed other high-speed stunts in more than Hollywood films.
And he keeps his hand on the throttle by running a freight train from time to time, between the Arizona town of Benson and the Mexican border.
O.K. Corral Gunfight Site, Tombstone AZ: History
But most days he enjoys the slower pace of life as a Tombstone merchant. His mustache, his battered hat, even his slouch, are pure cowboy. As he looks on, a tourist asks a passing sheriff when the next gunfight is scheduled.
The tourist asks again, insistently. Ingalls steps out into the street and takes the visitor aside. He uses live ammunition.
Read e-book Tombstone - A Quick History
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Tombstone Through the Years. Instead he sought Sheriff Behan's aid in disarming the Cowboys, who had now moved to the vacant lot behind the O. Corral next to photographer C. Fly's Boarding House where Doc Holliday lived. Behan, however, was unable to convince the Cowboys to give up their weapons — and unable to prevent the Earps and Doc Holliday from heading to the O.
Corral to disarm the Cowboys. The stage was set. As the Earps turned the corner and entered the narrow passageway between the Harwood House and Fly's Boarding House, they met their rivals face-to-face. Each lawmen carried a six-shooter. In addition, "Doc" Holliday carried a shotgun hidden under his long coat.
Less than six feet away from the Cowboys, Virgil called out, "Boys, throw up your hands, I've come to disarm you. I don't want to fight! Within thirty seconds, nearly thirty shots were fired. A bullet just grazed Doc Holliday's hip. Cowboys Ike Clanton and Billy Claibourne were unarmed, and both ran away when the fighting began. Tom McClaury, who also may have been unarmed, was shot and killed by a blast from Doc's shotgun.
Nineteen year old Billy Clanton was shot in the chest and the right arm which forced him to continue shooting left-handed. He died of his wounds 30 minutes after the fight.
Only Wyatt remained unharmed. As reported in the Tombstone Nugget newspaper on October 27, , the gunfight reflected "one of the crimson days in the annals of Tombstone, a day when blood flowed as water For a detailed account of the gunfight and the subsequent Earp-Holliday murder inquest come watch our gunfight reenactment , or purchase a reprint of the Tombstone Epitaph at the O. Corral or Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper offices. The coroner opened a formal inquest on October 27th, which led to a month-long preliminary hearing before Justice of the Peace Wells Spicer.
Ike Clanton's testimony obviously differed on key points from the recollections of the Earps and Doc Holliday. The townspeople were split in their allegiances, some believing the Earps used necessary force to quash a threat to Tombstone's civil order, others believing the lawmen were oppressors of individual rights.
At the trial's end, Justice Spicer censured Virgil Earp but found insufficient cause for the defendants to be tried for murder: "I cannot resist the conclusion that the defendants were fully justified in committing these homicides. Under indictment for murder in the revenge shootings of his brothers' killers, Wyatt Earp left Tombstone with Doc Holliday in April There are those who say Wyatt Earp was the Lion of Tombstone, the man who saw his unpleasant duty and brought peace to a troubled town. There are others who just as strongly proclaim that the Earps were no better than the men with whom they fought, and the killings were the outgrowth of outlaw activities in which all were involved.
Still others say Wyatt Earp was really just a hired gun, doing what he was told to do, a man no better and no worse than a horde of like contemporaries throughout the unstable West. Today, evaluation is difficult, for we judge by present standards the men who lived in a different world, at a hard to imagine time, and under a flexible set of rules. For over years, the dramatic events of October 26, , have captured the imagination of historians and storytellers. The Earps and the Cowboys have become iconic symbols of the untamed Western frontier. But of all the Old West gunbattles, why do these thirty seconds live on in history?
The History of Tombstone
In boomtowns like Tombstone, economic and political concerns dominated the community's culture, reinforced by social allegiances. Turbulent events like the Gunfight remain significant today not because of their the "good" defeated the "bad," but rather because they reflect the complex realities of the Western frontier. Drawn to Tombstone by the alluring prospect of striking it rich in the town's silver boom, James, Virgil, and Wyatt Earp arrived with their common law wives in , and were soon joined by their close friend Doc Holliday, followed in by Morgan and Warren. They operated gambling concessions, ran saloons, and invested in real estate and mining claims.
However, it was the Earps tough, unyielding skill as lawmen able to bring order to rowdy frontier communities that brought them to the attention of Tombstone's Republican businessmen Celebrated by many as a man who brought law and order to America's boomtowns — while denounced by others as a revenge-seeker and murderer who took the law into his own hands — Wyatt Earp remains one of the Old West's most enigmatic figures. The subject of scores of movies, television dramas, and novels, Earp stands out as an iconic legend.
Yet his actual life story reflects the thin line between respectability and notoriety that permeated America's frontier communities. The middle brother of five, Wyatt was born in to Nicholas and Virginia Earp. A tall, quiet loner, he moved frequently with his family, settling in Illinois, Iowa, and California before returning east in to become constable in Lamar, Missouri.
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