Edward Lawrence Schieffelin was born on May 27, 1847 in Wellsboro, PA. He became an Indian scout for the railroad in the Arizona Territory. In 1878 he determined “there’s gold in them thar hills” and decided to become a prospector. Upon hearing this, his friends reminded him that Geronimo and his Indians will kill any white man they encounter and the only rock he will find out there will be his own tombstone. He struck it rich. When word got out, the place was swarmed by prospectors, and he named the developing town “Tombstone”.
Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp was born March 19, 1848 in Monmouth, IL. Earp lived a restless life, moving constantly from one boomtown to another. He was at different times a gambler, an associate of prostitutes, an accused horse thief, a teamster, buffalo hunter, bouncer, saloon-keeper, brothel keeper, miner, boxing referee, gunfighter, and, occasionally, a lawman. He was accused of fixing a fight he was refereeing. He was arrested for stealing a horse, escaped from jail, sued twice, and was arrested and fined three times for “keeping and being found in a house of ill-fame” just during the year of 1872.
We best know Wyatt Earp from the TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, in which he was portrayed by actor Hugh O’Brian (born Hugh Charles Krampe on April 19, 1925). Unfortunately, none of that was true, including the fact that Ned Buntline gave Wyatt a gun he designed. Sorry.
Wyatt Earp and his brothers came to Tombstone in 1879 to mine for silver and gold. They filed a claim on October 21, 1881 and built houses for themselves in Tombstone. Wyatt’s house is still standing.
Wyatt’s brother, Virgil, was Deputy US Marshal in Arizona at this time. The Clanton’s were outlaw cowboys who were at odds with the Earps. They also got into an argument with the Earp’s friend “Doc” Holiday. John Henry “Doc” Holliday was born exactly 95 years before me on my birthdate, August 14th, in Griffin, Georgia.
On October 26, 1881, at a few minutes before 3:00 p.m., they came looking for Doc to kill him, and the Earp’s if they got in their way.
The O.K. Corral was owned in 1881 by John Montgomery. The previous owner of the corral was named Kindersley, so over time people started to refer to the structure as “the old Kindersley corral” and eventually “the O.K. Corral”.
The gunfight actually took place on the vacant lot next to the corral, by Fry’s photographer’s shop,which is why it is called the Gunfight AT the O.K. Corral and not IN the O.K. Corral. Doc Holiday had a room above Fry’s shop, and the Clanton brothers were on their way to kill Holiday, when the Earps’s steped in.
Owing to the fallout and bad publicity from the Gunfight (Wyatt and his brothers were labeled “murderers”) he left Tombstone on March 19, 1882.
We did take a stagecoach ride around Tombstone. Well, it is Saturday night, bath night.