Results for - The True Story and Legends of Famous Outlaws in the Wild, Wild West ** Part Five ** Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp, (born March 19, 1848, Monmouth, Illinois, U.S.—died January 13, 1929, Los Angeles, California), legendary frontiersman of the American West.
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Earp was the fourth of eight children born to Nicholas Earp and his second wife, Virginia Ann Cooksey. His four brothers—James (1841–1926), Virgil (1843–1905), Morgan (1851–82), and Warren (1855–1900)—as well as a half-brother, Newton, would play integral roles throughout Wyatt’s life. Some evidence supports Wyatt Earp's birthplace as 406 S. 3rd St. in Monmouth, Illinois, though the street address is disputed by Monmouth College professor and historian William Urban. The Wyatt Earp Birthplace, Inc., 1986, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places 1999. He grew up in Illinois and Iowa.
1. In 1864, toward the end of the American Civil War, his family moved to an area near San Bernardino, California. In 1868 most of the Earps returned to Illinois via the Union Pacific Railroad, on which Wyatt and Virgil lingered to work in what is now Wyoming. The following year Wyatt rejoined his family, which had moved to Lamar, Missouri. There he married in 1870 and was elected local constable. However, following his pregnant wife's death, he entered a turbulent period, marked by numerous run-ins with the law. Facing allegations of embezzlement, he left Lamar in 1871, and later that year he was arrested for stealing horses in Indian Territory but was never tried; sources differ on whether he escaped from jail or jumped bail. What do you think?
2. He eventually settled in Peoria, Illinois, where he was arrested for various offenses, most of which concerned his involvement with brothels. After moving to Wichita, Kansas, in 1874, he continued to work in prostitution establishments—most likely as a bouncer—and was again arrested on several occasions. In early 1874, Earp and Sally moved to the growing cow town of Wichita where his brother James ran a brothel. Local arrest records show that Sally and James' wife Nellie "Bessie" Ketchum operated a brothel there from early 1874 to the middle of 1876. Wyatt may have been a pimp, but historian Robert Gary L. Roberts believes that he was more likely an enforcer or a bouncer for the brothel. When the Kansas state census was completed in June 1875, Sally was no longer living with Wyatt, James, and Bessie. Wichita was a railroad terminal and a destination for cattle drives from Texas. The town would fill with drunken, armed cowboys celebrating the end of their long journey when the cattle drives arrived, and lawmen were kept busy. When the cattle drives ended and the cowboys left, Earp searched for something else to do. The Wichita City Eagle reported on October 29, 1874, that he had helped an off-duty police officer find thieves who had stolen a man's wagon. So many different occupations, could you see yourself as a--?
3. Earp officially joined the Wichita marshal's office on April 21, 1875, after the election of Mike Meagher as city marshal (or police chief), making $100 per month. He also dealt faro at the Long Branch Saloon. Earp worked as a police officer, first in Wichita (1875–76) and later in Dodge City (1876–77), before heading off to the gold rush in the Black Hills (1877–78). He then returned to Dodge City as assistant marshal (1878–79), and there he became noted as both a lawman and a gambler. During this time he befriended such gunmen as Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson. In 1876, Dodge City Deputies Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp became a major terminal for cattle drives from Texas along the Chisholm Trail. Earp was appointed assistant marshal in Dodge City under Marshal Lawrence Deger around May 1876. Did you ever see the any of these TV Series about the Old West?
4. Earp spent the winter of 1876–77 in the gold rush boomtown of Deadwood in the Dakota Territory. He and Morgan left Dodge for Deadwood on September 9, 1876, with a team of horses, but they arrived there to find that all the land was already tied up in mining claims, so Morgan decided to return to Dodge. Instead of gambling, Wyatt made a deal to buy all the wood that a local individual had cut and put his horses to work that winter hauling firewood into camp. He made about $5,000 in profit but was unable to file any mining claims, so he returned to Dodge City in the spring. He rejoined the Dodge City police in spring 1877 at the request of Mayor James H. Kelley. The Dodge City newspaper reported in July 1878 that he'd been fined $1.00 for slapping a muscular prostitute named Frankie Bell. In October 1877, outlaw Dave Rudabaugh robbed a Santa Fe Railroad construction camp and fled south. Earp was given a temporary commission as deputy U.S. Marshal and left Dodge City, following Rudabaugh over 400 miles (640 km) through Fort Clark, Texas, where the newspaper reported his presence on January 22, 1878, and on to Fort Griffin, Texas. Did you watch the Series Deadwood?
5. He arrived at the frontier town on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River and went to the Bee Hive Saloon, the largest in town and owned by John Shanssey, whom Earp had known since he was 21. Shanssey told Earp that Rudabaugh had passed through town earlier in the week, but didn't know where he was headed. Shanssey suggested that Earp ask gambler Doc Holliday, who played cards with Rudabaugh. Doc told Earp that Rudabaugh was headed back into Kansas. By May 11, 1878, the Dodge newspapers reported that Earp had returned. The Dodge City Times noted on May 14 that he'd been appointed Assistant Marshal for $75 per month, serving under Charlie Bassett. Doc Holliday also showed up in Dodge City with his common-law wife Big Nose Kate during the summer of 1878. Ed Morrison and another two dozen cowboys rode into Dodge that summer and shot up the town, galloping down Front Street. They entered the Long Branch Saloon, vandalized and harassed the customers. Hearing the commotion, Earp burst through the front door to find numerous guns pointing at him; another version of the story has it that only 3-5 cowboys were there. In both versions, Holliday was playing cards in the back and he put his pistol at Morrison's head, forcing him and his men to disarm. Earp credited Holliday with saving his life that day, and the two were friends ever since. While in Dodge City, Earp became acquainted with James and Bat Masterson, Luke Short, and prostitute Mattie Blaylock, who became his common-law wife until 1881. Would you work in a saloon in the Old West?
6. George Hoyt (spelled sometimes as "Hoy") and other drunken cowboys shot their guns wildly at about 3 AM on July 26, 1878, including three shots into Dodge City's Comique Theater, causing comedian Eddie Foy, Sr. to throw himself to the stage floor in the middle of his act. Fortunately, no one was injured. Assistant Marshal Earp and policeman Bat Masterson responded, along with several citizens, and opened fire with their pistols at the fleeing horsemen. The riders crossed the Arkansas River bridge south of town but Hoyt fell from his horse, wounded in the arm or leg. Earp later told biographer Stuart Lake that he saw Hoyt through his gun sights, illuminated against the morning horizon, and he fired a fatal shot which killed him that day; but the Dodge City Times reported that Hoyt developed gangrene and died on August 21 after his leg was amputated. Do you think the shot could have caused the gangrene that killed him?
7. Leaving Dodge City, he went to New Mexico Territory and then California, working for a time as a Wells Fargo guard. In 1879 he moved to the Wild West town of Tombstone, Arizona Territory, where most of the Earp family had congregated, buying real estate and businesses. Wyatt became a gambler and a guard in a saloon, and his brother Virgil became town marshal. Have you ever seen guns like this in a museum?