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Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

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Wyatt Earp
Earp at about age 39[1]:104
BornWyatt Berry Stapp Earp
March 19, 1848
Monmouth, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJanuary 13, 1929 (aged 80)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeHills of Eternity Memorial Park, Colma, California
37°40′33″N 122°27′12.1″W
OccupationLawman, buffalo hunter, saloon keeper, miner, boxing referee, gambler, brothel keeper
Years active1865–1898
Known forGunfight at the O.K. CorralFitzsimmons vs. Sharkey boxing match decision
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) at age 30
Opponent(s)William BrociusTom and Frank McLauryIke and Billy ClantonBilly Claiborne
Spouse(s)Urilla Sutherland (m. 1870)Sally Heckell (m. 1872) (common-law wife?)Celia Ann “Mattie” Blaylock (m. 1878⁠–⁠1881) (common-law wife)Josephine Sarah Marcus (m. 1882⁠–⁠1929) (common-law wife)
Parent(s)Nicholas Porter Earp and his second wife Virginia Ann Cooksey
Relativessiblings Newton, Mariah Ann, JamesVirgil, Martha, MorganWarren, Virginia Ann, and Adelia Douglas Earp
Signature
O.K. Corral gunfight
Principal events
Gunfight at the O.K. CorralO.K. Corral hearing and aftermathEarp Vendetta Ride
Lawmen
Virgil EarpWyatt EarpMorgan EarpDoc Holliday
Outlaw Cowboys
Ike ClantonBilly ClantonTom McLauryFrank McLauryBilly Claiborne
vte

Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (March 19, 1848 – January 13, 1929) was an Old West lawman and gambler in Cochise CountyArizona Territory, and a deputy marshal in Tombstone. He worked in a wide variety of trades throughout his life and took part in the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral, during which lawmen killed three outlaw Cochise County Cowboys. He is often erroneously regarded as the central figure in the shootout, although his brother Virgil was the Tombstone City and Deputy U.S. Marshal that day, and had far more experience in combat as a sheriff, constable, marshal, and soldier.[2]

Earp was at different times a professional gambler, teamster, and buffalo hunter. Over his lifetime, he owned several saloons, maintained a brothel, mined for silver and gold, and refereed boxing matches. He spent his early life in Pella, Iowa. In 1870, he married Urilla Sutherland, who contracted typhoid fever and died in childbirth.[3] During the next two years, Earp was arrested for stealing a horse, escaped from jail, and was sued twice. He was arrested and fined three times in 1872 for “keeping and being found in a house of ill-fame”.[4] His third arrest was described at length in the Daily Transcript, which referred to him as an “old offender” and nicknamed him the “Peoria Bummer,” another name for loafer or vagrant.

By 1874, he arrived in the boomtown of Wichita, Kansas, where his reputed wife opened a brothel.[5] On April 21, 1875, he was appointed to the Wichita police force and developed a solid reputation as a lawman, but he was fined and dismissed from the force after getting into a fistfight with a political opponent of his boss.[6][7] Earp immediately left Wichita, following his brother James to Dodge City, Kansas, where he became an assistant city marshal. In the winter of 1878, he went to Texas to track down an outlaw, and he met John “Doc” Holliday, whom Earp credited with saving his life.

Earp moved constantly throughout his life from one boomtown to another. He left Dodge City in 1879 and moved with brothers James and Virgil to Tombstone, where a silver boom was underway. The Earps clashed with an informal group of outlaws known as the “Cowboys.” Wyatt, Virgil, and younger brother Morgan held various law-enforcement positions which put them in conflict with Tom McLauryFrank McLauryIke Clanton, and Billy Clanton who threatened to kill the Earps on several occasions. The conflict escalated over the next year, culminating in the shootout at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881, where the Earps and Doc Holliday killed three Cowboys. During the next five months, Virgil was ambushed and maimed, and Morgan was assassinated. Wyatt, Warren Earp, Doc Holliday, and others formed a federal posse which killed three more Cowboys whom they thought responsible. Wyatt was never wounded in any of the gunfights, unlike his brothers Virgil and Morgan or his friend Doc Holliday, which only added to his mystique after his death.

As a lifelong gambler Earp was always looking for a quick way to make money. After leaving Tombstone, he went to San Francisco where he reunited with Josephine Marcus, and she became his common-law wife. They joined a gold rush to Eagle City, Idaho, where they owned mining interests and a saloon. They left to race horses and open a saloon during a real estate boom in San Diego, California. Back in San Francisco, Wyatt raced horses again, but his reputation suffered irreparably when he refereed the Fitzsimmons vs. Sharkey boxing match and called a foul which led many to believe that he fixed the fight. They moved briefly to Yuma, Arizona, before joining the Nome Gold Rush in 1899. He and Charlie Hoxie paid $1,500 (about $46,000 today) for a liquor license to open a two-story saloon called the Dexter[8][9][10] and made an estimated $80,000[11] (or about $2,459,000 today). The couple left Alaska and opened another saloon in T

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