Born On This Day ~ March 19 ~ Wyatt Earp ~ American Old West Gambler Turned Deputy

Born: March 19, 1848 (Monmouth, Illinois)
Died: January 13, 1929 (Los Angeles, California)

Famous For/Known For:
American old west gambler turned deputy who participated in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral which took place in Tombstone Arizona in 1881.

A Little About Wyatt Earp:
Born to parents Nicholas and Virginia Earp.

Earp left home at the age of 17 and moved to California. There he worked hauling freight and grading track for the Union Pacific Railroad. In his spare time he learned to box and became quite good at gambling.

In 1869, he moved back with his family. When his father resigned as the local constable, Earp stepped in to take his place.

In the early 1870’s, after the death of his wife, Urilla Sutherland,  Earp traveled to the Indian Territory and Kansas where he frequented saloons, gambling houses and brothels. He had many altercations with law enforcement.

Between 1875-1876, after helping to catch a wagon thief, Earp joined the city’s police force and later became town marshal of Dodge City.

1879 found Earp living in Tombstone, Arizona with most of his family. His brother Virgil was the town marshal and Wyatt began working with him.

In March of 1881, while pursing some cowboys who had robbed a stage coach, Earp struck a deal with a rancher, Ike Clanton, who had ties to the cowboys. Later Clanton turned against Earp and started threatening the Earp brothers. This escalated into the October 26, 1881 gun fight at the O.K. Corral.

On that day, the Earp brothers, Virgil, Morgan, and Wyatt along with Doc Holliday faced off against the Clanton brothers, Ike and Billy, along with the McLawry brothers, Tom and Frank. Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLawry were killed.

Murder charges were filed against the Earp brothers and Holliday by Ike Clanton, but a judge cleared the defendants of any wrongdoing.

Earp later had John H. Flood write his memoirs but the book received a poor reception. Years later Stuart N Lake wrote Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal and it became a best seller.

Wyatt Earp died from a urinary tract infection at the age of 80.

Books About/Written By Wyatt Earp:

Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind The Legend

A Wyatt Earp Anthology: Long May His Story Be Told

Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal

*This blog post contains affiliate links.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s