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Wyatt Earp

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Born Wyatt Berry Strapp Earp on March 19, 1848 in Monmouth, Illinois. Perhaps, the west's most celebrated lawman even though only six of his 80 years were spent in that capacity. He stood over six feet tall and was blond and blue-eyed. An impeccable dresser, he was known to never have left his house without coat and tie.

His first law-related job was in Lamar, Missouri in 1870 when he was appointed constable. But he left town in 1871 after his first wife, Urilla Sutherland, died of typhoid fever.

He traveled to Kansas, Texas and New Mexico where he earned his living as a gambler, teamster, buffalo hunter, a section hand on the Union Pacific Railroad and, of course, lawman.

He served as a policeman in Wichita, Kansas in 1875 and then in 1878 he became assistant city marshal in Dodge City, where he met Bat Masterson and John "Doc" Holliday. He also met his second wife there, Cecelia "Mattie" Blaylock.

He and his wife traveled to Tombstone, Arizona in December of 1879. It was a mining boomtown back then and he was eventually joined by his brothers Virgil, Morgan, James and Warren. His brother Virgil was appointed town marshal in 1880 while Wyatt worked at the Oriental Saloon on the faro concession and sometimes for Wells Fargo as a stagecoach guard. He also filled in occasionally as Virgil's deputy.

One factor that precipitated the famed hatred between the Earps and the Clantons, (eventually leading to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral) was Wyatt's involvement with a San Francisco actress named Josephine Sarah Marcus, who arrived in Tombstone to perform Gilbert and Sullivan's "H.M.S. Pinafore". Marcus had been the girlfriend of a pro-Clanton sheriff of Cochise County, by the name of John Harris "Johnny Behan. She and Wyatt remained close and when Wyatt's wife died, he and Josie were married.

... as seen through the eyes of one person.


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