When I was in high school, I had said that the only thing iwould teach was history. Sigh
A few weeks ago I read "The Last Gunfight:The real story of the OK corral" . I loved it . This because the author mostly confirmed what I have calculated to be the real essence of Wyatt Earp. Almost to the T
I lived in Dodge City for 32 years. Most of my adult life. Back in the 1930s, the city managers decided to capitalize the growing fad for Wyatt Earp into changing over the small city from a regular agricultural town into a tourist town of sorts by recreating the old Front Street of the 1870's into a museum . They did a good job. It's a nice museum. They also started naming streets after the old folks. Streets named Morgan, Virgil,Beeson, Gunsmoke, and the major street changed from Chestnut to "Wyatt Earp Blvd" .
In truth, Wyatt Earp was at best mediocre at whatever he tried to do. He was a fairly effective policeman but spent most of his career being a running a gaming enterprise . He worked with his older brother, James running a whore house early on. One their employees was most likely , Big nose Kate who became Doc Holidays squeeze. She couldn't stand Wyatt that is why she tried to keep Holiday away from him.
Wyatt was in Dodge City from April of 1876 to November of 1879 but was not in Dodge the whole time he was only in the town about 22 months but was a police officer about 16 of those. The rest he ran his games.
He was never the head lawman in the towns but just one of several on the police forces. He ran for sherif once but was defeated. And never did he "clean up" the town. In fact , in the cattle towns, he was supposed to just keep a lid on things. He wasn't suppose to anger the drovers or they wouldn bring their herds to town. (Sound familial?)
He was not the leader of his brothers. After all, he had two older brothers in town. James had a business, running a saloon and brothel. Virgil was married and settled. Virgil was Chief of police in Tombstone for a while. Wyatt was not even on the police force there. He was a temporary deputy a few times.
The boys they fought at Fremont street in Tombstone were ranchers. They were not criminals . They did augment their herds with cattle taken from herds in Mexico but many ranches on the border did. And the Mexicans dd the same. There in oct 26 of '81 those boys were fixing to leave town . The Earps was put in the position to save face so they confronted the boys who also had to save face. They were going to leave they just didnt want the earps telling them to leave. (Again familiar)
Wyatt be came famous because he lived well into the new century and had a very popular book written about him which he contributed much ofthe material which, afterwards , was taken as fact.
If we don't count our blessings We are just wasting our time
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