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Wyatt Earp

Updated on December 2, 2016

Wyatt Earp, born Monmouth, Ill, March 10, 1848. Died Los Angeles, California, January 13, 1929.

Earp was a stagecoach driver and a buffalo hunter before beginning his career as a law enforcement officer in the West. He acted as deputy marshal in Wichita, Kansas, and was later chief deputy marshal and then marshal in Dodge City, Kan. It was in Tombstone, Arizona, however, that he made his reputation as a fearless man and an excellent marksman. Earp went to Tombstone in 1879 with three of his four brothers to start a stagecoach line.

Instead, he became deputy sheriff and subsequently deputy U.S. marshal for the entire Arizona Territory. In Tombstone the Earp brothers, with "Doc" Holliday, took part in one of the most famous gunfights of the day. This was the gun-fight at the OK Corral in 1881, in which the Earps killed three of their five opponents, who were a band of suspected rustlers.

After leaving Tombstone, Earp had a relatively quiet life. He tried cattle ranching, prospected for gold, and operated saloons in several Western towns. He finally retired in Los Angeles, California.


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    • WesternHistory profile image

      WesternHistory 6 years ago from California

      Very good story. Thanks.