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Secrets of Wyatt Earp and the O.K. Corral

Updated on April 1, 2013
Tombstone circa 1882
Tombstone circa 1882
Josephine - the 4th "wife"
Josephine - the 4th "wife"
Wyatt Earp in 1882
Wyatt Earp in 1882
The Earp Gang
The Earp Gang
The gunfight zone
The gunfight zone

It is American legend. The Wild West where just about anything happened out in the frontier. Many movies over the years have depicted this historic event called, "The shootout at the O.K. Corral" in Tombstone, AZ. It was between Sheriff Wyatt Earp and other members against the Clantons, a notorious bunch of thugs who chased women and robbed incoming silver shipments. It was the real thing, opposing groups armed with six-shooters waiting for someone to draw. When it was over, the Clantons were dead or running. Now, Wyatt Earp could try to create a model frontier law abiding town.

The funny thing is Wyatt Earp was part sheriff and part criminal. He ran a local brothel, operated cassinos and ripped off others in land deals. He was a womanizer and chaser, being married four times, well actually, once, the other three were not formal marriages just cohabitation. His first wife died while in childbirth, a son. His second "wife" was an addict.

It was his fourth "wife", Josephine Marcus, that seemed to really be "love", for they stayed together for over 40 years. However, the evolution is like any modern love twist. She had come to Tombstone to perform in a Gilbert\Sullivan production of "HMS Pinafore" and met Earp's rival, Johnny Behan, often with the Clanton gang. She had an affair while Behan was still married. When the show was over, she returned to San Francisco but Behan soon followed, wooing her to come back to AZ. She did. That relationship was stormy because of his infidelity.

Angry and hurt, Marcus, 18, met Wyatt Earp, 32. As time went on, both men competed for her affections and pissed one another off. This was a year before the showdown. Earp was now with his third "wife" and soon would choose Marcus to live with. When Earp broke off the relationship with the third victim, she committed suicide but only after becoming a prostitute.

The shootout was part about relationships and jealousy and part about illegal activities. Once done, both moved to various places- San Diego, Nome, Hollywood. Earp was successful in land speculation and horse racing until his death in 1929. She died in 1944.

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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      2 years ago

      Thanks, what you say is true,

    • profile image

      Paul 

      2 years ago

      Fairly good synopsis of Wyatt, except that those illegal activities you mention weren't illegal in those days. They weren't exactly respectable, but they were perfectly legal.

    • profile image

      larry 

      2 years ago

      lol jealousy and relationships, yes i can beleive that lol

    • profile image

      Lady Kroft 

      2 years ago

      This is not a picture of Wyatt Earp. This picture is of Doc Holiday.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      5 years ago

      Thanks!

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 

      5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      Wyatt Earp was quite an interesting character and your hub on him as the subject matter is certainly very well done.Reminds me of why they called it "THE WILD WILD WEST"

    • profile image

      Uncle Remus 

      5 years ago

      I gots me a cart that I put crushed beer cans in, it run on big macs and cheetos

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