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Wyatt Earp (1848-1929)
Wyatt Earp was born in Monmouth, Illinois, march 19, 1848, but moved with his family to California in 1864. There he worked as a stage-coachdriver on the route between San Bernardino, California and Salt Lake City (the home of the mormons),Utah.
In 1870 he went back to his birthplace and took work as a town marshal in Lamarr, Missouri. During 1871-73 he hunted bisons and met people like Wild Bill Hickok and the gunfighter Bat Masterson. In april 1875 he served as a deputy in Wichita, Kansas and had a couple of close encounters with, among others, John Wesley Hardin (see above).
In 1876 he made himself known as a tough marshal in Dodge City. For deputies he had the four Masterson brothers and a man named Joe Mason. Together they held the town in an iron grip, and so it was until 1879, when he left the then quiet and peaceful town.
Wyatt Earp had three brothers and together with their friend Doc Holliday they came to Tombstone, Arizona, in year 1880, to uphold the law and order. The many outlaws in the area didn‘t like Earp and his men at all, and there were many confrontations between Earp-Holliday and the outlaws. The most famous of these confrontations is of course the one against the Clanton family at the O.K. Corral. This ended with three men dead for the Clantons and three wounded for the Earps.
The violence in Tombstone did not end with the duel at the O.K. Corral. Some months later two of Wyatt Earp‘s brothers were killed. This made Wyatt swear revenge on his brothers‘ killers, and he tracked them all down.
1883-84 he spent looking for gold in Colorado together with his brother. But luck was not with them and they soon ran out of money. Earp retired from adventuring together with his wife Mattie, and spent some time raising race-horses in San Diego, California. After his wifes death in 1888 he became a sports commentator, and a popular one.
Wyatt Earp died a natural death in 1929, in Los Angeles.