Oct 012011





October 1, 1881: Geronimo and Naiche, son of the late Cochise, escaped the San Carlos Reservation with about 400 other Apaches. Despite pursuit by a posse of 35-40 men, they remained free until February 1884 when Geronimo surrendered and returned to the reservation.


October 2, 1879: The first issue of the Tombstone Nugget was published.


clumOctober 5, 1881: Mayor John Clum gathered a posse and set off to recapture Geronimo and his band of escaped Apaches. Among those in the party: Chief of Police Virgil Earp and his brothers Wyatt and Morgan, Sheriff Johnny Behan, Deputy Sheriff Billy Breakenridge, Wells Fargo agent Marshall Williams and George Parsons. The posse was unsuccessful.



October 6, 1899: Around 10:30 p.m. Tombstone was struck by an earthquake measuring about 4.8 on the Richter scale. Almost everyone felt movement. Sleeping people were awakened. Apparently there was no serious damage.
October 7, 1899: About 2:00 a.m. Tombstone was hit by another earthquake, this time only about 4.2 on the Richter scale. Hanging objects swung back and forth. Trees shook. No serious damage was reported. To date, that was the last quake of consequence on record for Tombstone.


October 11, 1880: Not long after he arrived in Tombstone, "Doc" Holliday had his first brush with the law. He and Johnny Tyler got into an altercation in the Oriental Saloon. Johnny left, but operator Milt Joyce decided to continue haranguing Doc, even after disarming him. Doc could only take so much, so he left the saloon and returned with a double-action pistol. Milt saw him coming and jumped him, hitting Doc over the head with his pistol. Doc managed to get off a couple of rounds. Milt was shot through the hand, his partner shot through the left big toe. Doc was arrested.


October 12, 1880: Doc plead guilty to assault and battery for the previous day's shooting at the Oriental. Justice of the Peace James Reilly fined him $20 plus court costs ($11.25).



October 14, 1881: Chief of Police Virgil Earp and his brother Wyatt arrested Frank Stilwell and Pete Spence for the stagecoach robbery five days earlier.



October 15, 1881: U.S. President Chester Arthur named John Gosper acting governor for the Arizona Territory after accepting John Fremont's resignation from the post.



October 17, 1881: Morgan Earp was named as a special police officer in Tombstone by his brother, police chief Virgil Earp.


October 19, 1905: Virgil Walter Earp died of pneumonia in Goldfield, Nevada at the age of 62.


October 21, 1881: Morgan Earp hurried to Tucson to get Doc after trouble was brewing in Tombstone. He found Doc with "Big Nose" Kate at the San Augustin Feast and Fair in Levin Park.


October 22, 1881: Morgan Earp accompanied "Doc" Holliday on a freight train stock car as they returned to Tombstone from Tucson.


October 24, 1881: An editorial in the Tombstone Nugget predicted violence just two days before the West's most celebrated gunfight: "The arming of oneself in a peaceful community, as every well organized community is supposed to be, and walking about like a moving arsenal, is highly ridiculous and, as events demonstrate, exceedingly dangerous."


October 25, 1881: Ike and brother Billy Clanton arrived in Tombstone with brothers Frank and Tom McLaury. They planned to enjoy some time on the town, and involved themselves in drinking and gambling through the night. At some point during the night, Ike got into an altercation with "Doc" Holliday at the Alhambra Saloon.


October 25, 1921: William "Bat" Masterson died at his typewriter in New York City at the age of 67.



October 26, 1881: A series of events led to a date with destiny. Throughout the morning, residents of Tombstone warned the Earps and "Doc" Holliday that Ike Clanton had been making threats for hours. He intended to kill them, and brandished a rifle after drinking all night. Chief of Police Virgil Earp found Ike on the street and before anything could happen, hit him over the head with his pistol. He and Special Officer Morgan Earp drug Ike off to court where he was fined $27.50. As Wyatt Earp left the courtroom, Tom McLaury approached him where another verbal altercation took place. It resulted much the same way – Wyatt drew his pistol and hit Tom over the head with it.



Later in the afternoon, the Clantons and McLaurys were seen in Spangenberg's gun shop loading their belts with ammunition. In an apparent attempt to disarm the cowboys, Virgil gathered together his brothers Wyatt and Morgan along with friend "Doc" Holliday for a march to the O.K. Corral. They discovered the cowboys were armed and a gunfight broke out. When the smoke cleared, Billy Clanton, 19, and both Frank, 33, and Tom McLaury, 28, were dead. In the middle of the fight Ike Clanton had run away. Morgan Earp had a serious wound through his shoulder. Virgil Earp was shot in the leg. "Doc" Holliday had been grazed on his hip by a bullet. Wyatt was unscathed.




October 28, 1880: City Marshal Fred White was shot in the groin during a scuffle with "Curly" Bill Brocius. Deputy Sheriff Wyatt Earp was on hand to take "Curly" Bill into custody.


October 29, 1880: Confined to his bed, Fred White provided a statement under oath exonerating "Curly" Bill Brocius. He said the shooting was accidental. Meanwhile, fearing a possible lynch mob, Wyatt Earp quickly transported the suspect to Tucson for safekeeping.



October 29, 1881: Virgil Earp was suspended as Chief of Police while the investigation into the gunfight at the O.K. Corral was conducted. Ike Clanton filed murder charges against the Earps and "Doc" Holliday.


October 30, 1880: Fred White died in Tombstone of a gunshot wound at the age of 32.
October 31, 1881: A mysterious visitor knocked on the door of Virgil Earp's house. When his brother James answered the james-earpdoor, it apparently threw the suspected assassin off-balance and he fled. The Earps quickly made arrangements for the whole family to move into the Cosmopolitan Hotel to be safe. Judge Wells Spicer began a hearing to determine if there was enough evidence to hold the Earps and Holliday for a murder trial.