|It is amazing how the news
reporters messed up facts... read on ....................
The Evening News
Date: 1900-07-09; Paper:
Reckoning Time Came. Virgil Earp, the Noted Rustler, Dies with Boots
Wilcox, A. T., July 9 - Warren Earp, the
youngest of the four Earp brothers whose names twenty years ago were
synonymous with gun fighting on the Arizona frontier, "died with his
boots on" here.
He was shot through the heart in a saloon by Cowboy
Johnny Boyett, and died almost instantly.
The shooting occurred early in the morning and grew out of a feud
that had existed between the two men ever since the bloody fights
between the Earps and Arizona cattle rustlers about Tombstone in the
Earp had habitually bullied Boyett for months past, and
the latter always tried to avoid a quarrel.
A few days ago Earp cornered Boyett in a saloon, and,
pressing a revolver against Boyett's stomach, made him promise that
if they ever quarreled again the one should kill the other.
The two men met in a restaurant and Earp began his abuse.
Boyett went into an adjoining saloon, followed by Earp.
The latter said:
"Boyett, go get your gun and we'll settle the matter
right here. I've got my gun; go get yours."
Boyett was willing and agreed to return in a few
moments and fight it out. Earp also left the saloon.
Boyett returned very soon and finding Earp gone warned
all loungers in the saloon to clear out, emphasizing his warning by
shooting into the ceiling.
Earp shortly appeared through a back door. He started
toward Boyett, throwing open his coat and saying: "Boyett, I am
unarmed; you have all the best of this," advancing as he spoke.
Boyett warned him not to come nearer, but Earp did not
heed the words, and when within eight feet, Boyett fired, shooting
Earp through the heart and killing him instantly.
Warren Earp was the youngest brother of the Earp
He was well known by Uncle-Sheriff Paul of Tucson, who was Sheriff
of Pima county in the eighties when trouble occurred between the
Earps and the Clanton gang.
Earp came to this country about the time of the
beginning of the feud from Colton, Cal. He was one of the original
brothers and took an active part in their fights after he arrived.
Morgan Earp was killed in 1883 in Bob Hatch's saloon in
Tombston, being shot from the back as he was playing
billiards. Virgil Earp later was shot in the arm and seriously
wounded and the killing of Frank Stilwell occurred in Tucson not
long after, when he attempted to shoot Virgil through a car window.
Stilwell was shot by Wyatt Earp.
Warren came here when his brothers got into trouble at
Tombstone with the Clanton gang and he has remained here since. He
was driving stage from Willcox to Fort Grant and had done
Idaho Daily Statesman
Aug. 8, 1900
Only One of Earp Boys
Shot dead in an Arizona saloon.
That is the fate which might have been expected for Warren Earp.
He was the youngest and "the most foolhardy" of the famous family of
desperadoes, whose six-shooters were once the terror of Tombstone,
says a New York paper. His brothers, Virgil and Julian, bit
the dust in a similar manner several years ago, and now Warren has
followed the prejudice of his tribe in favor of "dyin' with their
boots on." Only one of the notorious band of stage robbing
brothers remains. He is Wyatt Earp, who refereed the
Fitzsimmons-Sharkey fight, December 3, 1896. He keeps the
toughest gambling house in 'Frisco.
The man "who pumped enough lead to last" into Warren
Earp's anatomy a few days ago at Wilcox was John Boyett, who had
been the butt of Earp's jests for several months. Boyett
wanted to avoid trouble with "Wicked Warren," but a few days before
the final encounter Earp pressed his six-shooter against Boyett's
belt, and, glaring into his eyes, said:
"You cattle rustling coyote! If we ever meet
again there'll be a killin'. Understan' that?"
There had been a feud for years between the old stage
robbing gang of which the Earps were the leaders and the cattle
rustlers, of whom Boyett was one. One day last week Earp
walked into a saloon where Boyett was drinking with some of his
cattle rustling friends.
"There's my gun, cur!" yelled Earp, tossing his Colt's
45 into the air and deftly catching it again; "where's yours?"
"Ain't got it," was Boyett's reply.
"Go and get it then," said "Wicked Warren."
When Boyett returned a few minutes later he began
shooting at once and scattered the loungers. Earp stood his
ground and said:
"You've got all the best o' me. Some feller took
'Stand still, then" cried Boyett, for Earp was steadily
advancing, with blood in his eye, for a quick grapple and possession
of the gun.
"On,___!" remarked Mr. Earp, as he sprung forward.
Boyett's weapon cracked, and the third of the Earps to die fell,
shot through the heart.
When the Earp brothers lived in Tombstone they did much
toward making it a thrilling place of residence, for the four
brothers were much in evidence thereabouts in the early eighties.
In 1883, however, the community decided it had had enough of the
quartet, and a solid front made up of six-shooters and Winchesters
was presented to them. So they left Tombstone and migrated to
Gunnison county. Finally they were run out of the Gunnison,
and Wyatt Earp migrated to California, while Warren clung to his
native heath in Arizona.
They had a sister, Jessie, too, who lived with them in
Tombstone. She was known as the virtuous one of the family,
Virgil as the oldest, Wyatt as the wisest, Julian as the bravest and
Warren as the most foolhardy. Virgil was killed in Tombstone
and Julian in the Gunnison.
"Ike" Clauton, a famous member of the cattle
thieves, the opposition faction to the stage robbers in Tombstone,
married Jessie Earp. Then he found it necessary to kill her
brother Julian, and then Warren and Wyatt found it necessary to kill
Clauton and make their charming sister a widow. For
Jessie had dared to marry a man with whom her brothers had a feud
and she must be disciplined.
All of the Earps were gun fighters for the love of it
and men of prompt courange and bitter revenge. Each of
them has killed numerous men. Wyatt is credited with 10 and
Warren with fully as many. It used to be said in Tombstone,
that any of the Earps was fit to "pull and center" a shot in less
than one-tenth of a second.
In the early eighties, when Virgil and Wyatt Earp led
the stage robbers of Tombstone, "Ike" Clauton, Johnny Behan
and Jack Ringo led the cattle rustlers. The stage robbers were
republicans; the cattle thieves democrats. The Earps killed
men for recreation and robbed stages for a livelihood, for there was
no money in murder. The rustlers got their living in much the
same way, but they devoted more time to whiskey and the faro bank.
Political office, too, had its charms for both
factions, for, while Johnny Behan was the democratic sheriff of
Cochise county, Virgil Earp was the republican marshal of Tombstone.
And both sides treated themselves and each other to many a murder.
Virgil Earp had a partnership with Barshel Williams, at
that time the Wells-Fargo express agent at Tombstone. Williams
would "tip off" the stages that he knew would hold the big money,
and then Earp would piant his highwaymen in a convenient
place and plunder the stage.
Warren Earp was an express stage company guard, and
when his brother gave the command, "Hands up!" it was wonderful to
see with what meekness the fierce looking young guard threw up his
hands. Then his brothers went through the express packages.
There was never any shooting, for it was a family affair.
In these robberies the Earps often realized as much as
$25,000, which they spent with a freedom that was considered royal
in Tombstone. After each crime they organized themselves into
a posse comitatus and received more money as a bonus for chasing
themselves. In each case Virgil, the marshal, would enlist his
three brothers and the notorious "Curley Bill" Earp, their cousin.
But when Williams, the unfaithful Wells-Fargo man, was
about to de, his conscience smote him and he confessed,
implicating the Earps.
It was a gala occasion in the Birdcage Opera House of
Tombstone, and the two warring factions occupied the boxes on
opposite sides of the house. When one side cheered or clapped
their big hands, the other hissed. Sheriff Behan, "Ike" Clauton
and "Jack" Ringo, with several followers, vied with the Earp
brothers, "Curly Bill" and "Doc" Holliday. Whiskek
flowed like water, and excitement was at a blood heat, when suddenly
Clauton took exception to the boot of one of the Earps'
followers, which reposed on the rail in front of the box.
"Ike" promptly put a bullet through the offending member and then
there was bloody war. Twelve men were killed or wounded, but
none of the Earps was even scratched.
Williams, the Wells-Fargo traitor was seriously wounded
in half a dozen places and, fully expecting to die, he worked up a
little death-bed repentance, and told how the Earps had been
plundering stages and express packages for years.
This induced the Earps to fortify themselves in a small
adobe hut on the outskirts of the town, where they were promptly
besieged by Sheriff Behan and his followers. Warren liked
gambling, after the siege began to be tedious he decided he wanted
to visit the faro bank. So he did and was shot. It was
thought at that time that the wound would prove fatal, and Virgil at
once set out to avenge his brother's injuries. A crowd of ten
opened fire upon him the moment they saw him, and he was instantly
Then the remaining Earps repaired to Gunnison and took
their sister Jessie with them. "Ike" Clauton followed
and eloped with the sister. This was too much for the bereaved
Earps, and they set out on the trail of the bridal couple.
They ran the pair into a tunnel, but the miners there interfered and
insisted on fair play. So it was decided that Julian Earp was
to fight a duel with Clauton, each holding a six shooter in the
other's face and shooting it out. Julian was killed.
Two years of comparatively peaceful married life
followed for Jessie and Clauton, but one day Wyatt and Warren
and "Curly Bill" met the happy husband, and a shower of bullets was
the result. Clauton and "Curly Bill" went down together
and Warren and Wyatt thought best to get out of sight. So they
separated, and the elder went to California, while the younger and
"most foolhardy" remained in Arizona. Wyatt was "plugged full
of lead," to sue his own words. Before they left, however,
they killed the two McLoweries, "Billy" Clauton and Frank
Stillwell, "just to square up old debts."
Warren Earp was nearly 50 years old at the time of his
death, tall, athletic, grim visaged and a "man of honor." That
is, he would not allow any one to question his veracity. This
trait existed in all the brothers, and when Wyatt Earp's decision of
foul was disputed in the Sharkey-Fitzsimmons fight he made this
"The foul blow of the night was plainly seen by me, 'Fitz'
smashed with his right on Sharkey's shoulder. Then with an
uppercut with the left, he struck the sailor below the belt.
Sharkey was leaning over, and the blow knocked him down. It
was clearly foul, and before the sailor moved I mentioned that the
fight was over. The first blow was weak, and I believe the
second blow was intended for an uppercut, but it struck foul.
No man on earth has ever questioned my honor. I have been in
many places and in peculiar situations, but no man ever said till
now that I was guilty of a dishonest act. I will repeat that I
acted with all fairness and with a judgment that was as true as my
eyesight. I saw the foul blow.
(Sharon Wick's Notes: To my knowledge, Wyatt didn't
have a sister named Jessie nor did he have a brother named Julian.
If anyone knows of them, please email me at
|Idaho Daily Statesman
Apr. 24, 1899
After Many Years Virgil Earp Meets His Wife of
Both Married a Second Time
Romantic Story of a Long Separation With the Sequel Pulled Off
Oregonian: Virgil E. Earp,
brother of Wyatt Earp, of Sharkey-Fitzsimmons fight fame, and a man
with a record of his own is in Portland enjoying a reunion with his
first wife and his only daughter, neither of whom he has seen for 39
years. The wife is now the widow of the late Tomas Eaton, and
Earp has another at Prescott, Ariz. The story of the
separation is one of those romances which give color to the adage
that truth is once in a while stranger than fiction.
Earp was married to his first wife, then Ellen Sysdam
at Oskaloosa, Ia., in February, 1860. He was then 17 years old
and she was still younger. The parents of both young people
strenuously opposed the match - the girl's parents because they did
not want their daughter, who was a native of Holland, to marry into
an American family; Earp's because he was too young. So the
wedding was kept secret, the couple got only an occasional
opportunity to see each other, and not till the birth of their
daughter did they make their union known. Then there was
trouble on both sides of the house, which, however, was soon stilled
by the enlistment of Earp in the civil war, when his child was two
weeks old, and his immediate departure for the front.
His young wife was left with her parents, who
continually urged her to secure a divorce from her husband, and who
finally took it upon themselves to declare the union at an end.
Soon word was received that Earp was wounded, then that he was dead,
and his wife had no reason to doubt either report. With her
parents she came west, bringing her child, and in 1867 she married
Thomas Eaton at Walla Walla.
In the meantime Earp returned to his home, found his
wife gone, heard from friends that she had married again, and
philosophically decided that the best think he could do was to keep
out of her way.
This he did very successfully. He married again
in 1873, came west, and took an active part in the stirring times on
the plains that have furnished unlimited inspiration for Old Sleuth
and other chroniclers of cowboy days. He was the famous chief
of police of Tombstone, at the time of the killing of "Doc" Halliday.
His brother Wyatt, "Bat" Masterson, and other characters whose names
have filled the flaring trumpet of fame were there at that time and
took a hand in what happened. Earp carries a lame arm which
was plugged full of lead, and can tell many reminiscences that
affect the hair like a stiff breeze.
All this time Mrs. Eaton was busy rearing a family of
five children, the eldest of whom was Earp's daughter, Janie, now
Mrs. Levi Law. She came to Portland about 19 years ago, and
for a long time has lived on North Front street, opposite the United
States engineers' mooring ground. Her husband, who was a
well-known wood dealer, died several years ago. After a while
she heard that there was nothing in the story about Earp's death,
but under the circumstances she was not especially eager to renew
the acquaintance. Even when she found that he had been keeping
himself informed in a general way of the welfare and that of his
daughter, there was no correspondence. Earp, having the second
Mrs. Earp to care for, made no effort to restore the first wife to
his fireside. Had circumstances been such that this was
entirely agreeable, he was not at all sure that she still cared for
The present reunion was brought about by the recent
illness of Earp's daughter, Mrs. Law, who had learned the story of
her father and discovered that his present residence was at
Prescott, Ariz. She had been corresponding with him since
September, and expected to make him a visit last winter, but a
sudden attack of pneumonia changed her plans, and instead her father
hastened to her bedside.
He is now enjoying a very pleasant visit with her and
his two grandchildren, at her home, which is near that of Mrs.
Eaton, in North Portland. He will remain for several days
more, before he starts on his journey home. Years have taken
away the pain the meeting between the former husband and wife would
once have caused, and the little visit has been a most happy one for
(Sharon Wick's note: According to marriage records,
Virgil's wife was Magdelena S. Rysdam and his daughter's name was
Nellie Jane Earp.)
|The Dallas Morning News
Dec. 20, 1896
Earp's Frontier Life
Leaves from the Whirling Past of a Man with a Remarkable
New York Journal.
Washington, Dec. 3. - In the early eighties I was a
neighbor of the Earp family. They abode at Tombstone, Ariz.,
and did much toward making that hamlet a thrilling place of
Wyatt Earp is one of four brothers, two of whom, Julian
and Warren Earp, are happily dead and out. The four Earp
brothers were abundant about Tombstone in 1881, 1882 and 1883.
The community in 1883 assumed a positive attitude toward the Earps
and presented a front to that household made up in the main of
winchesters and Colt sixshooters. The Earps construed his into
a lack of confidence on the part of the Tombstone public. They
resented it by shaking the dust of Tombstone from their feet
forever. They migrated to the Gunnison country. They
were subsequently run out of the Gunnison country and Wyatt and
Virgil Earp went to California, where Wyatt the other night refereed
the Fitzsimmons-Sharkey fight.
The four Earps were named respectively Virgil, Wyatt,
Warren and Julian. They had a sister, Jessie, who was with
them in Tombstone. Of her, as novelists say, more anon.
Virgil was the oldest Earp, Wyatt
Added by Sharon Wick on 2/18/2008