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Allen English: Legal Laugh a Minute - Tombstone Tips, Issue #018
September 07, 2018

Insider Info Newsletter

September 2018


~ ~ Allen English - Legalese With Flair!

~ ~ August Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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FIRST - Just a Note

We've been updating our website over the past month. You may have seen the notice if you came by! That notice is gone now, because it's essentially all done.

It has a slightly different format. It's now more friendly for mobile users. It's a bit faster. It has some other behind-the-scenes improvement tweaks.

We're always working to make our visitor experience better!


Allen R English - Attorney at Law

Well Known in Tombstone & Even Throughout AZ

#1 - From Michigan to Tombstone AZ

~ ~ Allen English was born in Saginaw in 1858. His father was a shipbuilder. His mother's family were the Fitzgeralds - Irish immigrants to Maryland. By 1878 Allen had a law degree.

~ ~ English made his way to Tombstone in 1880. He decided to try his hand at mining prospects - but no immediate claims turned out for him. Then he met a local attorney & joined up with that law partnership. That began his storied Tombstone reputation.

From The Daily Tombstone
Wednesday, June 30, 1886 - Page 3

#2 - Cochise County DA

~ ~ In May 1887 the County appointed Allen English as their District Attorney. At that time the D.A.'s job was as a prosecutor, but there were times he also took the defense position.

~ ~ He developed his renowned style. He was a large fellow, with a booming voice. He loved showmanship. English's courtroom presentations contained quotes from Shakespeare, Latin phrases, references to mom & the flag - all with tear-jerking or solemn drama.

~ ~ Town-folk would come to court just to observe him in action! He became quite the talk around Tombstone.

~ ~ His first time as the D.A he was appointed, after the prior D.A had resigned. His popularity got him reelected for two more terms.

From The Border Vidette of Nogales AZ
Saturday, July 15, 1899 - Page 1

#3 - Known for His Antics!

~ ~ One of his shenanigans was to loudly ask for a chew of tobacco from the bailiff - or even one of the jurors! After a time, he aimed at the spittoon across the room - securing his target.

~ ~ Another incident came about during a typically very dry time of year. He was in King's Saloon talking with a few others. They got a bet going as to whether it would rain on San Juan Day - June 24th. He bet it wouldn't. That if it rained, he'd "strip naked and stand under that water spout."

~ ~ Sure enough, on June 24th it poured rain. True to his word, Allen English was found outside King's - naked as the proverbial jaybird! There he was under the water spout.

Sarcastic Comment from the Tombstone Prospector
Wednesday, February 6, 1889 - Page 3

#4 - He Had a Drinking Problem

~ ~ English was often seen in the Tombstone saloons. Even when due in court, he was sometimes overdue! And where was he? Holding his own court, reciting arguments with friends in a saloon.

~ ~ One well circulated episode was the closing arguments for the Wiley Morgan case. When due to give his defense statements for Morgan's appeal trial - a search went out to find English. Found plastered in a bar, they dragged him back to court.

~ ~ He gave the closing defense with pluck & poise! Morgan's case ended in a hung jury! Attributed in part to English's close. Later, upon Allen receiving congrats - he was confused regarding why. He couldn't recall his defense!!

~ ~ Morgan was eventually released in June 1903, when scheduled for retrial for the fourth time. No more witnesses were around to appear.

From Phoenix: Arizona Republic
Saturday, June 27, 1903 - Page 3

#5 - Money Management

~ ~ Cash flow wasn't his strong suit. Cash flowed in - & then it flowed out!

~ ~ He had a way of valuing his time at exorbitant rates for the day. For instance - he did legal work for the Calumet & Arizona Mine in their purchase of the Irish Mag Mine. He presented them with a bill for $25,000 just for dealing with the title. They paid it, but then relieved him of his services.

~ ~ After that he took his wife on a vacation back East. They spent all of that money, returning with only $20 left to his name! That would be the same as almost $700,000 spent today.

~ ~ He purchased the Windsor Hotel in Tucson. Prior owner Martin Costello held the mortgage. Then 3 years later he defaulted on the mortgage & was sued.

Daughter Born to 1st Wife: Tombstone Weekly Epitaph
Saturday, April 5, 1890 - Page 3

#6 - Yes - He Surely Was a Married Man

~ ~ Allen's 1st wife was Fannie Rose Carr, they married in 1881. They had 2 children. But she soon found it difficult to stay with him because of his heavy drinking. She obtained a divorce. Fannie & their children are buried in the Tombstone City Cemetery.

~ ~ In May 1896 he married his 2nd wife. Her name was Miss Annie V. Walsh, who was from Tombstone since childhood. They also divorced.

~ ~ A 3rd wife is mentioned, named Honora Ada. Their marriage ended contentiously in April 1902, with her suing for divorce. He contested her claims of "riotous living" & carousing.

~ ~ Allen married his 4th wife. Her name: Josephine M. Alexander. This marriage also did not last.

From the Tombstone Weekly Epitaph
Sunday, March 1, 1908 Page 4

Allen English's Legal Briefcase - Available on Auction
(for the right price!)

#7 - Not a Strong Ending

~ ~ At the turn of the century, Allen English certainly was an experienced attorney - well known in Arizona legal circles. He was considered for the position of U.S. District Attorney for the Territory of Arizona. When the choice was made, it wasn't him.

~ ~ He went to the pertinent authorities to inquire why he was rejected. They stated that his application had a photo of him attached. It showed him naked under a water spout outside a bar. Next to that was a note: "This is the man you are considering for U.S. District Attorney?" So - enough said!

~ ~ Allen English relocated to Bisbee AZ in late 1907. He partnered there with attorney Tom Bennett.

~ ~ In Bisbee he continued his considerable drinking binges. One night, someone even found him sprawled on a street-side. The rumor began that he was found dead. But not true.

~ ~ He died Sept. 7, 1926 in Douglas AZ. His health had deteriorated, his funds were fully depleted & he was really getting by with the help of friends by then. He's buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Bisbee AZ.

~ ~ It was a sad ending to an imposing Tombstone legendary figure. His historic home can be seen on the Northeast corner of Toughnut & 3rd Streets.

Allen English Home in 2015
Photo Credit: Marine69-71 (via creativecommons.orglicensesby-sa4.0deed.en)

Built 1882
Now Privately Owned

~ ~ We love researching all the historic people who make up the past of this town we live in. We see the places they lived. Walk the streets they walked. Imagine how it was when they were here!

~ ~ And we enjoy sharing it with you!

We hope we'll see you in town, getting a chance to check out the Allen English House. Walk by the corner of Toughnut & 3rd & read the sign. Use your imagination, thinking about Allen's coming & goings from the front door to the courthouse!

Let us know if you'll be going to an upcoming event! Tell us how you liked any of them, or what you visited here! Just reply to this newsletter for easy input! (Let us know if we can use your comments - credit with just a first name & last initial; or only initials; or anonymous.)


Doc Holli-DAYS

~ ~ Everyone was expecting both Val Kilmer & Dennis Quaid for the event this year. But at the last minute Val had to cancel out - by Doctor's orders. But most in town were quite pleased with Dennis Quaid's visit.

~ ~ Word was he was quite personable. Even though events were set up for "Meet & Greets" etc. - people saw him walking the streets. He spoke to many, while walking around. Many enjoyed his band concert - we saw them lining up!

~ ~ Take a look at one of his events - Click Here>

Gunfighter Club in Tombstone for Doc Holli-DAYS
Try the Fast Draw Contest!

Fast Draw Event
Organized by Gunfighter Club at Doc Holli-DAYS

The Tombstone Bakery - Now Open

~ ~ Finally it's opened! They're located on Allen Street, between 5th & 6th. We heard they have some great sandwiches. They do feature Italian style selections. We haven't yet had the chance to go in there. So we'll comment more when we do.

Labor Day Weekend Review - Showdown in Tombstone

~ ~ It was busy enough over the 3 days. The typical entertainment was held throughout. The weather was fantastic, especially on Sunday!

Announcement - Territorial Days Cancelled

~ ~ This is always a nice event - scheduled for mid-Sept. With nice learning & interactive participation features. But the budget was exhausted this year. A few other events kind-of took over the funds. So it's deferred until next year.


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Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
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