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Celia Ann Who?: Tombstone Tips Issue 33
December 06, 2019

Insider Info Newsletter

December 2019


~ ~ Celia Ann Mattie Blaylock

~ ~ November Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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Celia Ann Mattie Blaylock (Earp)

#1 - Mattie Had a Strong Beginning

~ ~ Her home town was Monroe Township Iowa, where she was born in Jan. 1850, the 3rd child. Named Celia Ann Blaylock, she went to church & school, with typical parental discipline of the time. She lived on the family farm, had local friends & activities. But was apparently restless there.

~ ~ In 1868 she ran away from home at age 16, taking her 13 year old sister Sarah, with her. They traveled West, thinking they would find some work. An unlikely outcome for a young woman then. But there is no evidence for where they were or what they did.

Monroe Township
A Little North of Cedar Rapids, Iowa

#2 - The Runaways' Discoveries

~ ~ By 1870, Sarah had returned home. Circumstances indicate she was taken back in, but regarded shamefully. She eventually married, in 1878. Betrothed to a widower 26 years older. In her he gained an heir - a son, Hiram Oswald Marquis.

~ ~ Celia Ann didn't return home with Sarah. She appeared next in 1871. She had a professional photo taken in Fort Scott, Kansas. Here there's evidence by 1872 she's earning a living as a "working girl."

Celia Ann Mattie Blaylock
Most Commonly Seen Photo

~ ~ Celia Ann began using the name "Mattie." Probably to avoid connecting her with her true family. An interesting note for her name choice, is that it was a popular alias for Old West soiled doves.

Soiled but Proud
Credit: incidencematrix [website edit: cropped top]

#3 - Life With Wyatt Begins

~ ~ There's a possibility she met Wyatt Earp in Fort Scott. But since Wyatt was in Dodge City, we can figure they knew each other & were together by the time both were there.

~ ~ There isn't a lot of detail on her life from then until she arrived in Tombstone Arizona.

Wyatt Earp

~ ~ In 1880 she came to Tombstone with Wyatt. He arrived in early December 1879. The U.S. Census of 1880 states Mattie Blaylock is the wife of Wyatt. It seems they called each other husband & wife. There is no documentation a legal marriage ever took place, though.

Not Likely!

#4 - Problems in the Relationship

~ ~ Some say Wyatt hooked up with Mattie as a convenience. Having someone in the home to take care of typically household needs. What is evident is she'd not been mentioned as being with Wyatt by contemporary 1st-hand documentation, such as by George Parsons & John Clum. Yet Wyatt did name a mine after her: The Mattie Blaylock.

~ ~ Mattie began using laudanum. For chronic headaches. That's the strong pain-killer of the Old West. The major ingredient was opium. But also contained morphine & codeine - all opioids. So it was a very strong liquid. And addictive.

~ ~ Would Wyatt be supportive, or tire of seeing the effects? Maybe the Tombstone Movie might reflect the truth of the situation? Can we ever really know?

#5 - Post OK Corral Gunfight

~ ~ Wyatt was on the run & left Arizona because of an arrest warrant. He sent Mattie with the other Earp women to Colton California, his parents' home. It seems Mattie was waiting there to hear from Wyatt. Probably she hoped to be sent for, & resume their relationship. It never happened.

~ ~ Sometime while Wyatt was in Tombstone, even with Mattie there, Wyatt met Josephine Marcus. It was instant attraction. When they began getting together isn't clear. But Wyatt did meet up with Josie soon after leaving Arizona.

~ ~ Mattie realized Wyatt wasn't going to get in touch. Dejected, she left Colton & returned to Arizona. Settling in Pinal City, where she & Wyatt had stopped while traveling to Tombstone.

Pinal City Area
1897 Wagon Ruts Can Still Be Seen

Photo Credit: Marine69-71 Own Work

#6 - The Sad End to a Sad Story

~ ~ The population of Pinal City had diminished. She found it difficult plying her old courtesan trade. Today it's considered a Ghost Town.

~ ~ Mattie struggled there for about 4 years. She fell further & further into addiction, along with alcohol abuse. On July 3, 1888 she took so much laudanum, it depressed the respiratory control centers of her brain. She stopped breathing & died. At only 38 years old. The Death Certificate states 40 years old.

~ ~ The coroner ruled it a suicide. The Death Certificate also called it a suicide.

From (Globe) Arizona Silver Belt - Sat., July 14, 1888 - Pg. 3

~ ~ The Death Inquisition filed July 21st confirmed the circumstances.

~ ~ The photos she had taken during her life reflect someone who seemed to take pride in her appearance. It's sad that her life deteriorated so.

The Clifton Clarion - Wed., July 11, 1888 - Pg. 3

~ ~ There are often historical events that make one want to know the true facts for people who roamed the Tombstone area & the Old West. What was their true story? And what happened to them - do we even know? Can we discover the authentic history?

~ ~ And we enjoy sharing what we find with you.

We hope we'll see you in town sometime, seeing areas where they spent time - back in the 1800s.

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 - & how to credit you.)



~ ~ 1ST - Thanksgiving Holidays

~ ~ Very steady stream of lots of visitors during the week of Thanksgiving. People at the 6th St. parking lot were going out onto 6th - double parking into the roadway! Not good, the Marshal was there, too!

~ ~ Tombstone Travel Tips website has an area devoted to suggesting where to park when you arrive in town. Especially on very busy days, when you find the obvious parking lots are full.

Tombstone Parking Info

~ ~ Johnny Ringo's had their Thanksgiving Buffet pot-luck, which was very well attended. It began at 2 pm.

~ ~ Another place in town which also sponsored a pot-luck was the American Legion.

~ ~ Hope you really had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

~ ~ 2ND - Holiday Season & Turn of the Year

~ ~ No more special events days are scheduled at this time of year. But there are always the Holiday Events that are standard in Tombstone Arizona.

~ ~ If you're in town for those, and want further details, take a look at our Holiday Events Page - which has all the details.


~ ~ Four Deuces Update

~ ~ The rumors were flying fast & furious. So now it seems there may be a buyer. But as far as the commitment goes, it isn't quite there yet. So this is still to be continued!

~ ~ New Biz Update

~ ~ The Tombstone Trading Post had its Grand Opening.

~ ~ GIFT IDEA! 2020 Tombstone Arizona Calendar

~ ~ Remember to get a look at our 2020 Tombstone Calendar for this year. We have 3 different styles to choose from!
~ ~ ~ See all the details: Tombstone Calendar

~ ~ ~ Or just go right to the Secure Order Page! Be sure to watch for Coupon Codes! They can appear at any time!! Browse Tombstone Calendars>

Lots of Rain Storms in Tombstone!

Photo Credit: Casey Morris

~ ~ Tombstone's Christmas Tree

~ ~ Every year the City puts up the Tree on Allen Street, corner of 5th & Allen. This year, too. So it appears the Chamber of Commerce decided to purchase an Artificial Tree this time. That way they could re-use it every year. But a problem arose!

~ ~ In late November & early December, Tombstone (& all Southern AZ) experienced several rain storms. In fact rain & wind. See the weather effects on the Tombstone Christmas Tree here:

Sopping Wet - It Fell Over!
The Stand Wasn't Very Supportive Either - Hmmm!

~ ~ They took the tree away. People who came to town & knew the tree had gone up were saying...

What Happened? Where'd the Christmas Tree Go?

Don't Worry! Is That Santa in Shorts?
Getting Another Christmas Tree Up??

~ ~ Met up With Wyatt Earp at Johnny Ringo's! What??

~ ~ Wyatt happened to come along & sit at the bar. How's that you say? Well, this Wyatt Earp is actually the Great Grand Nephew of the historic Wyatt Earp. He's an actor & produces & stars in 2 Historic One-Man Dramas.

~ ~ His 1st is "Wyatt Earp A Life on the Frontier." Next playing in Superior AZ on Jan. 25, 2020. His other is "The Gentleman Doc Holliday." Next playing on Feb. 6, 2020 at the Valley RV Resort in Queen Valley, AZ. He's done that one at Schieffelin Hall & it was truly worth-while!

Wyatt Earp on Nov. 20, 2019

~ ~ Our Photo Contest Results


Have You Met Our Judges?

Gordon from the Larian Motel

Judge Alfred Urbina from the Pascua Yaqui Nation

R.J. from Wyatt's Oriental Saloon

Tim from the Oriental

Addie from Ringo's Bar

Laura from Johnny Ringo's

Meghann from The Crystal Palace Saloon

Elsa from the Crystal Palace

Casey & Johnny One-Dog from Tombstone Sarsaparilla

~ ~ All Prize Winners are being notified! Check your email if you have an entry!

~ ~ We're still in the process of sending out the prizes to winners. We will announce ALL the prize winners on the Website Contest Page on or before Saturday, December 14, 2019.

BUT NOW - We Can Announce The Grand Prize Winner!

Stacy - From Texas!

For the Photo: "A Couple of Wranglers - Watch Out!"
More Details When We Announce All Our Winners!

Hope Everyone Has a Very Merry Christmas
& a Safe Happy New Year Celebration!


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Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
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