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Tombstone Women Introduce Themselves: Tombstone Tips Issue 40
July 07, 2020

Insider Info Newsletter

July 2020 - Issue #40


~ ~ Tombstone Women

~ ~ June Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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Turn of the 20th Century Woman

Representative of Tombstone Women
From Tucson's Arizona Star of May 30, 1900

#1 - Intro

~ ~ It wasn't easy for women to make a way for themselves in the Old West. Reading through newspapers of the time, when women of note are mentioned, many times it's difficult to even find out their first names. If married, they're most often described with their husband's name. For instance, speaking of Allie they'd say Mrs. Virgil Earp. Sometimes they're just referred to, without naming them.

~ ~ This is what we find when doing research. Some of these women fit more than one of these categories. But here are historic Tombstone area women.

#2 - When Thinking of Tombstone AZ: Already Well-Known Women

~ ~ The Earp women are known by Tombstone AZ fans. They helped out by getting together, sewing canvas tents for miners. Our Newsletter 33 featured Wyatt's Tombstone "wife" Mattie. Our website pages on Virgil & Morgan chronicle their wives, Allie & Louisa.

~ ~ Another popular name was Nellie Cashman, a strong presence not only in Tombstone, but throughout the "Wild West." Well-known in mining camps of the time, running restaurants, boarding houses & other businesses. But also doing much charitable work.

From the Tombstone Epitaph, Mon., April 24, 1882 - Pg. 5

#3 - Women Making History - Why?

~ ~ Clara Spalding Brown lived in Tombstone just over 2 years. She wrote letters to the San Diego Union Describing Life as lived there. The narratives she gave are so valuable in portraying daily situations in town. It turned out to be a fabulous historical account, even if she didn't intend that. She did, however, end up earning her living in journalism.

~ ~ Edith Cole was co-owner, with her husband Walter, of the Tombstone Epitaph. Taking it over in 1930, when the city was suffering in many ways. The county seat moved to Bisbee the previous year, silver mines were waning. Tourism was now being promoted, so the Coles wanted the Epitaph to help with that. They were responsible for the phrase "The Town Too Tough to Die." She was involved in many town projects, & well known during 8 years there.

~ ~ Lozen, a Chiricahua Apache woman, was Victorio's sister, he spoke highly of her. Likely at his side at Apache Pass. She was very strong & an excellent strategist. Also known for helping women & children to flee from battle situations. She was with Geronimo, when they were sent to a prison in Florida.

Lozen When a Prisoner of War
Cropped from a Group Pic with Geronimo - c.1889

#4 - Known Because of the Spouse

~ ~ Lottie Hutchinson's husband William got together with her to build the Bird Cage Theatre. A success immediately, she was involved in many aspects of its production, although he led its organization. She supervised performers' actions weren't quite going fully over the line of "respectability." She even performed herself. Billed as a "Serio-Comic Queen" & in review described as "charming as ever."

~ ~ Mollie Fly was C.S. Fly's wife. Like him, she was a photographer. But she took a back seat to him, supporting his efforts, running their studio. When fire took that building, she was instrumental in saving many of his historic photos.

~ ~ George Pridham arrived in Tombstone around Springtime 1880. We know of his wife, Mrs. Pridham. She was his support while he partnered in the Grocery & Produce Shop on Allen & 5th. Supported his treasurer position with Rescue Hook & Ladder, formed after the June 1881 fire. How do we know? Well, we're inferring from diarist George Parsons's many references to Mrs. Pridham & his visits to their home. But we never discover her first name.

From Tucson's Arizona Citizen

Sunday, Feb. 20, 1881 - Pg. 3
George Pridham is Among Tombstone Area's 1st Officials
Mrs. Pridham Must Have Had Her Work Cut Out to Keep the Home Fires Burning!

#5 - Business Women in their Own Stead

~ ~ Addie Borland lived across Fremont St. from Fly's studio & the rear entry to the O.K. Corral. Her infamy is via testimony from witnessing that Vacant Lot Gunfight. She ran a business from home as a dressmaker. That house is said to have been moved: now reinvented as The Four Deuces Saloon.

~ ~ Samantha Fallon arrived in town in 1879, probably a divorcee by then. She built the San Jose House, which then had 20 rooms. Still seen today on Fremont & 5th. It's said she & Ed Schieffelin may have been very close friends. Some say he was the love of her life. But she ended up marrying someone else.

Announcing Samantha Fallon's Marriage
From Saturday's Arizona Citizen, Dec. 18, 1880 - Pg. 2

~ ~ Ethel Macia had a great influence on Tombstone. A Tombstone native, she married an up & coming mining man in 1904. Especially involved in promoting & helping preserve the historical buildings in town. Well known for the famous Rose Tree Inn.

~ ~ Leonie C. Holly began in partnership with husband John. They specialized in hotel management together. Hired to run Brown's Hotel. But John's problem with laudanum overdose caused his death. January 1880 Leonie took over herself. She also took management of The Rural House for H.G. Howe. That Sept. the Grand Hotel opened, & Leonie also took the management there, until owners Brown & Comstock found someone to replace her.

Grand Hotel Ad
From Tucson's Arizona Citizen - Wed., Sept. 22, 1880 - Pg. 2

#5 - George Parsons's Friends

~ ~ Parsons was the notable early Tombstone anecdotalist important to a view of early events in town. Reading his accounts, he was in with the upwardly mobile among townspeople. Regularly accompanying & visiting many women in town, he also made a statement that wasn't complimentary: "One by one they come and I hope the good, fair and virtuous will soon displace or at least make less prominent, those of a coarse depraved nature who have been so long disporting themselves before the community." (We wonder if they would say they same of him!)

~ ~ Miss Bilicke was the daughter of Carl G., owner of the Cosmopolitan Hotel. When Parsons first met her, he noted he'd glimpsed her numerous times before. It seems evident Parsons knew the family. After the devastating fire of May 1882, the Bilickes moved to California running hotels there.

From the Arizona Citizen - As Reported in Tombstone's Nugget
Sat., Jan. 24, 1880 - Pg. 3

~ ~ Sue Santee was a teacher in the first Tombstone school. Parsons first mentions his concern for her, with a sudden life ending illness on Feb. 27, 1882. But all seems fine by April when he notes seeing her again a few times. Even on a date of sorts.

Under the Heading: Our Public Schools - Roll of Honor

From the Tombstone Epitaph
Sat., Oct 7, 1882 - Page 1

~ ~ Mrs. Kate Goodfellow was Dr. George Goodfellow's wife. Parsons knew the couple before Tombstone, had met them in San Francisco. He hung out with Dr. regularly. But also visited his wife on his own, consistently. Mrs. Goodfellow wasn't in sturdy health living a frontier life.

#6 - Notorious Women!

~ ~ Were they baddies? Outlaws? Victims of their circumstances? Probably all of the above. Some of those who came through town:

~ ~ Mollie Williams Bradshaw became a name after associating with Buckskin Frank. When first in Tombstone she performed at the Bird Cage Theatre. Also worked as a prostitute, going by Blonde Mollie. But taking up with Frank was her undoing.

From the Clifton Clarion - Wed., July 17, 1889 - Pg. 3

~ ~ Visiting Tombstone, you may notice the Madame Moustache Gift Shop on Allen St. There was a woman by that name in town for a time. Most of her life she went by Eleanor Dumont. First noticed in Nevada City, CA as a woman card dealer - rare, which attracted attention. She moved around the West, dealing. Including Pioche NV, Deadwood, San Francisco, Bannock Montana & Tombstone. Her nickname was from the growth on her upper lip! Finally ending up in Bodie on a losing note.

From the San Francisco Examiner
Tue., Sept. 9, 1879 Pg. 1

Madame Moustache
Possibly born Simone Jules, a French Creole.

~ ~ Finally, maybe the most notorious of all - Big Nose Kate. Born in Hungary, Mária Izabella Magdolna Horony. Came to the U.S. at age 11, met Doc Holliday at age 28. They had a tumultuous relationship, was with him in Tombstone. She came to him at his deathbed. Once getting to Arizona, that's where she mostly stayed. Including her burial in Prescott.

~ ~ Historical places & events create curiosity for facts about people who roamed the Tombstone area & the Old West. What's the true story? Can we discover the authentic history?

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

We hope we'll see you in town sometime, (sigh - eventually in the future!) 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 - Buffalo Soldier Days

~ ~ The one event scheduled regularly for this June, right now. It was cancelled because of Pandemic precautions. We'll have to hope it can return next year & we'll finally be back to normal.


~ ~ Thank You Respiratory Therapists!

~ ~ ~ Since the pandemic began, we always hear thanks & appreciation given to Doctors & Nurses. Often also to First Responders. Before retirement, we worked in hospitals in Tucson as Respiratory Therapists (RTs). We know how hard they're working right now! We know the stress, long hours, & dangers they're facing dealing with COVID-19. Not that we're ungrateful to doctors & nurses. But we need to let people know about RTs.

~ ~ ~ A specialty field, with the same education requirements as a Registered Nurse. But the board exams are more difficult: 3 to pass. RTs manage those ventilators you now hear about. They assist people who cannot breathe, in many ways. They help physicians & nurses figure out the best plan for a patient who can't breathe. They give medications, manage other machines that help breathing, teach patients, do CPR. And much more!

~ ~ ~ When you hear about the craziness in the emergency rooms, the ICUs filling up, patients being put on ventilators (who is doing that? the RT), seeing hospital workers clapping for survivors going home - RTs are right there in the thick of it, interacting, busting their butts, caring for patients & helping.

~ ~ ~ We also taught for a high-quality school for the last 10 years of our career. Teaching others to become Respiratory Therapists. A rewarding way to finish up. 2 other countries I'm aware of also have this career: Canada & Saudi Arabia. It's a very effective way to manage those with breathing problems - this specialty. I was sad to hear today, from a former student of ours working in Cochise County, that an RT he'd worked with succumbed to COVID-19. They risk their lives.


Our RT Alma Mater
Then We Worked For In Southern California
Western U.S. States - Highly Recommend!

~ ~ COVID In Cochise County & Tombstone AZ

~ ~ ~ Tombstone overall handles the pandemic in its own way. Individual businesses acting individually. The Chamber of Commerce continually emphasizes: "The City of Tombstone is being proactive in sanitizing the City rest rooms, benches and park tables 3 times daily." That's good, but extremely rarely does someone get COVID that way. It's a respiratory (airborne) disease.

~ ~ ~ The Governor's issued new Executive Orders because of alarming case increases. A summary & links are on our COVID-19 Update Info Page. With details on how COVID spreads.

~ ~ ~ The Governor's had news conferences emphasizing the serious situation, AZ daily cases increasing by 2750/day avg. Many towns & counties are placing mask policies.

~ ~ ~ The local Tombstone News of June 19 had the Mayor's statement: "I will NOT be implementing a mask policy, however, I am asking the merchants, restaurants and bar owners to be responsible and have all of their employees wear a face covering..." On Mon., July 6 - 826 cases overall in Cochise County, approx. 1/2 currently active, the curve still increasing. And Tombstone itself had confirmed on the zip-code map up to 5 cases.

Please Stay Safe!

~ ~ Still Working on Vogan's!

~ ~ ~ Bruce is the owner now of Vogan's & has been trying to get it ready to open. What the exact plans are, not quite sure yet. Anyway he hired a manager. But that didn't turn out well anyway, after all.

~ ~ ~ So further developments are delayed for the moment. To be continued. Thanks Tombstone Bob for the update!

~ ~ Hope You Had a Happy & Safe Independence Day!

~ ~ ~ The Tombstone Volunteer Fire Department continued with the city's 4th of July Celebration. However they requested that people use precautions when viewing the fireworks. They asked that people either: view from their own home, or from their parked vehicles, or if going to the field to view, that they practice social distancing & wear a mask.

~ ~ Coming Soon - Shoot Out Arena!

~ ~ ~ What's This? Something entirely new. Called the Shoot Out Arena, billing themselves as an event arena. Their basic photo looks like a small rodeo ground.

~ ~ ~ They'll be doing Bull Riding events, bull sales & horse sales. But also having live entertainment shows. Plus you can rent it for weddings. They say they intend to "bring you the 'Western Lifestyle' into Tombstone!'" [thought it was already there!??] & that you'll have a "Buckin' Good Time!!"

~ ~ ~ They say their Grand Opening is being planned for October. It will be with a Bull Riding Event. Right in town, back behind the Courthouse down on So. 3rd St. Watch for it!

~ ~ Bighorn Fire: Just North of Tucson

~ ~ ~ It began June 5th from a lightning strike in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Still going, it's considered a megafire, & one of the ten biggest fires in Arizona history. Many areas had to evacuate during the month of June & many more were on stand-by. Close calls!

~ ~ ~ Recently the Yarnell AZ Hotshot Firefighters were memorialized when they lost their lives 7 years ago on June 30th. The Bighorn Fire has now consumed over 104,000 acres.


Fire Threatening North Tucson Areas As Night Comes

Fire Moves East Toward Redington Pass - Lots of Smoke


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Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
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