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Wyatt Wichita Bumbling: What? - Tombstone Tips Issue 48
May 13, 2021

Insider Info Newsletter

May/June 2021 - Issue #48


~ ~ Wyatt Earp in Wichita Kansas

~ ~ Insider Updates

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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Wichita, Kansas - Wyatt Earp was Here!

Wyatt Earp in Wichita Kansas Begins His True Law Career

#1 - Intro

~ ~ We've been working on an E-Book chronicling Wyatt Earp's days in Dodge City. Upcoming sometime in the future. We'll give a bit of a preview here, in that it begins with some of his first days when entering Kansas. He first appears in Sumner County in late 1872.

~ ~ When Wyatt ends up in Kansas he's likely still overcoming the trauma of the death of his wife, who was carrying their child. He's already kind of gone wild for awhile. Going a bit rogue, if you want to call it that. Getting involved in lawless activities. It seems in Kansas he may begin trying the turning of a new leaf!

~ ~ In Sumner County, he started by cowboying. Herding cattle - picking up some knowledge that would serve him well in his Tombstone AZ days. He was now 24 years old.

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#2 - Good Boy/Bad Boy

~ ~ In Aug. 1873 Wyatt was in Ellsworth Kansas. There's perhaps a chance he had a hand in Ben Thompson's arrest. That related to Billy Thompson's killing of Sheriff Chauncey B. Whitney. That autumn Wyatt moved on to Wichita, where brother James was a bartender.

Ellsworth Kansas in 1867

~ ~ On May 27, 1874 Kansas newspapers report on the murder of Charley Sanders by a Texan. Where was Wyatt that very day? According to Wyatt, he'd just had a fight with a Wichita local. Lawmen restrained him nearby the murder incident. Wyatt claims he promoted arresting those helping this Texan escape. But Wyatt was arrested for fighting.

From Emporia KS - Weekly News Democrat
Of Fri., May 29, 1874 - Pg. 2

#3 - But Wichita is Where He's At for Now

~ ~ By the summer of 1874, it's apparent Wyatt intends to settle in Wichita. The mayor there at that time, Jim Hope, engaged a type of confidence force of auxiliary police. It appears Wyatt was recruited to join in.

~ ~ Yet during Hope's tenure, signs at every entrance to town stated: "Everything goes in Wichita; leave your revolvers at police headquarters and get a check; carrying concealed weapons strictly forbidden."

Wyatt 1874 - Around His Time in Wichita KS

~ ~ On October 29, 1874 The Wichita Eagle reported Wyatt, along with John Behrens, successfully collected a debt. Some Texans owed Moser. Thus he was working for M.R. Moser as part of his private security personnel.

From the Newton Kansan: Thurs., Nov. 5, 1874 - Pg. 2

~ ~ Until the Spring of 1875, Wyatt along with Behrens, worked for Edward Ulrich moving cattle herds because of clashes called the "Polecat War." These recent experiences soon led Wyatt to get involved in joining up with posses. At Deputy U.S. Marshal's request, one was over into Oklahoma Indian Territory.

#4 - Officially a Police Officer

~ ~ With his activities in these "shadow" law activities, Wyatt's actions hadn't gone unnoticed. Observing his personality from his historical words & demeanor, we could say he probably enjoyed the authority. Maybe even the attention, or at least the admiration he received as a result of his conduct.

~ ~ It's possible Wyatt was hired as Wichita Special Police (short time assignments) 1874 Spring or Summer. Rather than as Wyatt asserted, on the regular force. It was instead April 1875 he was offered a position, voted by city council, as Wichita Kansas policeman.

Broad Street, Wichita Kansas

Wood Engraving From a Drawing by Frenzeny & Tavernier
Appeared in Harper's Weekly of May 2, 1874 on Pg. 387

~ ~ Wyatt served in that position for almost a year. Accolades came his way during his appointment.

~ ~ Prime example: Wyatt received much publicity in mid December, 1875. He discovered a drunken man with stolen $500. Wyatt arrested him, retrieving those funds to return to the rightful owner.

#5 - BUT: Policeman Wyatt's Wichita Setbacks

~ ~ Lawman professionalism predicaments in Wichita began to show he wasn't always about mature responsibility. In particular, two matters reflected some carelessness & lack of self-management. This didn't point toward his superiors thinking of him for a long-term career. The Wichita Beacon gave local publicity to both escapades.

~ ~ On Jan. 9, 1876 Wyatt was playing cards at the Custom House Saloon when his weapon fell down from its holster. Upon hitting the floor the gun discharged. The bullet zipped through Wyatt's coat, zooming past all skin! Then out, not harming anyone before landing.

~ ~ It really was a "close shave" - so to speak! (Wyatt would have several similar near misses during his life!) Viewed an inattentive move for a man whose job involved handling arms.

~ ~ As spring of 1876 approached, elections were also impending. Marshal Mike Meagher was Policeman Wyatt's immediate superior. Meagher was up for reelection. His opponent was William Smith.

~ ~ Wyatt encountered Smith, who began mouthing off to Wyatt. Smith's tone was callous & mocking. His comments implied Meagher planned stocking Wichita's police force with all Earp brothers. Wyatt began fuming, they started fist-fighting.

~ ~ The news reported the incident April 5, 1876 telling Wyatt's repercussions from the situation. He was fined $30 + court cost payments.

#6 - After-Effects for Wichita Wyatt

~ ~ Nominations for Wichita Policemen were published April 19, 1876. It showed Wyatt Earp & 2 other names.

~ ~ The city council approved two, but not for Wyatt. One member asked reconsideration for Wyatt. They re-voted. This time the vote tied: 50-50. So they postponed further action until May.

~ ~ They also added: Wyatt must deliver all gathered Wichita funds. (Probably resulting from Wyatt's history: He'd not turned over collections from a prior official post.)

~ ~ From known archival data, he wasn't again on the Wichita Police Force. Next mention of Wyatt Earp is he's in Dodge City, hired as their Police Officer.

News Excerpt From The Atchison Daily Champion
Wed., Nov. 8, 1876 - Pg. 2

However, down the road, Wichita newspapers always remembered him fondly as one of theirs!

From the Wichita Eagle: Thurs., June 27, 1878 - Pg. 3

~ ~ 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, (soon we hope, in the near 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 - Wyatt Earp Days

~ ~ They waited a bit to see how things were shaking out - but it's been approved!

~ ~ It's on for Sat., Sun. & Mon., May 29, 30 & 31. Approval given at the Feb. 9, 2021 City Council Meeting.

~ ~ 2ND - Tombstone Forward Events

~ ~ The City Council approved a special use permit for a "One Man Play" at Schieffelin Hall on May 29.

~ ~ Called Wyatt Earp: A Life on the Frontier. From 6-9pm, entry is $15. This one-man play is staged by Wyatt Earp's relative/descendent & namesake: Wyatt Earp, who now lives in Tombstone AZ. To reserve tickets, call Bruce at (520) 226-5024. Also available at the door - but remember, there's limited seating.

~ ~ 3RD - Buffalo Soldier Days

~ ~ Normally held the last weekend in June. This year it's cancelled, in consideration of Covid-19 concerns.


~ ~ 1ST - Schieffelin Days

~ ~ A good amount of people were in town for the event. The kids certainly had a great time!

~ ~ The weather was pretty good, & you can tell people are getting a bit more comfortable about visiting town.

~ ~ 2ND - Tombstone Rose Festival

~ ~ A fantastic parade was enjoyed by a pretty good crowd of people.

~ ~ 5 parade entries were given awards: Tombstone Small Animals Shelter, Mustang Club, King Salmon Lodge 5F/Masons, the Cameo Ladies & Post 29 Patriots.

Period Dress for Ladies in the Rose Parade


~ ~ 1st - Drinking Water Public Notice

~ ~ ~ The City of Tombstone Issued a Notice on 03/26/2021

~ ~ ~ That they'd "violated drinking water standards over the past year." From July 1 through Sept. 30 of 2018, they neglected to monitor & report, as required, the "Total Coliform" results for Tombstone city drinking water.

~ ~ ~ The notice stated: "Please share this information with other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly.... by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

~ ~ ~ They said: "There is nothing you need to do at this time." And they reported their action: "The Disinfection Byproduct Report was submitted to ADEQ. The Total Coliform Results were submitted, to ADEQ on 03/03/2021 along with the chain of custody." And if you have concerns or need further info, you may "contact Jack Cullum at 520-559-6471 or"

~ ~ 2nd - New Build of Circle K Update

~ ~ ~ They're still working on it, as of the beginning of May. Not open yet.

~ ~ 3rd - Tombstone Christmas Ball Approved

~ ~ ~ Scheduled for December 11th, Saturday - permit given for the use of Schieffelin Hall for the event.

~ ~ 4th - New Event for Independence Day

~ ~ ~ The Tombstone Vigilettes received approval to have an "All-American Blast" on July 4, 2021 from 10am - 3pm. Locations: 5th St. from Fremont to Allen / Allen St. / City Park. Will include a parade, classic cars, magic show, much more.

~ ~ 5th - Arizona Rangers Update

~ ~ ~ The Arizona Rangers have a small museum at their headquarters on 4th St., south of Allen. They have a city request to close 4th for a historic celebration on July 3rd. It's to honor the Rangers, as well as to announce their museum officially opened as "The Arizona Rangers State Museum." They're waiting approval.

~ ~ 6th - Marketing Deal

~ ~ ~ The Tombstone City Council ratified a deal with Tucson's television programming station: KVOA, which covers much of Southern Arizona. It was described as the "KVOA Advertiser Agreement with the City of Tombstone for Tourism/Marketing." It seems they contracted with the station to get some advertising in KVOA's digital/online world.


~ ~ Have You Checked/Seen Our Wyatt Earp website page?

~ ~ ~ Learn more about all the details of his life from the beginning to the very end!

Wyatt Earp

~ ~ ~ More details on his time in Dodge City, Kansas - where he went after Wichita. Then how did he end up in Tombstone Arizona? Where else did he go? Lots of adventures. Get some of your Wyatt questions answered.

~ ~ ~ See all this and more at our website's - Wyatt Earp page.

Covid Related News

~ ~ Many Positive Signs!

~ ~ ~ Are we almost out of the tunnel? We believe so!

~ ~ ~ As retired professionals: Respiratory Therapists, we keep up with medical research & implications of all this. We're both vaccinated, so we have our formerly Covid-cancelled Alaska trip now rescheduled for August! So glad to have

More Lifestyle Options>

~ ~ ~ Because of the funds invested in this trip, especially our airline costs, we covered it with travel insurance. To find our best option we used this Best Travel Insurance site, that describes all available options. We chose the best value deal covering our trip, using that website. Worked out well.

~ ~ ~ Please get vaccinated: for your loved ones, our communities, our country, & of course - yourself! It's why we're getting out of this thing, back to normal. Plus: getting vaccinated helps prevent mutations. Mutations (variants) can screw things up. The more people vaccinated, the better chance we'll have of beating this for good.

~ ~ ~ We want you - all our visitors to Tombstone to be safe, to stay safe!

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~ ~ AZ COVID-19 - Cochise County & Tombstone AZ

~ ~ ~ Arizona COVID-19 cases are slowing down. 42.7% of the state's residents are now vaccinated.

~ ~ ~ Cochise County: 5/11/2021 - 243 new cases diagnosed over the past month.

~ ~ ~ 40.3% of Cochise County residents are now vaccinated

~ ~ ~ Tombstone zip-code maps: Cases discovered by testing -

~ ~ ~ April 10 confirmed 119 total Covid-19 cases in Tombstone. For 3 new cases from testing over that past month.

~ ~ ~ May 11 confirmed still 119 total Covid-19 cases in Tombstone. For the good news that no new cases arose over the past month. However, still remember that doesn't account for any asymptomatic or those refusing testing.

~ ~ ~ Please remember that COVID is a respiratory (airborne) disease. Once contracted, though, may affect many body systems & can have long-lasting effects.

So Please Stay Safe! Keep doing what works is a primary key. Plus now, get vaccinated!

Continue wearing a mask & social distancing when in public groups. That works - it's proven.

And of Course - Wash Your Hands, Especially Before Touching Your Face


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