Intriguing Local Tombstone Info!
How about some Tombstone trivia that can be quite interesting! People love trivia – and when it comes to Tombstone Arizona, you can amaze your friends and relatives with what you’ve discovered!
Let’s see what Tombstone details we can “dig up” and let you in on!
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Hauntings to Discover
With a wild history, Tombstone is known for having quite a few haunted spots. Even just walking the streets, you may get some chilly haunted feelings – especially on a quiet night!
You may have heard of some of the more well publicized haunted Tombstone stories, though. The Birdcage Theatre is one good example. And if you visit Big Nose Kate’s, their menu describes The Swamper! That’s some Tombstone trivia that’s not well known! Until you go into Big Nose Kate’s and read their menu. They call it the Legend – probably so!
But one “secretive” area is the Brunckow Cabin. It’s a little South of town. You’ll have to take a short hike to get to the site. Read More>
Brunckow cabin is unique because it was built by the true first mining settler of the Tombstone area. Most people think of Schieffelin as the original miner here. Actually, Frederick Brunckow formed a mining community in 1859, about 18 years before Ed Schieffelin scouted the Tombstone hills.
Via The Local Tombstone Cemetery
The local Tombstone Cemetery is the newer graveyard. It’s located off the Western portion of Allen Street, outside of the business district. It became the local citizen’s cemetery after Boothill was neglected, and encroached upon by expanding housing.
The Tombstone trivia about this Tombstone Cemetery, regards some of the people who are buried here:
- James Lamb – The first burial at this site, June 30, 1884
- James F Duncan – A Judge, and Civil War Veteran. The Epitaph published some of his reminiscences about his Civil War days – that newspaper clipping is right here. But also – See His Gravestone
- Chief Nino Cochise – Son of Taza and the Grandson of the great Native American warrior, Cochise. Well, that’s what’s supposed – that he’s buried here. But that’s a bit controversial! A man is buried there who claims to be the grandson of Cochise, but if you try to follow the evidence – actually a lack of it – it’s quite suspicious.
- Ethel and James “Bert” Macia – Pioneering family of Tombstone. Historic owners of the Rose Tree Inn (now the Rose Tree Museum)
- John Escapule – French Basque immigrant; the historical patriarch of a local Tombstone pioneer family, descendants residing in the area today. A miner (Escapule Mining Association) and a rancher (Lucky Hills Ranch)
- His descendant – Dustin “Dusty” Escapule, has been a long-time Tombstone city mayor
- William Arthur Harwood – Very first Tombstone mayor when the town-site was made official. He was the interim mayor until municipal elections were scheduled. The town’s lumber dealer, he also became an owner of Schieffelin Hall.
- Walter J Meyer – Boy Scout leader who led a local troop in a clean-up of Boothill Cemetery, during 1926 & 1927, to make it suitable for visiting
- Camillus S. Fly – Famous old West photographer, who had a local Gallery on Fremont Street. It was also a boarding house, where Doc Holliday had a room for a while when in town. Read C.S. Fly Story Here>
Other Notable Tombstone Trivia
Early Religion in Tombstone
Methodist Reverend George H. Adams organized the first public church service in town. There was not yet any facilities built, so he had to find an alternative. On October 8, 1879 he assembled folk in Wise’s Store in the Brown Building for a sermon. Afterwards he baptized the first new-born in the mining camp. The baby was a girl birthed by Mrs. Fuller, whom the parents named Inez. It caused much celebration among everyone in town!2
The Methodist-Episcopal Board then decided to formally begin a local organization. Methodist Minister Joseph P. McIntyre came to town in February 1880. By October, an adobe chapel was built, and McIntyre stayed to minister. The historic chapel is still there, St. Paul’s, which became an Episcopal Church – at 55 North Third Street.
Reverend James Woods was sent to oversee the beginnings of a Presbyterian congregation. He held the first church service in Ritchie’s Hall on August 15, 1880. He stayed until the church building of wood-frame construction, on Fourth Street, was completed by the end of October.
The Baptists organized a church in town on April 26, 1881. Reverend U. Gregory was sent from Tucson to accomplish the congregational organization, which was successful.
With the local Hispanic population, and the growing immigrant Irish community – many Catholics were in town. Since 1879 Father Antonio Jouvencaeu had visited the flock a few times, sent by the Tucson Bishop. He said mass in parishioner’s homes, or store and bar meeting rooms.
Two lots were donated to build a church. On January 1, 1881 an adobe building was completed as The Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church. The first floor held mass; the second floor was half-size, for a rectory. In 1882 a wood-frame church was built next-door, so the adobe could entirely be the rectory. Both buildings have been restored, and are still on-site, at the corner of Sixth & Safford Streets.
Cow-boys were a regular write-up in the newspapers during the expansion of the West in the 1800s. The Wild West made for plenty of horrific action stories and reports!
It can be seen in the Cow-boy trivia sent from one end of the country to another. Under the heading of “Border Life” a small story was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Saturday, January 7, 1882. It indicated the story was initiated from San Francisco on January 6th. The article begins: “A despatch [sic] from Tombstone, Arizona…” It speaks of raids by renegade Apaches. Then goes on to say “Cow:boys are raiding the cattle ranches in the vicinity of Tombstone.”
More Tombstone trivia related to Cochise County Cow-boys:
- A report from the Arizona Daily Star noted Roger King (an alias), a member of the Kearney Sand Lot gang shot and killed a Mr. Wilson in a saloon on Allen Street. This happened the morning of Sunday, August 1, 1880.
- The Arizona Daily Star reported that on Tuesday, December 21, 1880 at about 6 pm, “Red Mike” was shot through the arm at the Alhambra Saloon. The shooter was not identified, though he fired a few times.
- A report from the Arizona Journal quoted by the Record-Union of Sacramento on Monday, March 28, 1881 certainly disparaged the actions of Cow-boys.
- October 29, 1881, Saturday – Major Downing suspended the lumber trade out of Fort Bowie which supplied Tombstone. Reported in Sacramento’s Record-Union, they noted it’s because of “raid by cowboys” – and that “authorities seem powerless to cope with this gang…”
- A Tombstone-Bisbee stage was robbed of a strong-box containing $6500. The Stage Express Messenger picked up his Winchester to battle with the 5 robbers. Nobody ended up injured. The Green Bay Weekly Gazette reported this Friday afternoon, January 13, 1882 cow-boy incident.
- A Sheriff’s posse had a shoot-out with the cow-boys they located according to The Buffalo Commercial (NY). On Wednesday morning, March 29, 1882 Tombstone Deputies Gillespie, Allen and Young fatally shot cowboys Grounds and Hunt. Allen and Young were wounded, Gillespie was killed.
- From the Weekly Republican on Friday, August 11, 1882, a somewhat sarcastic note was quoted from the Tombstone Independent about Phoenix reports of Tombstone: “The Phoenix papers are fairly lurid with the account of the cowboy’s recent attempt to take the town.”
- On Saturday, June 30, 1883 the Arizona Weekly Citizen published a warning per Tombstone newspapers that “rustlers are again abroad.” They advised “Cachise [sic] county should remember the disgrace that was brought on her two years ago by rustlers.”
Notorious/Notable Historic Residents
- A woman worked as household help for the uncle of Doc Holliday. His uncle was Dr. John Stiles Holliday. He helped diagnose John Henry (Doc) when an infant, with a birth defect. He referred his parents to a physician: Dr. Long, who surgically corrected his cleft palate. The woman who worked for his uncle helped entertain Doc and his cousins. She was mixed racially and young. She taught these other young people card games, one of which was called Skinning. It was similar to Faro – a gambling game he’d later deal professionally!
- Wyatt Earp had an older half brother – he was the oldest son of Nicholas Earp, borne by his first wife. His name was Newton. Not too much is publicized about him. He was closest in age to James and Virgil, so he also was most familiar with them. He ran against Wyatt as a constable, but lost to him by 29 votes. He had five children, and lived to be 91. He never lived in Tombstone.
- Dr. Goodfellow was a well-known Tombstone AZ physician during the early 1880s. His historic home is in town. He retired from the U.S. Army and moved to Tombstone. He asked the Army to send his medical bag and surgical equipment to his new home. Major Hutchings sent it via a government coach driven by Frank Sullivan. The package arrived, but items were missing. Investigation found that Sullivan stole the items with intention to sell them to a Dr. Watson (who was suspicious of the transaction). Sullivan was arrested.1
Miscellaneous Tombstone Trivia
- As you see in the article above, in 1883, Tombstone parents expressed their desire for children’s corporal punishment in school, rather than expulsion
- The cost of a marriage license for Tombstone Residents in 1902 was $2.50 – obtained via Cochise County
- The Crystal Palace donated $25 to help San Francisco citizens after the devastating earthquake of April 18, 1906
- In 1881 an Arizona male teacher earned $86/mo, a female teacher earned $73/mo.
- In the first official Tombstone mayoral election, 697 votes were cast
- In mid-1884, one could buy 8 drinks in a Tombstone saloon with $1
- Before the May 1882 Devastating Fire in Tombstone – the town’s Post Office was located at the Southeast corner of 4th and Fremont Streets. The notable structure was impressive. In March of that year the city was still making improvements – but the fire took it down!
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1 Arizona Daily Star (1880, Nov. 19). Nipped in the bud. Page 3. Retrieved from Newspapers.com.
2 Bailey, L.R. (2004). Too tough to die: The rise, fall and resurrection of a silver camp; 1878 to 1990. Tucson AZ: Westernlore Press.