Though the ship’s captain, a man named Fisher, found her, he did not
put her off the ship, but rather, allowed her to stay on to
St. Louis. There, she assumed Fisher’s name and enrolled in a convent school.
married a dentist by the name of Silas Melvin and the couple had a
child. However, both husband and child passed away in the same year.
was said to have been in Wichita,
and later she was working in a sporting house for Nellie Bessie
the wife of James
Kate always stated that she did not meet
until she was in
Wyatt Earp were in Wichita at the same time, and it has been
speculated that she had a relationship with
at that time.
In 1875 she was
going by the name of
Elder and was listed as being in
working as a dance hall girl. A couple of years later she moved
Doc Holliday at John Shanssey’s
Holliday was dealing cards. By this time,
had earned the nickname "Big
Nose” Kate. While the dance hall girl and prostitute was
attractive, she did have a prominent nose.
was tough, stubborn, and with a temper that matched
Doc’s. She said she worked the business because she liked it, belonging to no
man, nor to any house!
would spend the next several years with
Their relationship was often rocky, with
still plying her trade as a prostitute from time to time.
While still in
Fort Griffin in 1877,
was dealing cards to a local bully by the name of Ed Bailey, who was
accustomed to having his own way without question. Bailey was
reputation and in an attempt to irritate him; he kept picking up the
discards and looking at them. Looking at the discards was
strictly prohibited by the rules of
a violation that could force the player to forfeit the pot.
warned Bailey twice, the bully ignored him and picked up the discards
again. This time,
raked in the pot without showing his hand, nor saying a word. Bailey
immediately brought out his pistol from under the table, but before the
man could pull the trigger,
lethal knife slashed the man across the stomach. With blood spilled
everywhere, Bailey lay sprawled across the table.
Knowing that his actions
were in self-defense,
not run. However, he was still arrested and incarcerated in a local
hotel room, there being no jail in the town. Bully or no, a
vigilante group formed to seek revenge on
Holliday. Knowing that the mob would quickly overtake the local lawmen, "Big Nose”
devised a plan to free
from his confines. Setting a fire to an old shed, it began to burn
rapidly, threatening to engulf the entire town. As everyone else was
involved in fighting the fire, she confronted the officer guarding
with a pistol in each hand, disarmed the guard and the two escaped.