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Old West Lawmen - E

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George Washington Earp (1864-1960) - The first cousin to Wyatt Earp, George was born in Montgomery County, Missouri on December 13, 1864. At the age of 18, having a burning ambition to be a cowboy, he went to Dodge City, Kansas just about the time Wyatt was ready to head southwest to Tombstone, Arizona. Wyatt; however, wouldn't help him in Dodge City, determining that the town was too tough for him and sent him to the more "civilized" Garden City, where George got his wish and worked as a cowboy. On June 1883, he married Anna Maxwell in Marion County, Kansas. The couple would eventually have three children.


By the spring of 1885, George was surveying the townsite of Old Ulysses, in Grant County, Kansas. He soon became one of the town's first promoters and the same year, at the age of 21, he became the first postmaster in Ulysses. At 23 he was elected major and constable, and according to legend, was just as "free with his gun” as Wyatt and his bunch.


After Grant County was established in 1887, Ulysses found itself embroiled in a fierce county seat battle with nearby Tilden (later called Appomattox.)  Though Ulysses was named the temporary county seat, an official election was held on October 16, 1888 to determine the permanent location. The county seat fight was corrupt and vicious like many others at the time. George would later say that the Ulysses Town Company imported several noted gun men "to protect the security of the ballot" at the elections. Among them were Bat Masterson, Luke Short, Ed Dlathe, Jim Drury, Bill Wells, Ed Short and others.


The men built a lumber barricade across the street from the polling place, stationing themselves behind it with their Winchesters and six-shooters, in case of trouble or attempts to steal the ballot box. But, no trouble erupted and in the end, the election resulted in a win for Ulysses


In 1893, Earp was appointed as a U.S. Deputy Marshal in Wichita and later worked for the field office of the United States Revenue Service. In 1933, he moved to Joplin, Missouri where he worked as an income tax consultant. He didn't retire until the age of 91. A few years later, he suffered a stroke and died on December 21, 1960 at the age of 96. He was the last of the line of the "Fighting Earps."


Earp Brothers


Though the Earps traveled widely from Illinois to California, they kept in touch, at a time when communication was difficult. Nicholas Porter Earp and Virginia Ann Cooksey had six children including James C., Virgil W, Wyatt B., Morgan, Warren B., Virginia and Adelia. All four boys would act as lawmen at some point in their lives.


James C. Earp (1841-1926) - The oldest brother of the Earps, James was badly wounded in the arm during the Civil War in 1861, but this did not hinder him from later serving as a lawman. After the war, he went with his family to California, before traveling to Montana, back to Missouri, and to Kansas. he married Nellie Ketchum from Illinois in April, 1873 and the following year, the pair were living in Wichita, Kansas. In 1876, he headed to Dodge City, Kansas, where he became a deputy sheriff under Charlie Bassett for a brief time. He then began to roam through Missouri, Arkansas and Texas, working in saloons or as stage and wagon driver. In 1879, he moved with his brothers to Tombstone, Arizona but was not involved in the Tombstone troublds or the events of the O.K. Corral. When Morgan was killed, he traveled with Virgil and the Earp women to Colton, California for Morgan's burial. In 1883-84, he was mining in Shoshone County, Idaho before settling permanently in California in 1890. James Earp died on  January 25, 1926 and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, in San Bernardino, California.


Morgan EarpMorgan Earp (1851-1882) – Born in Iowa on April 24, 1851, he moved with his family to San Bernardino, California in 1864. He joined brother Wyatt in Dodge City, Kansas where he married Luisa Houston. The pair soon moved to Butte, Montana, where he served as marshal. By 1879, he had headed to Arizona, where he was appointed as a sheriff in Pima County. The next year, he was in Tombstone with the rest of his brothers and went to work for Virgil as a police officer. In the battle with the Clantons at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881, he was shot in the side by Tom McLaury. Doc Holliday instantly countered, blowing McLaury away with blasts from both barrels of his shotgun. Morgan survived the wounds, but on March 18, 1882, Ike Clanton and four henchmen took revenge. While Earp was playing pool at Campbell and Hatch's Saloon in Tombstone, Clanton and four of his henchmen shot and killed him. Morgan’s body was brought back to California where he is buried at Hermosa Cemetery in Colton, California.  


Warren Earp (1855-1900) - The younger brother of Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp, Warren was born in Pella, Iowa on March 9, 1855. Warren joined his brothers in Tombstone, Arizona in 1881 and worked for Virgil as a deputy. However, he was not involved in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, some saying he wasn't even in Tombstone at the time. Afterwards, however; he participated in the revenge taken by the Earps against those that had killed Morgan and tried to kill Virgil. He was with his brother Wyatt and Doc Holliday when Frank Stillwell was killed in Tucson on March 20, 1882. Though he and the others were indicted for the murder, they were not convicted. After the whole Tombstone episode was finally over, Warren left Arizona but returned in 1891 where he worked as a mail stage driver on the road between Willcox and Fort Grant. On July 6, 1900, he argued with a man named Johnnie Boyett in Brown's Saloon in Willcox. The two had a history of not liking each other due to their mutual affection for the same woman. As the argument progressed, Boyett shot and killed Warren. Warren Earp was buried in Willcox, at the Pioneer Cemetery.  Boyett was never charged with a crime.




Hiram Eastwood - U.S. Deputy Marshal commissioned in the Southern District Court of Indian Territory at Paris, Texas. In 1893, outlaw Bill Luttrell tried to kill Eastwood because he blamed him for the capture and hanging of his brother, Charles. However, Eastwood received a warning that Lutrell was gunning for him. While Eastwood was tending to his horse in Oakland, Oklahoma, he spied the outlaw approaching and grabbed his rifle. The two came face to face outside the stable and both men fired three shots simultaneously. Lutrell was obviously not a good shot, as Eastwood was unharmed but the would-be killer took shots in his heart, lung and neck. The Paris, Texas court found that the killing was in self defense.  


William "Dad" F. Egan (1832-1924) - Born in Kentucky in 1832, Egan was raised in Missouri. By 1859, he was living and ranching in Texas just a few miles west of Denton. He served in the Confederate Cavalry during the Civil War. When the conflict was over, Egan married and was elected sheriff of Denton County, Texas. While serving, he also continued to operate his ranch and hired on a young Sam Bass to assist him in caring for the livestock and other odd jobs on the ranch. Bass soon made friends with Egan's son, Armstrong, and the two bought a racehorse which they ran until William put a stop to his son's participation and ownership. When Bass began to turn wayward, Sheriff Egan remained friends with the young man. However, when it was clear that Bass' activities were clearly illegal, Egan fully cooperated with Texas Rangers and other lawmen in the pursuit of the outlaw. Bass was killed in Round Rock, Texas in 1878. Shortly afterwards, Egan left his sheriff's position but continued to hold public office several times throughout the years. He died in 1924. 


Jess Elliott (18??-1892) - A Cherokee Indian, Elliott served as a Deputy Sheriff of Rogers County, Oklahoma. On November 3, 1892, Elliott got into a fight in a Catoosa, Oklahoma saloon with Bob Talton, who was on probation for horse theft. Both men had been drinking and when the dispute got out of hand, Talton was thrown out of the saloon and Elliott was forcibly held inside, giving time for Talton to get away. However, Talton concealed himself outside the saloon and when Elliott came out, Talton attacked him and cut his throat. Talton was later arrested, convicted of the murder and sentenced to death. He was hanged in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on July 31, 1896.


Jackson W. Ellis - U.S. Deputy Marshal commissioned in the Western District of Arkansas in 1885.  At the same time, he also served as an Indian Policeman in the Choctaw Nation.  Just a few months after being sworn into duty, Ellis was in a gunfight with a man named Bud Trainer in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Trainer was killed and Ellis exonerated as the shooting was found to be in self defense.  In September, 1887 when Ellis tried to arrest a man named Dick Vann, who had killed U.S. Deputy Marshal Sam Sixkiller, gunplay erupted once again, leaving Vann dead in the dirt. Around the same time, another murderer named Harry Finn, who had killed his father in Missouri, had fled to Oklahoma. When Ellis confronted the killer, the guns blazed again, and true to form, Ellis left the fugitive dead.

On another occasion, while Ellis was riding on a train bound from Kansas City to Galveston, Texas, four train robbers attempted to rob the mail and express cars. However, Ellis, along with Train guard, Jack Frazier, fought off the bandits forcing them to flee. Though the train robbers managed to make off without about $1,000, this was only a fraction of the cash held in the two cars. By 1890, Ellis was practicing law as well as acting as a law officer. After 16 years working in the Indian Police, he finally resigned his duties as a lawman in 1902.


William "Bill” Ellis - U.S. Deputy Marshal commissioned on October 30, 1889 in the Western District at Fort Smith, Arkansas. On May 16, 1890, when Ellis attempted to arrest a whiskey pedder named R. A. Beck, a shoot-out ensued and Beck was killed. In November, 1892, Ellis was one of the sixteen deputy marshals summoned to capture the notorious Cherokee outlaw, Ned Christie. Christie, however, resisted arrest and was killed.  In 1897, Deputy Marshal Ellis was appointed by Marshal J. P. Grady to work in the Central District of Indian Territory.  After Ellis retired from his lawman duties, he moved near Antlers, Choctaw Nation where he established the X-T Bar Ranch which he operated until 1920.   


Joseph W. Evans (1851-1902) - A Wells Fargo Special Agent and U.S. Deputy Marshal in Arizona. Evans was born at Fayetteville, North, Carolina, but made his way west when he grew up. In 1872, he had landed in Phoenix, Arizona, where worked as an express man for the Arizona Stage Company. Working his way up, he became a general supervisor in 1877. Later he served as a special agent for Wells Fargo until he was appointed a U.S. Deputy Marshal in 1880 by Crawley Dake in 1880. Evans was present in Tombstone, Arizona during the Gunfight at the O.K. corral in October, 1881 and friends with the Earps, he allegedly helped them to escape Tucson, after they killed Frank Stilwell. After leaving his position as a lawman, Evans made his living in real estate and became a prominent businessman in Phoenix. He lived there until his death on May 28, 1902.



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