Allen Street in Tombstone
The Earp Trial:
is discovered in the San Pedro River valley. Prospector Ed
Schieffen names the settlement near the site of the strike "Tombstone."
|November 24, 1879
elects its first mayor.
|December 1, 1879
and Virgil Earp arrive in Tombstone, where Virgil assumes the position
of deputy marshal..
|February 10, 1881
Behan (who the Earps believed had a too lax attitude toward law
enforcement) becomes sheriff of Cochise County, which includes the town
||The Tombstone stage is robbed and its driver and a passenger killed. A posse led by the Earps captures one of the robbers, but he escapes from jail, further souring the Earps on Behan's leadership.|
||Wyatt Earp secretly offers Ike
Clanton the $6,000 reward offered by Wells Fargo if he will lead him to
the men suspected in the March stagecoach killings. Earp does so
because the capture of the men would aid in his campaign to be elected
||Clanton asks Earp whether he
will receive the reward whether the fugitives are dead or alive.
Earp wires Wells Fargo the next day to see if the money would be
awarded either way--the answer is "yes." (As it turns out, all
the fugitives die before Clanton can trap them and claim his reward.)
||The stagecoach from Tombstone to
Bisbee is robbed, and a posse including Wyatt and Morgan Earp arrest
two men, who were released for lack of evidence following a preliminary
hearing. The arrested men are friends of the Clantons and
McLaurys, adding to the antagonism they feel toward the Earps.
||Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury ride
into Tombstone with a wagonload of beef. They plan to meet their
brothers, Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury, the next day. In the
evening, Clanton begins roaming from saloon to saloon, card game to
26, 1881 am
||Around 1:00 am, a well-oiled
Clanton exchanges words with Doc Holliday at the Alhambra Saloon.
Clanton suspects Holliday of spilling the beans about his secret
agreement on the Wells Fargo reward with Earp, which threatens his
standing in the "cowboy" (outlaw) community. Each men threatens
the other, and Virgil Earp, the town marshal, is called to separate the
two men. Clanton spends much of the night wandering around
Tombstone and issuing threats against Holliday and the Earps.
Wyatt brushes off a threat from Clanton and tells him to go home.
| October 26, 1881 pm
McLaury and Billy Clanton arrive in town. The two Clantons and
two McLaurys are observed loading bullets into their belt at a gun
shop. The four men go to the O. K. Corral, where they are
overheard making threats against the Earps, and then to a vacant lot
off Fremont Street. Virgil Earp calls on brothers Morgan and
Wyatt, as well as deputized Holliday, to help disarm the men who were
openly carrying weapons in violation of the law. Approaching the
men, Virgil calls on the Clantons and McLaurys to turn over their guns,
but soon a shot is fired and the "shooting becomes general."
Within 30 seconds, the two McLaurys and Billy Clanton are dead, and
Virgil and Morgan Earp seriously wounded.
||Coroner Henry Matthews convenes
a formal inquest relating to the Clanton-McLaury killings.
Sheriff Behan testifies that the shooting starting before the Clantons
and McLaurys had adequate time to comply with Virgil Earp's demand that
they disarm. Matthews concludes only that the men were killed by
the Earps and Holliday, and does not assess blame.
|October 29, 1881
Clanton files murder charges against the Earps and Holliday.
Virgil Earp is suspended from his job as Chief of Police.
|October 31, 1881
Wells Spicer opens a preliminary hearing to determine whether any of
the Earps or Holliday should be tried on murder charges.
|November 4, 1881
McLaury, brother of two of the deceased men, arrives from Texas to join
|November 7, 1881
Earp and Holliday are arrested and lodged in a jail on Sixth Street,
where they will remain for the next sixteen days.
|November 16, 1881
Earp is called to the stand as the first witness for the defense.
He testifies that the firing began after Billy Clanton and Frank
McLaury drew their pistols.
|November 19, 1881
Earp, still seriously injured, testifies from his bedside at the
|November 30, 1881
Spicer issues a decision exonerating the Earps and Holliday of criminal
wrongdoing in the gunbattle.
|December 28, 1881
Earp is ambushed by several cowboys (including, it is generally
believed, Ike Clanton, whose hat was discovered at the scene) in
Tombstone while walking down Fifth Street at night. Earp survives
the attack, but his arm is nearly ripped off by buckshot, leaving it
nearly immobile for the rest of his life.
|February 2, 1882
preliminary hearing is held to consider charges against Ike Clanton for
assault on Virgil Earp, but the case is dismissed for lack of
|March 18, 1882
playing pool in Tombstone, Morgan Earp is shot and killed by a rifle
shot fired through the pool hall window. In the next week, Wyatt
Earp and others carried out a merciless vendetta against those
suspected in the attacks on his brothers. Among the victims were
Frank Stilwell (shot in Tucson), Florentino Cruz (shot in a wood camp),
and Curly Bill Brocius (shot in Iron Springs).
Earp and Holliday travel to Colorado, where the state's governor,
Frederick Pitkin, denies Arizona's request that the two men be
extradicted to that state to face murder charges resulting from the
|November 8, 1887
Holliday dies of tuberculosis in Glenwood Springs, Colorado at age 36.
Earp dies. After the trial, Virgil had worked as a policeman, run
a saloon, and dug for gold in California before returning to work in
law enforcement in Arizona.
Earp dies at age 80. In the years since the trial he had lived in
San Francisco, Texas, Mexico, Alaska (where he ran gambling halls and
taverns from 1897 to 1901), and Idaho, among other places. Earp
appeared on the sets of early Hollywood westerns, refereed boxing
fights, prospected for gold, and worked on a never-completed