Wyatt Earp History Page

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp
1848 - 1929

Wyatt Earp History
Birth and Early Life
Life in Missouri
Arkansas Horse Theft
Pimping in Peoria
Kansas Cowtowns

Wyatt Earp Claims
Buffalo Hunting in Kansas
Clay Allison Incident
Arresting Ben Thompson
Marshal Of Dodge City
Buntline Special Myth
AZ Deputy U.S. Marshal
Killing Curly Bill
Killing Johnny Ringo


Wyatt Earp Archives
Newspaper Accounts
Documents and Letters

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Wyatt Earp History Page

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Birth And Early Life

       Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp was born in the town of Monmouth, Illinois, on March 19, 1848.  He was the third son of Nicholas Earp and Victoria Ann Cooksey.  He was named after Nicholas' commanding officer during the Mexican War, Wyatt Berry Stapp.  Wyatt had two older brothers, James and Virgil, who were both born in Kentucky.

Sometime after Wyatt was born his family moved near the Dutch community of Pella, Iowa.  Nicholas had received a land grant of 160 acres in Iowa based on his service in the Mexican War.  Wyatt's two younger brothers, Morgan and Warren, were born in Iowa.  Much has been writted about the Earp brothers, but Wyatt also had three sisters.  Martha was born in Monmouth and she was a little more than two years older than Wyatt.  She died when she was ten years old.  The Earp family moved back and forth from Pella to Monmouth.  During one of these moves, Virginia was born in Monmouth.  Adelia, Wyatt's youngest sister, was born in Pella during 1861.

James and Virgil served with the Union Army during the Civil War.  James was seriously wounded and returned home in 1864.  Later that year, in May, the family headed west with a wagon train to California.   The Earp party encounter friendly Indians and hostile Indians.  Nicholas recalled one incident with hostle Indians:

We had no bin in camp long untell the Sentinels gave the alarm that the Indians was coming so I ordered the horses to be brought inside the corell by the gards that was garding them the women all turned out to help get the horses into the corell while e who was not on gard gethered our guns and rushed to meet the Indians when they got as clos as we entended them to come we commences poping away at them and soon succeeded in checking them and puting them to flite they ran off about a half mile and stoped and turned round as tho they war not satisfied.

I said bys they are not satisfied lets satisfy them so I ran to the waggons and jumped on a horse and said we'll make them leave here.  Dr. Rusau T. J. Ellis James Earp and a young man named Tucker that was with the Hamiltons and two other men that got in with us followed suit and off we charged after the Indians . . . .   
    Wyatt's actions during the incident are not known.

    The Earp family made it to San Bernadino, California.  Wyatt later claimed that he drove wagons from San Bernadino to Arizona during 1865.  He also claimed that during the following two years he made trips to Salt Lake City and Julesburg, Colorado.  By November 1869, Wyatt and his family were living in Lamar, Missouri.

Your host is Steve Gatto, author of The Real Wyatt Earp (Edited by Neil Carmony) (2000), Johnny Ringo (2002), Curly Bill, Tombstone's Most Famous Outlaw (2003).  Steve's latest work, Hurled Into Eternity, The Story of Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral has not yet been released.
Portions of the text appearing on this site come from the above books.
"Bravery and determination were requisite, and in every instance proved himself the right man in the right place." Tombstone Epitaph