Posted by: Ron DuBour | April 3, 2012

American Heroes~WYATT BERRY STAPP EARP (1848-1929)~by rldubour


WYATT BERRY STAPP EARP (1848-1929)

 

Was born in Monmouth, Illinois
September six, eighteen-thirteen.
Named after Captain Wyatt Stapp
Five brothers, he was in-between.

His father was Nicholas Earp
Virginia Ann Cooksey his mother.
James, Virgil, Newton and Morgan
Plus, Warren were his dear brothers.

During the American Civil War
James, Virgil and Newton had fought.
While Dad was busy recruiting
Training soldiers combat he taught.

Wyatt and his younger brothers
Left to tend the farm and its needs.
Brother James severely wounded
Had returned home in sixty-three.

In sixty-four the family
On a wagon train headed west.
Destination California
At Fort Laramie stopped to rest.

In sixty-five in his new home
He found common occupation.
Drove stage coach until sixty-eight
Was not to be his vocation.

From California to Missouri
The family settled in Lamar.
Where Dad became the constable
When he quit Wyatt wore the star.

In eighteen-seventy he married
Urilla Sutherland his wife.
Two versions of her cause of death
Typhus or childbirth took her life.

In seventy-four went to Wichita
Met a close friend Bat Masterson.
Also met Wild Bill Hickok
In Ellsworth arrested Ben Thompson.

In eighteen-hundred-and-seventy-seven
In Texas stopped at Fort Griffin.
Where he had met Doc Holiday
His closest friendship would begin.

Virgil and Morgan were gunned down
In Tombstone on separate nights.
Wyatt on a vendetta ride
His brothers deaths to make right.

From Tombstone to San Francisco
He got back with Josie Marcus.
Stayed with her for forty-six years
Of the Earp’s he was most famous.

AUTHOR NOTES*


(March 19, 1848 – January 13, 1929),
Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp, born in Monmouth, Illinois on March 19, 1848. He was named after Captain Wyatt Berry Stapp of the Illinois Mounted Volunteers, Nicholas Earp’s commanding officer during the Mexican-American War. Wyatt, with the help of his two younger brothers, Morgan and Warren, was left in charge of bringing in an 80-acre corn crop. James returned home in summer 1863 after being severely wounded in Fredricktown, Missouri. By late summer 1865, Wyatt and Virgil had found a common occupation as stagecoach drivers for Phineas Banning’s Banning Stage Line in Southern California. In the spring of 1866, Earp became a teamster, transporting cargo for Chris Taylor. His assigned trail for 1866 – 1868 was from Wilmington, California to Prescott, Arizona Territory. He also worked on the route from San Bernardino through Las Vegas, Nevada Territory to Salt Lake City. In the spring of 1868, Earp was hired by Charles Chrisman to transport supplies for the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. In the spring of 1868, the Earp’s moved again, this time settling in Lamar, Missouri where Nicholas became the local constable. When Nicholas resigned to become Justice of the Peace on November 17, 1869, Wyatt was immediately appointed constable in place of his father. Tombstone at the O.K. Corral, Billy Clanton began the fight after Clanton and Frank McLaury drew their pistols, and Wyatt shot Frank in the stomach while Billy shot at Wyatt and missed. The unarmed Ike Clanton escaped the fight unwounded, as did the unarmed Billy Claiborne. Wyatt was not hit in the fight, while Doc Holliday, Virgil and Morgan Earp were wounded. Billy Clanton, Tom McLaury, and Frank McLaury were killed. Soon after Virgil and Morgan were gunned down in separate incidents a result from the famous gunfight. Wyatt and Warren went to San Francisco in late 1882. While there, Wyatt rekindled a romance with Josie Marcus, Behan’s one-time fiancé. His common-law wife, Mattie waited for him in Colton but eventually realized Wyatt was not coming back (Wyatt had left Mattie the house when he left Tombstone). Earp left San Francisco with Josie in 1883 and she became his companion for the next forty-six years. Earp and Marcus returned to Gunnison where they settled down and Earp continued to run a faro bank. Earp eventually moved to Hollywood, where he met several famous and soon to be famous actors on the sets of various movies. On the set of one movie, he met a young extra and prop man who would eventually become John Wayne. Wayne would later tell Hugh O’Brian that he based his image of the Western lawman on his conversations with Earp. And one of Earp’s friends in Hollywood was William S. Hart, a well-known cowboy star of his time. In the early 1920s, Earp served as deputy sheriff in a mostly ceremonial position in San Bernardino County.
When Wyatt died of chronic cystitis in 1929 at age 80, William S. Hart and Tom Mix were pallbearers at his funeral. Tom Mix wept. Josie had Wyatt’s body cremated and buried Wyatt’s ashes in the Marcus family plot at the Hills of Eternity, a Jewish cemetery (Josie was Jewish) in Colma, California. When she died in 1944, Josie’s ashes were buried next to Wyatt’s.

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Responses

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  6. […] American Heroes~WYATT BERRY STAPP EARP (1848-1929)~by rldubour (ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com) […]


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