I have memories of being told that my Grandma Young’s family had at one point changed the spelling of their last name. You see, for years they had been known as “Earp”, and according to family legend, the “a” was dropped and became “Erp” to distinguish and distance themselves from their infamous relative, Wyatt Earp. I don’t know if that was true or not, but my grandmother’s maiden name was Erp and I share common ancestors with Wyatt Earp. According to my mother’s calculations, Wyatt is my third cousin, three times removed.
Tomorrow is the 132nd anniversary of the shootout at the O.K. Corral (actually in a narrow lot on Fremont Street) in Tombstone, Arizona. On October 26, 1881 at approximately 3:00 p.m., probably the most famous gunfight of the American West began … and less than thirty seconds and about thirty bullets later… it was over. Laying dead were three men: Billy Clanton and brothers Frank and Tom McLaury. Two others had fled, Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne. The lawmen involved were Town Marshal Virgil Earp, Assistant Town Marshal Morgan Earp, aided by Wyatt Earp and John Henry “Doc” Holliday.
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