Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Daily Life In Tombstone

By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/ Old West Historian

There have been more than plenty of articles and movies written and made about the town of Tombstone when it comes to the gunfights, saloons, bawdy houses, and of course the gunfight which took place near the OK Corral in 1881. In this article I am going to touch on the every day life in which the average citizen experienced from day to day as written in the Tombstone Epitaph.

It's my opinion that these articles are just as entertaining to read by the manner in which they are written, and also show that Tombstone was not so much different that any other town from that period in time as well as now days in some cases.
  • A miner was arrested for striking his brother in-law over the head with a six-shooter, because the latter persisted in blowing himself in against faro, was yesterday fined $2 and costs by Justice Easton.
  • It won't do any harm to go to church today. Try the experience anyhow.
  • A carload of beer received this week by the Cochise H & T Co., one received by Hoe Hoefler, and one of keg beer by Martin Costello last week, will indicate that we will not suffer for something to eat or drink for a short time to come.
  • About noontime yesterday the remains of the late Kiv Phillips were taken from the undertaker's room on Allen street and started the journey to San Francisco. The body was not well embalmed and the stench was beginning to get so great it was feared the express company would not ship it. 
  • The Elite Theater Company gave a torchlight parade last night on Allen street.
  • A new attraction will be at the Crystal Palace concert hall tomorrow night. The band is well versed in thorough base, as well as popular music of the day, although not capable to leading the great orchestras of the world. If they were as fine as some of our local talent thinks it is, they would have no need to reside in Arizona and play occasional pieces.
  • James Fair, Jr., is dead. It was the same old story of heart failure, which is another name for alcoholism.
  • Henry Campbell recently received several casks of fine table wines, including white and claret, from the Los Angeles Vintage Company which he was busily engaged in bottling.
  • Johnny Nobile, the popular mixologist of this city, now dispenses the liquid fluid at the Crystal Palace. John is a dandy at his business.
  • A squaw gave birth to a child boy in the brush this side of the San Pedro yesterday. She was unattended, but she managed to get along nicely, also she attracted a number of interested spectators. The child is said to be exceptionally light and doing remarkably, and was named Pedro by its several by standing godfather witnesses.
  • A woman known as Shoo-fly was arrested and locked up by officer Weiser. She was booked for being drunk and disorderly.
  • Fresh buttermilk at the Can Can.
  • A sporting man known as Portuguese Joe fell in a fit in front of the Crystal Palace saloon last night.
  • A hair-pulling match occurred on Fifth street yesterday between two parties of the weaker sex. For a few moments the scene would have made a picture for the brush of Dore, but the combatants were finally separated. During the melee various and numerous articles of feminine wearing apparel were flying wildly through the air and the total annihilation of everything present seemed imminent. The only intelligible expression heard was "How dare you interfere with my husband!" and the balance of the fracas would have given John L. Sullivan some exceedingly valuable points in the way of prize slugging. The combat was declared a draw as it was interrupted before either of the contestants had been knocked out.
  • Services at the Catholic church at the usual hours today.
  • An accidental shot caused by the careless handling of a pistol caused quite a little commotion in the Occidental bar last night.
  • Another crank has been toying with a Gila monster, with the result that he is likely to die.
  • A Mexican lad having six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot was an object of much curiosity on Allen street yesterday.
  • Pat Holland says that since leaving here he has had a siege in the Territorial prison and also a term in the insane asylum but that he came out of both institutions in fine health, and that he now feels content to spend the rest of his days in Tombstone.
  • A Sixth street Cyprian was fined $20 and costs in the City Recorder's court yesterday, for soliciting prostitution. The complaining witness was a next door neighbor, in the same line of business.
  • There appears to be an epidemic of sickness visiting Tombstone at the present time. Several deaths have recently occurred and a few cases of illness are reported. If some of the fossilized, pessimistic anti-statehood cranks were to die off it would probably do the country some good.
  • A tenderfoot from New Jersey named Markley while playing cowboy at Crittenden a few days since, undertook to show his skill with a pistol. The result was that he shot the horse he was riding through the neck, killing it, and in falling it broke Markley's leg.
I hope you enjoyed these short articles as much as I have. 


About the Author:

Terry McGahey is a writer and Old West historian.

This once working cowboy is best known for his fight against the City of Tombstone and their historic City Ordinance Number 9, America's most famous gun-control law. He was instrumental in finally getting Tombstone's City Ordinance Number 9 repealed and having Tombstone fall in line with the state of Arizona. 

If you care to read how he fought Tombstone's City Hall and won, please click:


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