Saturday, September 24, 2022

Letters between Wyatt and Josephine Earp, and William S. Hart

Below are some interesting letters between Wyatt and Josephine Earp, and silent-film actor William S. Hart.

On Nov. 13, 1928, Wyatt Earp wrote:

“Here is something that will make you laugh. I picked [Al] Smith for the winner of the election; just in my mind, you know, so it didn't cost me anything — no new hat to buy nor any peanuts to roll along the thoroughfare with a tooth-pick nor anything else to make me wish I hadn't. It just furnishes my friends a lot of fun by guying me. Hoover will make an excellent president, and the nation will have no regrets at having chosen him."
On Nov. 16, 1924, Earp wrote to his friend Bill:

“Even the paragraph about Doc Holliday shooting a man in Los Angeles was without foundation. Holliday to my positive knowledge never had been in Los Angeles."
Oct. 21, 1920:

My Dear Hart:

I am sending you the quirt that I promised you some time ago and I am also adding a word of apology for the delay. My time has been so occupied with business affairs during recent weeks requiring my absence. I just did not get the opportunity to mail the quirt to you. Although I have though of you. I believed I explained to you the quirt was made a number of years back in 1885 by a Mexican woman who was serving time in the penitentiary at Yuma, Arizona for the murder of her husband so you can see that a good quirt was made by a bad woman. It ought to stand hard usage and last a lifetime and I am sure it will. In your leisure moments may you occasionally remember that this is just a token of appreciation from me who hold you in deepest regards and esteem.
Your friend,
Wyatt S. Earp
4021 Pasadena Ave.
Los Angeles, Calif.
Oct. 16, 1922
Mr. William S. Hart
8341 De Longpre Drive
Hollywood, Calif.

Dear Mr. Hart,

After a long absence I have now returned to the city for a short stay. It must all come to you with mixed joy. I wish to make no comment because I am your friend and I know you have nothing to regret. You have hosts of friends Mr. Hart and the world thinks of you with a spirit of great loyalty [more] now than it ever has.
But I can rejoice with you in the great happiness that comes to you as a father. In this you are especially blessed. Your son is likewise because he has a good father. I say this modestly and if his purposes in life are as noble, he will be a success. It is the earnest [wish] of Mrs. Earp and myself that he shall live to be all of that.
I trust your recent illness is just of the passing sort and that you will be yourself again within a few days. Mrs. Earp joins me in best wishes.

Sincerely yours,
Wyatt Earp
In the next letter Mrs. Earp tells Hart that her husband wishes to dedicate a book to him — a book about which few Western buffs will ever reach total agreement.

2703 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, Calif.
Mr. William S. Hart
Newhall, Calif.

My dear Mr. Hart:

Am inclosing a letter from Mr. Lake which is self explanatory. I was rather surprised Mr. Leussler told him he had spoken with me. If you will recall it was agreed that he was not to tell ... we had met. I cannot understand that and so presuming your good nature for your valuable advice in this matter, will you kindly return the inclosed [sic] letter to me.

I tried to get in touch with Mr. Leussler three times, but was informed he was south and would not be back until the end of the week. I would like to get in touch with him as I cannot get any information from Mr. Lake.

I want to thank you Mr. Hart for all of your wonderful kindness to Mr. Earp and myself. And it shall be my great pleasure to follow Mr. Earp's wishes in having his book dedicated to you — a real friend.
Trusting you and your dear sister are in good health. I am with kindest regards.

Most sincerely yours,
Josephine Earp
Another letter from Mrs. Earp would come under the heading of "fan mail.”

Dec. 18, 1923
My dear Mr. Hart:

Just a line to congratulate you upon your new picture "Wild Bill Hickok." I saw it twice with several friends and each time the house was packed. When you appeared upon the screen the applause was wonderful. Am happy to say that you have staged a remarkable "come back."
Trusting your future pictures will be as successful as your first.
With kindest regards

I am sincerely yours,
Mrs. Wyatt Earp
William S. Hart often contacted his friend during Wyatt's stay at the mines.

Oct. 21, 1925
Mr. Wyatt Earp
Vidal, Calif.

My dear friend Wyatt Earp:

I am mighty glad to hear from you. I am returning Mr. Sutton's letter which I presume you want to keep. Sutton has been a great admirer of my pictures for many years. I have many letters from him. His account of the opening of the Strip from the Oklahoma side is most interesting. The picture which I have just finished, "Tumbleweeds," shows the action which takes place on the other side starting at Caldwell, Kansas.
Mr. Wilstach the man who is writing the Hickok articles wrote to me a couple of weeks ago for some information which, fortunately, I was able to give him. One of the things he wanted to know was the whereabouts of Bat Masterson when Hickok was killed. I was able to tell him Masterson told me personally he was in Denver at the time.
When you return please let me know and I sure would be glad to see you and Mrs. Earp.

Always your friend,
William S. Hart