and Tom's immediate family.
Robert Findley "Frank" McLaury
Thomas Clark McLaury
William Rowland McLaury
Robert Houston McLaury
The Rest of the Family
|Robert Findley McLaury aka: Frank
b. 3 Mar. 1848, Merideth, NY
d. 26 Oct. 1881, Tombstone, AZ.
|Robert Findley or "Rob", as the family called him then,4 was the number eight child and number five son. Robert was only 11 days older than Wyatt Earp. Like Wyatt, he was of the generation of boys that just missed the "glory" of the Civil War. Unlike Wyatt, Rob remained at his father's home well into his twenties.
In the mid 1870's, sixty-something Robert Houston took a second wife who was two years younger than Rob. With Robert Houston's new family on the farm, Robert Findley and Tom decdided it was time to leave and head west for Fort Worth, TX, where their brother, Will was moving to. Apparently, about this time and for possibly said reasons, Robert stopped using his given name and began using a more modern variation of his middle name, "Frank". In Arizona Territory, Frank got a reputation for being fast with a gun. Wyatt mentioned this in testimony as the reason for shooting at Frank first. Another account speaks of piles of cartridges used in target practice found on the McLaury ranch.
Although gutshot, Frank was able to regroup enough to hit Morgan and clip Holliday. Some attribute him to hitting Virgil as well. Frank was killed almost instantly from the head-shot by Morgan Earp or Doc Holliday.
From H.M. Matthews testimony, it was recorded that Frank's sixshooter, a Colt Frontier 1873, had two loads remaining. If Frank's pistol hammer was lying on an empty chamber, as most people carried their sidearms back then, then he only fired three shots.
|Thomas Clark McLaury
b. 30 Jun. 1853, Merideth, NY
d. 26 Oct. 1881, Tombstone, AZ.
|Tom has been more elusive to profile by historians than Frank. He has been portayed as mild mannered, a hard worker, trying to diffuse high tensions on many occasions. He's also been cast as a "cowboy banker", a quick draw and the brains behind the McLaury Ranch enterprises.
Tom was noted for being well-liked in Town. It seemed it was his death, above all, that generated the growing animosity towards the Earps during the inquest. Today, one of the big debates still on-going is whether Tom had been armed during the streetfight.
When the fighting commenced, Tom ducked behind Billy's horse. At the inquest, the defense claimed he was going for the rifle in the saddle scabbard. When the horse bolted, Tom was shot at point-blank range with a load of buckshot from Doc Holiday. It was said Tom lived just long enough to be carried indoors, but never said a word.
|William Rowland McLaury
b. 6 Dec. 1844, Kortright, NY
d. 16 Feb. 1913, Snyder, OK
|"I think we can hang them." William Rowland McLaury wrote that assessment of the Earp/Holliday inquest to his partner in Fort Worth soon after reaching Tombstone. He had heard of his brother's deaths the day of his oldest son's birthday. Will became a member of the prosecution team against the Earps and Holliday. He claimed to have been instrumental in putting Wyatt and Doc in jail throughout the inquest.
From the Will McLaury letters3 (reinforced by Parsons journal entry: 12/29/1882) comes the speculation that Will had been part, at the very least, monetarily, of the assasination of Morgan and attempt on Virgil. The following passage came from Will's Nov. 8, 1881 letter to his partner:
"I think I can put an end to this thing in a couple hours and I cannot afford to do it nor even conspire at it. But this thing has a tendency to arouse all the devil there is in me. It will not bring my brothers back to prosecute these men. But I regard it as my duty to myself and family to see that these brutes do not go unwhipped of justice. Exercising our own judgment must as to our business and as to my affairs do the same."
To add to the speculation, two and a half years later, Will wrote a letter to his father in Iowa, providing a criptic statement:
"And none of the results have been satisfactory. The only result is the death of Morgan and crippling of Virgil Earp and death of McMasters."
It has been hotly debated to this day on whether Will was admitting complicity with this statement.
After the inquest, Will returned to Fort Worth (long before Morgan's murder) and continued his law practice. He later became a Superior Court judge. When the Oklahoma Territory was opened up to white settlers, Will moved to Snyder onto a 960 acre farm until his death.1
|Robert Houston McLaury|
b. 3 Aug. 1810, Kortright, NY
d. 7 Jul. 1893, Hazelton, IA.
|Robert was a lawyer and farmer from Kortright, NY. In 1841, he, his wife, Margret and his growing family moved to a 200-acre farm in Merideth. In a tragic accident, the family home burned down killing their second son, Hugh. They rebuilt their home and lived there until 1855 when they decided to pull stakes and move to Iowa. They settled in Benton Co., near Belle Plaine where Robert practiced law and had more children. About this time, they took to spelling their name "McClaury." In testament to the hardiness of the pioneer women of that time, Margaret averaged a child every two years from 1833 to 1859. In 1859 a typhoid epidemic took the life of Margaret.
A man of considerable means, Robert's combined value at the time of the 1860 US Census, Buchanan Co., IA., was listed at $4500.00. Toward the end of 1860, Robert then bought an 800 acre farm in Buchanan Co., Iowa near Hazelton. By the 1870 US Census, Robert's value had grown to $13,320.00.
Declaring his need for a woman to take care of his younger children, Robert met and married Anna "Annie" Leigh, a widow 30 years his junior (about the same age as his 9th child, Christiana) who had children of her own. This caused a rift in the family and some of his older children cut themselves off from Robert and his new wife. About this time, Robert had again changed the spelling of the name to, "McLaury." Robert sired three more boys, the third at the age of 77. Of the 6 boys of his first marriage, only William survived his father.
Robert was an outstanding man, an early day councilor for the people who had troubles".1
| The Wives:
Margaret Rowland: Robert Houston's first wife. Margaret and Robert were married in 1832 when she was 20 years old. She had her first child a year later and proceeded to average a child about every two years in a 22 year time span; eleven children in all. Soon after (or because of?) having her eleventh child, Margaret died. One account has her dieing in a typhoid epidemic.
Anna Lavina Miller Leigh: With the mortality rate being so high, especially after the Civil War, it was not unusual for widows and widowers to seek out each other. But when sixty-something Robert married twenty-something Anna, the older sons and daughters were outraged. To think the wealthy, old land-owner marry a widow with children already and only three years older than Tom must have been a bit of a social stain on the old attorney and his family. Whether the marriage and new family was, directly or indirectly, the cause of their departure, Frank and Tom soon left their Iowa home and set out for Texas. Anna gave Robert three more sons before he died at the age of eighty-three. Robert and his two wives are buried together in Hazelton.
|Ebenezer Rowland McClaury: Ebenezer played a vital role in the development of this website in that he was my great, great grandfather. Ebenezer was one of the disgruntled sons after Robert's second marriage. There is no evidence he ever changed his name to McLaury. The 1880 U.S. Census, Humbolt Co., IA. showed his name still spelled as McClaury. After the streetfight Ebenezer's family changed their name to McLaurie. Ebenezer died of a strangulated hernia at the age of fifty-nine.|
|Margaret Rowland McLaurie Applegate: Personal family history has it that "the Grand Matriarch of the family" changed the spelling to Mclaurie to avoid the public spectacle that had come to surround the Tombstone shootout. Margaret is the only other member of the family that I've found so far, that has the spelling of McLaurie. I believe this places the honor of "grand matriarch" at her feet. Margaret was the wife of a prominent lawyer in Tama Co., IA. To see Margaret's lineage, go to the Applegate Genealogy site and use the "Find" option on your browser to locate Margaret.|
Hugh McClaughry: Hugh died at the age of five when the family home burned down in 1843.1
Edmund McClaury: Member of the 14th Regiment, Company G of Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Private McClaury fought in the "Hornet's Nest" at the Battle of Shiloh. Towards the the end of the first day of battle, Edmund's regiment was completely surrounded and forced to surrender. Edmund was marched down to the prisoner camps of Macon, GA. There, he suffered disease and malnutrition. In November, he was freed in a prisoner exchange and returned to his home in Iowa. But his time as a prisoner proved fatal and Edmund soon died from the effects of starvation at the age of 22.
Mary Elizabeth Burnison / Wass: Mary's first husband died in the war, but remarried and stayed in Benton County.1
Margery Agnes Daily: Like her sister, Margery married her sweetheart, Jesse Daily and lived in Belle Plaine, IA.1
Christiana Armstrong: The story has it that Christiana disobeyed her father's wishes, ran off to Chicago with her Jewish sweetheart, Levi Armstrong and rose to influential circles in Chicago's high society.1
Sarah Caroline Reed / Henderson: Sarah taught school in Tama Co., IA. In 1910, she was living in Ontario, Cal. Her grandson told of how Sarah was very close to her brother Frank and Tom and her sadness at their murders in Tombstone, AZ., "She was fond of her brothers. I can remember well how emotional she became at the mention of the Earps & Doc Holiday, who were responsible for the deaths of her brothers". Sarah died the day Pearl Harbour was attacked by Japan.1
John Chester: Robert's first child from his second marriage. John lived in Buchanan Co., his whole life.1
Arthur Robert: Arthur owned a dairy farm with prize purebred Holstein cattle.1
Charles Franklin: Charles was a salesman for a new company called the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.1