and Otherwise, of the McLaury's and Tombstone
The Gunfight AT the OK Corral?
The McLaury Brother's Brand
Wells Fargo Top Agent--McLaury Kin?
Following Tom's Money Trail
Which is the Correct Spelling?
Albert C. Billicke
"Git Along Lil Gobbler!"
|When talking about this site to a friend, he asked why I didn't use the term "OK Corral" that much. When I told him, he exclaimed, "The fight wasn't in the OK Corral?" So, I guess the first fact on this page should be:
The fight actually took place just down Fremont street from the back door of the OK Corral in a small vacant lot bordered by Fly's bording house / photo gallery and the Harwood boarding house. The combatants (plus two horses) were not spread out in the classic shootout formation Hollywood loved showing. In fact, when the Earp party stopped, they were just about at point-blank range.
Many tourists may not realize that when they drive down the main drag through Tombstone, they are driving over the exact spot where Frank took his last breath.
|And Speaking of driving through Tombstone, remember to strictly obey the speed zone limits. I have never seen such a concentration of lawmen than when in Tombstone. Each day I was there, I saw at least one driver being ticketed. I'd say this law is enforced far stricter today than checking firearms at city limits in Frank and Tom's time.|
|The inverted triangle was the registered brand of Frank and Tom McLaury's Babocomari ranch.
Written above and below the brand mark:
Brand of McLaury Brothers
Filed and recorded at request of Frank McLaury.
April 13 188 (sic) at 1:50pm SW(?) Carpenter, County Clerk.
By WA McDermott, Deputy.5
*** The year should read "1880". The brand next to the McLaury's, the Dunbar brand, was recorded Apr. 23, 1880, by the same Co. recorder & Deputy.
|Well, not quite. According to the book, Under Cover for Wells Fargo: The Unvarnished Recollections of Fred Dodge. Edited by Carolyn Lake, Fred Dodge was speaking about Wells Fargo top agent James Hume. Hume, among his many accomplishments while working for Wells Fargo, was in charge of the capture of the infamous stagecoach robber Black Bart and was aided by the Earp brothers a time or two while in Tombstone:
"Jim Hume's Nephew was Col. McCloughery and he was Warden of the Federal Penn at Leavenworth, Kas. and he had his Home in Chicago."
Well, as usual, the author mis-spelled the name. Robert Wilson McClaughry, Civil War veteren from Illinois had a long carrer in the penal system. He became one of the first Wardens for the Leavenworth Federal Pennitentary and was noted as being one of the first American wardens to impliment photographs and fingerprinting as a form of prisoner identification.
It just so happens, that Robert was the son of Matthew McClaughry of Kortright, NY and Mary Hume of Stamford, NY, sister of Jim Hume.
So, while Jim Hume wasn't related by blood, his nephew, Robert W. McClaughry was a third cousin of Frank and Tom McLaury. Strange relations!
|NOTE: The following is a bundle of facts grouped together to pose a theory of where the money came from that Tom was holding, at the time of the streetfight.
From the Earp/Holliday trial, testimony was given that Tom was carrying almost $3000.00 at the time of the gunfight. Why was he carrying that much money?
According to their brother, Will McLaury, in a letter, dated Nov. 9, 1881, to his sister's husband back in Iowa, "They" (Frank and Tom) "had just sold off their stock and would have started for my place in a day or two and they calculated to have visited their father and sisters in Iowa." And in another letter, dated Nov. 8, 1881, to his partner back in Texas, Will wrote, "My brother Frank and young Clanton who was killed had been with other parties gathering stock for several weeks and had come to town for business"
One of the "other parties" Frank and Billy had been gathering stock with, was Edwin Frink, a stockraiser whose ranch was near the McLaury's White Creek ranch in the Sulfur Spring Valley. Several weeks prior to the gunfight, both the Frink and McLaury ranches had been raided by a band of Apaches, led by Geronimo, as they were running for the border. Apparently, Frink and the McLaury's were working together since then to round up their scattered herds, in order to drive them to the Tombstone markets.
During this time, the following article had been appearing in the Tombstone Nugget and ran for about a month and a half, to two months,
"Messrs. Bauer & Kehoe, having contracted with Mr. Frink of Sulphur Spring Valley for 600 head of American beef cattle, take pleasure in announcing to their patrons and the public that from this time forward they will be able to supply them with meat of a superior quality to any ever before seen in the Territory. s24-tf.
Now (here's the theory part), we have the McLaury brothers on the verge of leaving the Territory, Frank McLaury and Edwin Frink (along with Billy Clanton) working together to gather up, not only Frinks herd, but possibly the McLaury (and Clanton?) herd, as well, with a promise of 600 head to deliver and Tom, already in town, with a wad of cash in his pocket. I believe that Frink and the McLaury's were partners in the Bauer & Kehoe Market deal, mentioned in the article. This may also explain why part of Tom's money was gone after the gunfight. It may have been owed to Frink.
McClaughry... McClaury... McLaury... McLaurie...
All above are correct, and many more variations. Frank and Tom's surname, when they were born in Kortright, NY was "McClaughry". The 1913 book The Genealogy of the Mc Claughry Family, by Charles C. McClaughry1, claimed the name derives from Mac Chlach righ, "son of the King of the Stone" or "son of Kingstone". The book raises the idea that the name may have been a "hidden name" of the outlawed and hunted Clan MacGregor who traces their lineage to Alpin, King of Scots. The highland kings of Scotland were also named "King of the Stone" because they were coronated in Scone seated on the "Stone of Destiny."
The Stone of Destiny is said to have been a fragment of the rock that Jacob rested his head upon at Bethel. Scota, daughter of Pharoh of Egypt, feared the growing power of Moses and took the stone to Spain. From there, Simon Brech, son of Mino the Scot, took the stone to Ireland where it it was used to choose the King. Fergus, the founder of the Scottish monarchy, took the stone to Scotland and in 840 A.D., Kennith II placed the stone in Scone, said to have been the location of the last battle against the Picts. It was encased in a coronation chair for the Scottish Kings.
In America, the family name began to take on many different spellings for various reasons. In the 1790 US census, NY, the family spelled the name "McClaughry" and aside from the curious spelling of "McClaura" in the 1820 Delaware County, NY census, remains a familiar name in New England today.
Albert C. Billicke, hotel keeper for the Cosmopolitan Hotel on Allen Street, Earp friend and witness for the defense in the Earp / Holliday hearing, was witness to an even greater incident in American history.
On May 7, 1915, Billicke was one of the 123 Americans who lost their lives when a German u-boat sank the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland. This act of aggression sparked cries of outrage in America and was noted as being one of the major reasons for leading the United States to finally enter WWI in 1917.
Noted in The Truth About Wyatt Earp by Richard E. Erwin
|Famed Sierra Bonita Ranch cattle baron and Tombstone Sheriff Henry C. Hooker had yet another unique title to his name: turkey herder. On August 10, 1865, fire destroyed Hooker's entire mercantile business in Placerville, CA., leaving him a little over $1000.00 and the clothes on his back. In an unusual attempt to recover his losses, Hooker came up with an interesting plan. According to family history, along with another man and two dogs, Hooker herded as much as 500 turkeys some 100 miles to Carson City, NV. Hooker earned a cool $3.50 a beak by selling them at $5.00 per turkey to the people of Carson City. Hooker used this money to enter into a stockraising venture in the Arizona Territory and, eventually, his own lttle empire in the northern end of the Sulphur Spring Valley.10
Now I make no presumptions as to the validity of the this story. This was supposedly from Hooker family history. Personally, I think this one tall turkey of a tale! I have never heard of any more turkey drives. No turkeyboys whooping it up in town after delivering a gaggle of gobblers into market. No turkey rustlers causing a midnight squawker stampede. And while sheepdogs are of the most talented and intelligent of the canine breeds, the only turkeydogs I've ever heard of usually had the turkey by the neck, as it retrieved one for it's master.