GUNSLINGERS; DOC HOLLIDAY

           It’s been several days,  it is hotter than heck here in Southern California, and had  to survive the 4th of July.  It often feels like we are forted up in the Alamo whent the fourth rolls around, the illigeals in the area fire off all those illigal fire works , and the law enforcement community does no enforcement in regard to it.  We simply hunker down and keep the windows closed to keep out the fumes as much as possiable.  It is rough on our cats , they do not know what to make of it and our attempts to comfort them are mostly in vain.  Our son reported that their dogs clawed the drywall so bad one year they need to repair it.

     Any way enough of the bitching and on to the subject of the blog.  The last entry I had included Doc Holliday in the title.  The entry ran too long and by the time I had finished with Elfigo Baca I was weary and forgot to remove Doc’s  name.  Also I would like at this time to mention that at one time in the early 70’s  I was a member of the Downey, Ca. JC’s.  There were two brothers that were members named Baca, and some how the subject of Elfigo came up and they said they were decendants of old Elfigo.   

DOC HOLLIDAY

     John Henry Holiday, most commonly known ans Doc Holliday, was born near Griffin Georga in 1851.  Doc Holliday became one of the most dangerious and fearless killers to ever carry a six shooter.  Of course his most famious shootout occured at the OK Corall in the presence of his fast and true friend Wyatt Earp.  But this merely puncuated a already tumultuous career.

      Holliday spent most of his life just one cough away from permanate residence in the cemetary.  Turberculosis killed his mother and struck John Henry at a early age, and gained ground on his lungs on a day-by-day basis.  Because of the constant pain he drank to excess as much as two to three quarts a day.  He is quoted as telling a friend that liquor would not cure him but made dying a lot more fun.

       The nickname “Doc” came from a pratice of dentistry.  In thise days no one could save a unhealthy tooth.  If it hurt the only remendy was to pull it out.  Barbers and traveling medicine men often pulled a tooth for the benifit of a paying crowd, often selling remedys for the prevention of tooth decay afterwards.

      Some accounts of Doc’s history go to great length to prove that Doc has recieved a degree in dentistry, however the facts seem to be that he graduated from nowhere, but recieved his “skills” by observation.  Afterwards buying himself a pair of pliers and a cheap shingle set himself up in business.

     While he praticed his trade through most of his lifetime, he never earned a living as a dentist.  He survived as a gambler at which he was quite good.     He left Georgia in the early 1870’s and headed to Dallas.  He left behind at least one, possiably three dead negroes.  He caught the three splashing around in what he regarded as his private swimming hole on the Withlacoochee River.  His pistol banged and the water ran red.  The authorities declined to prosecute, but Doc left anyway.

     Doc’s nasty temperment continued to get worse as the years progressed.  On New Year’s in 1875 Doc exchanged shots with a saloon owner named Charles Austin.  On that rare occasion Doc missed and was arrested, charged with disturbing the peace and fined.

     Over the next few years Doc driftedto Fort Griffin and Fort Davis in Texas.  In Jacksboro he fought with a Fort Richardson soldier who came out second best.  After the funeral Doc prudently left town

     In Fort Griffin (near Alilene, Texas), Holliday met Wyatt Earp and Katherine Elder, the later known around saloons as Big Nosed Kate Fisher.   (see the chapter on old west prostitutes).  She sometimes at this time used the name Kate Earp, a indication her relatonship with Wyatt Earp might have a little closer than thought at one time.  

     The relationship between Kate and Doc florishied off and on over the next few years.  Doc’s expectitations of dying from his tuberculosis seemed to be somewhat premature.  As custom, he and a fellow card player had a falling out.  The opponent reached for his gun too slow, Doc stuck him with a knife.  several of the other players thought Doc should be measured for a hemp necktie.  They gathered in front of the jail demanding his  presence at a special pary they had planed for him.  The men guarding Doc showed no real intrest in protecting their charge,  only marking time untill they could relent after giving a show of defending him.

      Kate set fire to a barn distracting the crowd from the jail, releasing doc they fled on horses she had saddled and had waithing for them.  Thereby saving doc from choling on somethimg more than his wasting lungs.

     They tried Kansas City taking rooms at a bording house as Mr. and Mrs. John Holliday (they never officaly married).  Doc hung out his shingle and kept out of trouble for awhile.  However trouble loomed when Kate observed all the cowhands strolling the streets.  She could see all the dollar signs going to waste.  Doc and Kate fought over her returning to prostitution, however Kate had her own way.  This was only the first of their many and stormy fights.

      Later in Dodge, Holliday confineded his woes to Wyatt Earp who merely grinned and shook his head.  Explaining to Doc, that  in his long experences with women he did not under stand them either.

     Not long after Texas ranchers Tobe Driskill and Ed Morrison brought their trail herd to Dodge.  Killing Earp was high on the list of priortys of some to the hands and all they wanted was a opportunity.  As wyatt only carried a six shooter he was trying to make it to the Longbranch Saloon where he kept a loaded shotgun stacthed.  Just feet from the door the wadies caught up with him and cornered him against the wall.

     It looked like Wyatt might not live to tell any tall tales to his biographers.  At that instant the doors swung open and out stepped Doc with Wyatt’s shotgun.  while  Doc cowed the cowboys with the shotgun Wyatt slapped Driskill over the head with his long barrled pistol and the cowboys spent the night in jail.

      Doc grew tired of Dodge and hired his services to the Colorado railroad war brewing between the Santa Fe and the Denver Rio Grande in the spring of 1879,  finally the diffrences were worked out and Doc drifted to Las Vegas, New Mexico.  Some where near Trinidad, Col.  he adgedly killed two men and wounded a gambler named Kid colton.

     In Las Vegas he purchased half interest in a saloon, he hired a waitress (among her other duties) who was the mistress of a Mike Gordon. In the afternoon of July 19, 1979, Mike fired a shot through the door of the saloon from across the street.  No one paid much attention to the first round.  Howerer when Mike sent a second ball through the walls,  Doc thought enough was enough.  Using a shotgun he blew too many holes in Mike for the local doctor to put corks in.  Gordon dieded the next day and some of the towns people felt Las Vegas might be a better place to live if Doc was to relocate elsewhere.

      Doc had tired of Las Vegas and was ready to move on.  Also Kate had caught up with him and to his own admitted disgust he took her back.  Hearing that Wyatt Earp has relocated to Toombstone, Arizona,  Doc headed there.

      The rest is history in the Wyatt Earp chapters of this blog.  Also you might note that many times it was mentioned that Doc used a shotgun in his exploits, this seems a fair assesment of Doc that when he had the choice the shotgun was his prefered weapon.  Also when once asked about his loyality to Wyatt Earp he is supposed to have said thet “Wyatt saved my life in dodge once”, I have found no record of this event in my readings, but who knows?  It is often said Doc was fearless in the face of death.  Was he hoping for a bullet to end the pain before the deadly illness that stalked him all his life??  Or was he just a deadly killer with no regarg for other life??

So once again it is time for me to rambel on.

 

ramblingbob 

    

12 Responses to “GUNSLINGERS; DOC HOLLIDAY”

  1. Robbie Says:

    Hey “Rambling Bob” your a joke…are you serious? Where did you get your information on Doc Holliday? Obviously they wernt from a reliable source because you have so many flaws in your writing that if I were to list them all, it would take too long long to read this. He “left behind two or three dead negros in Gerogia” What in the hell are you talking about? If you did your research on this man the way you were supposed to, you would find that he killed very few people. He wasnt the best aim in the west, but very very very fast on his draw. He was credited with killing an ex soldier but it was a fair fight and he killed him out of neccesity. Also, he did get his medical licence from a school in penn. and if you actually knew anything about him, the picture taken of him the day he graduated dental school is only 1 of 2 authentic photos of the man. Im not going to continue, because Ive found so many false things in your “biography” if you can call it that, that Ive stopped reading it and dont want anything to do with you anymore. Your senseless ramblings are an insult to Doc Hollidays relatives like myself who know him as the true him. One that was blamed for everything, but the first to saddle his horse and help out if he heard that a stagecoach had been robbed or if somebody needed assisstance. I hope you quit your rambling and go back to something your good at.

  2. ramblingbob Says:

    Well you are cerently entitled to your opinions, but I get my material from six diffrent books that I use all the time and they all seem to have gathered their writtings from the same sorces. You state that you are a relative of his so I can understand your prejustices. As for the sterling qualities that you state in his being ready to right somebodelses injustices are lacking in anything I have ever read. and a review of the books in my possession relate nothing about his schooling or photos thereof. sorry if I ofend you but I write not as a athourity but only what I have before me in print.

    • debbieb22 Says:

      wow ramblingbob im not trying to be mean but u do not know how to spell at all im just laughing at your spelling, and kate NEVER used wyatt earp’s last name she used doc’s last name which really made doc mad!!!!

  3. ramblingbob Says:

    Well after some searching around I believe I have found the article that the person named Robbie is quoting from. It is found on the Wikipedia site, under Doc Holliday. It cerently reads diffrently from all six books I have in my possession. The sourceses I used are two diffrent readers digest sets, one the 24 volum wild west set and the other The West That Was..A third book is the Shooters by a Leon Metz. and a forth is a Enciopeda of the West, and several others not at my finger tips. I suggest you look up the Wikipeda site if you have futher intrest in the subject. I claim to be no expert and only write these things for my own admusment. I wonder what kind of relitave robbies claims to be, as to my knowledge Doc had no children at best must be a fourth or fifth generation kissing cousin. I have a set of three brothers who were depresion area bank robbers who are decendants of a brother to a double great grandfather, are we related? They were real proven killers around Springfiels, Missouri in the early thirties. Call them what you will it matters not to me.

  4. Robbie Says:

    Rambling Bob, I am sorry for comming across so harsh to your opinions. All my life I have had to defend this man from wild claims made on him. I too have gotten my information from many sources, including wikipedia, the book, “Doc Holliday, The Life and Legend”, and written notes from my grandmothers house. Granted, I havent read these notes in some time and Im basing them off of memory alone. I also get a lot of information from a Ms Carolyn Cary, the county historian and editor of “The History of Fayette County,” published by the Fayette County Historical Society. I am indeed a cousin of Doc Holliday and I believe Im slightly closer than you claim I am. There are many myths that spur from this man, each town that he spent a substantial amount of time in, someone claims to own a set of his original dental tools. People claim that he had a rough family, which isnt true, the Holliday family to which Doc belonged was a very welcoming one. His elder brother, Henry Holliday snuck a mexican refugee boy accross the U.S. border who had been alienated from his family during the mexican american war to live at their Georgia residence. This is a different topic all together. While Doc Holliday did take a number of deaths, they were while he was a deputy, and while it might not make it justifies or perhaps “right” in a sense, it makes it legal. And there was never any recorse taken on its behaf. I quote Caroyln when I say, “Folks, this was a neat family, always adding to the community and doing for others. They and their descendants deserve only the truth being told about them, and this includes “Doc.” ” I would be happy to try to get a copy of the notes at my grandmothers house and send them to you if you would like to read them(written by Doc and by family members of Doc). Perhaps this will give you more insight and reveal more information the Readers Digest seemed to leave out.

  5. ramblingbob Says:

    I took no offence at you remarks, it just gave me something else to sound off on, this is what makes this thing interesting. I also did not mean to offend you personaly, I have people who killed in a more direct ancestory linage. My double great grandfather on my mothers, mothers side with his two brothers tracked down and killed 11 of 13 people responsable for the hanging of a third brother during the Civil War. I believe I have recounted this tale earlier on thei site. They delibertly hunted these killers down and despached them with malace afroe thought. They are burried in family history and a breif note in a history of the county during the war years. They simply did not have as good a press agent as your Doc did. Their actions in no way reflect on my life today. But yes i would be most interested in seeing anything you have on Doc Holliday.

  6. Robbie Says:

    press agents? i would hardley call a historian and countless books press agents…but I appreciate your ramblings, as it provided me with the oppritunity to be re-interested(if thats even a word) to Doc Holliday and the west, which I havent looked back to in some time.

  7. Robbie Says:

    by the way the clock on this message board thingy is really off, trust be guys, I have more to my life than to write the comment above 4 minutes before the ball drops haha

  8. CBurroughs Says:

    I too am related to Doc. Holliday. His grandmother on his fathers side was Rebecca Burroughs, my g-g-aunt. I have done alot of research on Doc. and believe he killed many men in his life time, both with a knife and with a gun. I do not believe he was a out-n-out murderer, but was hot tempered and did push some fights.
    I also have my doubts that he suffered from TB as his mother did, from what I find in history and his close with his friends, women, and strangers there are no accounts of any of them coming down with TB. I personally believe ne had Lung Cancer.

  9. ramblingbob Says:

    That is a interesting theroy, one that causes one to pause and ponder. I have never heard it advanced before. Thanks for visiting the site and your input. Had a fellow leave a comment on the Mysterious Dave Mather’s chapter drawing my attention to the close resemblance between him and Doc Holliday. Take a look if you can find photos of both.

  10. CBurroughs Says:

    I guess you got the idea I meant ‘closeness’ and ‘he’. There are a couple of lung disease’s he could of had besides ‘Cancer’ that would have caused his hacking up blood and coughing. Usually ‘lung cancer’ is fairly fast acting. But I do know of a case where I believe the smoking (since it was not lung cancer from smoking when it started) actually helped keep the ‘cancer’ from the ‘lung tissue’.
    I’m convinced he did not have ‘TB’ but the only way to prove it, would be to dig him up and try to get tissue samples…

  11. Chad Fortman Says:

    I love to hear stories on Doc and i loved the way Val played him in the movies. He might been a killer but it seemed he was a good friend also to the end. At least the movie made him that way.
    Love to know more on him and some day see his grave site

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