This was not like the Beatles crossing Abbey Road.
This is a great conversation. I think it is important. You have just done what few do, by making individuals of these ranchers. I found while researching Billy Allen that he never called them by a derogatory group name, such as the "Cowboys". I have since tried to do the same. In doing so, it helps to see when they, as individuals, take a different route in whatever they did in this story.
I do not believe that the McLaurys and the Clantons were connected at the hip. The McLaurys' business dealings were probably no business of the Clantons and vise versa. The younger men probably kept to themselves while their elders dealt with business. So, for Billy Clanton and Billy Claiborne to take an easier and shorter route to their rendezvous seems very possible and very probable to me. Frank McLaury did not need the Billys standing around listening to his business conversations.
The maps made up by hand of Tombstone were done so with the use of articles, directories, advertisements and the Sanborn maps of 1882 and after. We don't know what fencing and walls were put up in the stock and livery yards in 1881. And you can find the Le Van House on most of those 1881 maps, but it opened it Mar 1882.
This was not Abbey Road. In this I mean that the McLaurys, Clantons and Claiborn were not crossing the street in a nice tidy lineup like the Beatles. I don't think Tom was with this group of people crossing Allen Street. I think the possibility that Gary provides might be just what happened.
Billy Allen was not paying attention to the McLaurys, Clantons and Claiborn like Sills and Coleman were. He looked down the street and noticed the stock raisers, but did not concentrate on them. He was not part of the "Chicken Little" crowd. By the time he testified, he knew who had been in the vacant lot and I believe his testimony includes his knowledge, not what he really saw. I think he saw them all later in the lot and assumed they were all accounted for as they crossed Allen Street earlier.
Billy Allen "thought" he had seen Tom McLaury among the ranchers crossing Allen Street. From his testimony we can tell that he did not see Bill Clanton, but named him just the same. I think the men crossing Allen Street were not stretched out and easy to identify, especially if you weren't paying good attention. "I think Frank was leading a horse, or Billy Clanton, one of the two was leading a horse.", said Allen. Billy C. was on horseback, so was it Claiborn that Allen saw walking close to Frank? Billy Claiborne probably passed Frank as Billy Clanton, sitting atop his horse, passed Frank just before Billy talked to Coleman and that was who he saw.
Maybe you can help me out here as I can't find where Billy Claiborne mentioned Tom McLaury on Allen Street. The same goes for one of Coleman's testimonies (Turner). Coleman said there were two Clantons and two McLaurys (not mentioning Claiborne). He mentions Billy Clanton on horseback and Frank pulling his horse and Ike fetching up the rear. Why didn't Coleman mention Tom?
Claiborne said that he and Billy had a 15 minute conversation going on before Behan walked away from them. This, to me, sounds like Billy Clanton and Billy Claiborne arrived at the lot before the rest of their group and Behan.
I am a firm believer that there were two horses in the vicinity, but only one horse at the small gunfight area. I guess I am one of the few to believe this, but, oh well. There is no way, so far, of knowing where Billy Clanton may have tied his horse up... if I am correct.
The timing in these testimonies is very interesting.
Tom, Casey Tefertiller uses Gary McLelland's map in his book, but shows both routes taken. The McLaurys & Ike go to the rear entrance and Billy Clanton & Claiborne take the short cut(pages 210 &... more
Would the route that Gilchriese suggests be the same route we take on foot now: Allen St entrance, past the ticket booth, back through the lot, left just past the stables, and then right into the... more
Steve to what Gilchriese says was their route as most seem to believe they went on through the O. K. Corral and out onto Fremont? I don't know. Gilchriese map shows no Fremont entrance to the O. K.... more
Tom, Number 63 on Gilchriese's map, which is directly in line with the O. K. Corral, is labeled, "Vacant. Sometimes used as back entrance to O. K. Corral." There's more to his description, but this... more
Mullin or Gilchriese notes any source material about where they got the information on the Cowboys' route through the rear of the corral. Do they mention any source material on this in any other... more
Honestly, I'm not sure how Mullin and Gilchriese arrived at their conclusion about the route. Shillingberg, who knew Gilchriese and his work as well as anybody, has the cowboys walking together to... more
Without some digging I don't know. John Behan died on June 7, 1912, so Hayhurst would have been young if he did know him. What I do know is that Hayhurst knew several of the Tombstone old-timers and... more
Gary In Hayhursts file at AHS he comes across as the consumate historian. In other places he does not. Knowing several Tombstone old timers that might be a hint where he might have come up with his... more
I suggested Gilchrieses map and the back route as a possibility for discussion by putting up the first post and after I said he might not know what he was doing, I added “but who knows?” I think that ... more
Tom, This will have to be brief. For one thing, I have to be somewhere shortly, and for another, I don't have time to review the testimony the way I need to in order to give you the kind of answer... more
Robin "So, for Billy Clanton and Billy Claiborne to take an easier and shorter route to their rendezvous seems very possible and very probable to me." I have asked everyone I can think of to show... more
Hi Tom, What evidence is there that the two Billy's came out at the Fremont Street O.K. Corral exit? Who saw them there? Who testified to that? Billy Allen and Reuben Coleman, in a sense, followed... more
Robin However I note it is a position held by few for which no actual evidence is presented that I have been able to find from those who advocate for it Almost every person who has written about this ... more
Nick, I can't know for sure, because we can only speculate about what might have happened if Sheriff Behan hadn't shown up. My general belief has been that Billy was anxious to leave and that the... more
Since it appears from photographs that there were no hitching rails on the street, it was a misdemeanor to tie your horse to a tree, and I get the impression that people were encouraged to take their ... more
Gary, This morning I reviewed Billy Claiborne's testimony before the Coroner's Inquest and at the Spicer Hearing to see if there was anything I had previously overlooked that might clarify the route... more
Jerry, My guess is that Coroner Matthews initiated preliminary interviews with potential witnesses in order to determine which witnesses should later be called at the Coroner's Inquest. Exactly how... more
Matthews talked to the people that were on the scene that day, and based on those initial conversations put together a witness list for the inquest. The most curious thing about the coroner's inquest ... more
Gary, Two possibilities arise as to why the police involved in the shooting were not called to testify in the Coroner's inquest: 1.) Behan successfully managed to manipulate Matthews in the selection ... more
Jeff, Is it realistic to think that the Earps were already conferring with Fitch within a couple of hours of the street fight? I don't know, maybe they were, but I have never seen anything on it.... more
Gary I understood there was no information on how the cowboys proceeded once in the OK Corral but Coleman gave a clue. As you know Sills is the only one who testified to seeing the cowboys standing... more
Gary. Tom had business that he transacted earlier at the Eagle Meat market on Allen - that was when the witnesses (Gardner and Bilicke) saw him emerge with a bulge in his pants pocket. He certainly... more
If you look at the old photos of Bauer's you get a sense that it was a small building with no awnings, a large window in front, and a small porch/sidewalk. King says that she stepped into the outer... more
Those old photos of "Bauer's" have been deceiving many of us for quite some time. The building that was there at the time of the gunfight was much larger. About a year and a half ago, Gary McLelland... more
The usually used photos of Bauer's are of the rebuilt store taken many years later (see the one in Lake's book, for example). Mrs. King was pretty explicit as to where she was. She said that the... more
Somewhere I've seen a map that shows the area that was destroyed in the 1882 fire. Been looking for it, but can't find it. As I remember, the fire stopped west of Bauer's(which it destroyed), but... more
I was going through some of Bob Bell's books and found a picture of the original Oriental bar before the fire. It had several very tall doors that seem to stand open to allow easy in and out access.... more
Yes, I've seen those photos. The great photo Gary McLelland provided was taken from quite a distance, so it was not easy to see in detail. To me, it looked like there were two doors in the center of... more
I counted a set of 4 doors along the front of the building, and one at the corner. Think two on the side of 5th street from a drawing of the building. That was a large open air gambling den, easy in... more
Yes, the high doors, over 10ft high, I think there was two doors facing main street, and of course the corner door that Claiborne was waiting in front. Years ago I was standing at the side entrance... more
Geraldo I guess they did that because they thought the fight was in the entrance of the O.K. Corral and they knew fly's was involved. Thus i guess they merged those two thoughts, maybe? Interesting... more
Tom, Many, many, many years ago, when I was just a pup, I remember seeing similar photos in books about "The Old West" in the public library. I remember that the caption under one picture stated,... more
Gary, That was probably it. The only time I read Lake's book was when I checked it out of the library those many years ago. I think I saw another book there on old west or Arizona history with one of ... more
Bruce, Thanks for the link to the painting. Although it was done by Forsythe, it's not the same one that was in the issue of Wild West magazine. There are similarities, but that one was more detailed ... more
to the "threat" well before the cowboys reached Fremont Street. All of the movements on Allen and Fourth, as well as the reports that the cowboys as a group had moved into the O. K. Corral were the... more