Records of 1880 make it easy to elimate the Earps from the Feast that year. Morgan Earp got a shaky start as Wells Fargo messenger from August 1st. His special relationship with the company allowed for him being used in various stints for service asspecial deputy sheriff Beginning of the Feast however, he was back on the Tombstone to Benson run with short shotgun across his lap:
"Shotgun Messenger. Morgan Earp, during the temporary absence of John [Bob] Paul, will officiate as shotgun messenger for Wells, Fargo & Co. between here and Benson." [Epitaph – Aug. 28, 1880]
On September 4 Morg was called back as Special to transport a prisoner to county jail:
"Geo. McKinney was taken to Tucson by Special Deputy Morgan Earp, on Saturday last." [Epitaph - 9/11/1880]
This visit to Tucson gave Morg opportunity for a brief stopover at San Augustine Fair which was scheduled to last one more week. Possibly it was at this venue where Morgan Earp first met gamblers Doc Holliday and Anthony Kraker just down from Prescott. We must keep in mind that Morg Earp had never met Holliday before fall 1880. This is significant when considering an "Earp gang" existing to cause havoc that year in Tucson.
Morg went directly back to Tombstone, where, on Sept. 8 he was handed a warrant to nab a man on charge of grand larceny. This caused Morg another lengthy absence from his messenger job as a chase ensued (wearing rain slickers) which took Earp just across the line into Sonora where he made the capture, resulting in a transport back to Tucson. (I already revealed to you concerning the dust-up en route between Morg and Pony Deal.) By the time of Earp and prisoner reaching Tucson the Feast would be about concluded.
Here’s the kicker - all during this time Wyatt Earp was very busy running the sheriff’s office at Tombstone - in and out of town (well-documented)- also he was short-handed with Deputy Babcock in bed sick for about two months with only Constable Miller (That’s why Morg was needed so much). This eliminates Wyatt altogether from participating in "Earp gang" activities at the Feast.
Meanwhile Allie Earp had gone to Colton early in August to visit the folks:
"Mrs. Virgil Earp departed by yesterday’s stage for a visit to her old home in San Bernardino. We wish her a pleasant trip and speedy return." [Epitaph-8/4/1880]
On Tuesday August 24 Virgil had his turn to go visiting his folks in Colton:
"Virgil Earp took his departure for California by yesterday’s coach on a visit to the old folks." [Epitaph – 8/25/1880]
I would think this tends to eliminate the possiblity of Virgil every laying eyes on the Feast of 1880, since he was in another state.
The newspaper article I read was an editorial on the fiesta and critical of what it turned into. They characterized it as a large gambling festival that ran for 5 weeks. I will have to go back and... more
Convincing the convinced K.t.K.,Tue Apr 24 11:40
Reading about the festival and the grounds in Levin Park was interesting. I had no idea the facility was that big and had that much variety. Music, shooting galleries, bowling, gambling etc. Alex... more
And besides all that fandago there was horse racing at the Silver Lake track not far away where they specialized in the 500 yard dash. Masquerade Balls came off all during the year at the Park. Alex... more