Tombstone FAQ

Hello! and welcome to the Tombstone FAQ. I have tried to include all the questions that I have answered for folks who have emailed me in the past.

Alright, Let's Get Started

What was Doc Holliday's Real Name?
John Henry Holliday was born on August 14, 1851 in Griffin, Georgia, to Henry Burroughs Holliday and Alica Jane (McKay) Holliday.

What is the Meaning of "I'm Your Hucklebery?"

This is from Dennis:
I'm researching the term "Huckleberry." I've been told that the term was actually "Hucklebearer" which was a term in the old south that meant pallbearer. Makes a lot of sense.

Or - behind door #2 is something from Dan Byram:
I was told the Huckleberry story has ties to Arthurian lore. A Knight, coming to the service of a damsel would lower his lance and receive a huckleberry garland from the lady ( or kingdom) he would be defending. Therefore, I am your huckleberry may well have been spoken to the Earps and the statement's meaning may be "I am your champion".

And, btw, it wasn't about Huck Finn, since he wasn't written until 1885

How did Tombstone get its name?
        In 1877, a prospector named Lewis found several specimens of horn silver and found an outcropping of silver ore. A.M. Franklin and Marcus Katz of Tucson grubstaked him (paid for his food) for a share of his claim. Sadly, he never found his way back to the strike he had discovered, but the news was out, and other prospectors arrived on the scene, one of them was named Ed.
       Edward Lawrence Schieffelin, born in Tioga County, Pennsylvania in October of 1847, had been searching for silver for over ten years, and he was drawn to the word of a strike in Arizona. He holed up in Brunckow's cabin, a white man's haven from the Apache. Brunckow's was frequented by some prospecters and many U.S. soldiers. It wasn't the most popular spot for prospecters, as most who had sought their fortune in the San Pedro Valley found death at the hands of the Apaches, if they found anything at all.
       Schieffelin kept prospecting though, to the amazement of the soldiers in the cabin. One of them confronted him one day:
"Why do you go off into them hills?"
"To collect rocks." Ed replied.
"You keep fooling around out there amongst them Apaches and the only rock you'll find will be your tombstone!" the soldier snapped.
       Schieffelin remembered this exchange when he struck it rich, and he named his claim "Toomstone." Hence the name of the town.

Were Wyatt and Mattie really Married?
       In November of 1870, a 22-year-old Wyatt marries 21-year-old Urilla Sutherland. She soon becomes pregnant, and dies in childbirth. Wyatt enters a brief criminal career as a horse thief after the death of his wife and child. His father Nicholas manages to talk some sense into the former lawman, and Wyatt heads north to hunt buffalo.
       It takes Wyatt a while to get over his grief. He is not seen with another woman until May of 1878, when he returns to Dodge City from Texas with Celia Ann Blaylock, whom he calls "Mattie." They appear to be married, but no one ever finds a marriage certificate. I don't think that they were married, and they didn't even have the 7 years together that would define them as a common law couple, so it is likely that Mattie could better be described as a girlfriend than a wife.
       So I only know of Wyatt actually going through with two marriage ceremonies - one with Urilla, and one with Josephine Marcus.

Do you have a Copy of the Script?
       Not yet. One fellow said he'd send me a copy, but then he never said how much the copies cost, and well phooey. One alert reader found a place on the web where The Script can be had for under $20. enjoy!

How do I Get a Copy of the Movie Poster?
This Place Looks promising; both reliable and cheap ($9). There are others, including some with Cool Wanted Posters, and there are other places selling posters, too - but don't go to cyber-cinema!! They guy who runs the place is mean, and they lost poor Gwyn Weger's order!

Did Doc Holliday really kill Johnny Ringo?
       Nobody knows. Ringo was found dead on July 14, 1882. His body was sitting on the entertwined roots of several oak trees, and was sporting a bullet hole from the right temple to the top of the head. Many claimed responsibility for the murder, as Ringo was one of the least-liked members of the western community, but no proof has been found to support any of them. Three leading possibilities, as far as noted gunfighters who were in the area, are: Johnny-Behind-the-Deuce O'Rourke, Buckskin Frank Leslie, and Wyatt Earp. However the first two had little or no motive. So the most widely held opinion is that Wyatt Earp killed Ringo, with the help of a posse hired by Wells Fargo.
       While some point to the lack of motives in the supposed killers and suggest suicide, others have said that Ringo's death could not have been a suicide, since no powder burns were found on his face. But the fact is that the body was likely left around to decompose for a while, and a good autopsy probably was not performed. So the powder burns could have just been hidden. What an odd way to commit suicide, though! his boots were off, his gunbelt was on upside down...what a weirdo!

Where can I find "My Friend, Doc Holliday" by Wyatt Earp?
       I bought mine at the Territorial Book Trader, which is a bookstore in Tombstone. You may find it elsewhere, if you get lucky. Wyatt never actually wrote the book; it was a fictional part of the movie. But some guy actually wrote what he figured would be in the book, if it had been written. I have it, and will put it online sometime maybe.

Why Does Doc say, "This is Funny..." when he Dies?
       Doc had tuberculosis. Most doctors, when he was diagnosed, gave him a few months to live. So he moved out west and begin living life as if he could die at any moment. He gambled, drank, and fought whenever he felt the need. Due to his lifestyle, he is reputed to have said that he would die with his boots on, and I believe his character does say this in older Earp/Holliday films. Therefore, Doc thinks that it's funny when he feels himself dying, and notices that his boots are not on, and his feet are bare.

Why does Virgil say, "Maiden name was Sullivan" referring to his wife?
       First off, her maiden name was Sullivan - thank you, Phyllis - her birth name was Alvira Packingham Sullivan.
But I think Virg was referring to John L. Sullivan, who was the last bare-knuckle heavyweight champ (boxing) of the world. One quote attributed to him was when he would walk into a bar and say, "I can lick any son of a bitch in the house" (which he would then demonstrate)
So I think Virg was implying that his wife was ready to go a few rounds!

Was either Buck Taylor or Turkey Creek Jack Johnson a Mason?
       You know what...I have no idea. searched around for the answer with no luck.

What the hell does Wyatt say to Louisa at the train station about her feet?
       (Thanks to Nick) He says: "You're so lovly darlin'. I'm at your feet, just at your feet." I'm assuming that he's implying that he bows down to her, for her lovely appearance. I guess I'll note here that all of the Earps' wives have been said to be involved in prostitution - remember how Ike Clanton said "Goddam pimps!" right before he got hauled off to jail? Interesting stuff.

Any More Questions? Too bad, sorry!

My access to this page is over as of June, 1998. So I can't answer email anymore, or put more answers to questions y'all have online! If anyone wants to take over the maintainence of the Tombstone FAQ, or any part of this site, go ahead and download it all!

And, if you're curious, much of the information on this page was discovered in the following two books. You can check them and others out if your questions is unanswered:
The Chronicles of Tombstone by Ben T. Traywick, and
The Illustrated Life & Times of Wyatt Earp by Bob Boze Bell.

THE TOMBSTONE FAQ, By Dylan Humphrey
Online since 28 Jul 1997, Last updated at

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