A Rose by Any Other Name Was Earp’s wife called Josie…or Sadie?

photo wyatt earp josie earp
Wyatt and Josie Earp.

Just what did folks call Wyatt Earp’s third wife, Sarah Josephine Marcus Earp?  The movies suggest that everyone referred to her as Josie. But history says Wyatt called her Sadie.  And a Los Angeles Times article, published the day after Earp died in January 1928, also refers to her as Sadie.

The lady herself tried to downplay that name after Wyatt died—probably because there was a prostitute named Sadie Mansfield in Tombstone during the Earp years.  There’s some evidence that the two women were one and the same.

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What do you think?

Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.