Tombstone Jackpot

Earp signatures are rare, which explains why this city license was the auction’s top-selling lot that had ties to the famous Tombstone gunfight. Virgil Earp (right) signed the back of the brothel license for Madam Emma Parker, issued about a month before the O.K. Corral gunfight, on September 14, 1881, and denied for lack of payment six days later; $9,500. - Courtesy Heritage Auctions -

The most famous gunfight of the Wild West era took place on the streets of Tombstone, Arizona Territory, on October 26, 1881. Over the past 135 years, written or printed materials with links to the famous shoot-out have miraculously survived the dust bins where such relics are usually relegated after their short-term usefulness.

Collectors cashed in on the opportunity to purchase some of this ephemera at Heritage Auctions’ “Legends of the West” sale in Dallas, Texas, on June 11. Featured here are the top-selling gunfight-related pieces of paper amazingly preserved for gunfight aficionados to relish and save for generations to come.

Robert “Sandy Bob” Crouch made his first stagecoach run in Arizona Territory on June 21, 1880, the day the railroad auctioned off town lots for Benson. Crouch ran his stage line out of Tombstone until 1887, when he sold his company. This “Sandy Bob” ticket to Contention City dates between those years; $2,400. He’s shown here as one of the baseball nines for the Tombstone Tigers.
Robert “Sandy Bob” Crouch made his first stagecoach run in Arizona Territory on June 21, 1880, the day the railroad auctioned off town lots for Benson. Crouch ran his stage line out of Tombstone until 1887, when he sold his company. This “Sandy Bob” ticket to Contention City dates between those years; $2,400. He’s shown here as one of the baseball nines for the Tombstone Tigers. – All auction images courtesy Heritage Auctions/Historical photos True West Archives –

 

Earp signatures are rare, which explains why this city license was the auction’s top-selling lot that had ties to the famous Tombstone gunfight. Virgil Earp (right) signed the back of the brothel license for Madam Emma Parker, issued about a month before the O.K. Corral gunfight, on September 14, 1881, and denied for lack of payment six days later; $9,500. - All auction images courtesy Heritage Auctions -
Earp signatures are rare, which explains why this city license was the auction’s top-selling lot that had ties to the famous Tombstone gunfight. Virgil Earp signed the back of the brothel license for Madam Emma Parker, issued about a month before the O.K. Corral gunfight, on September 14, 1881, and denied for lack of payment six days later; $9,500.

 

 

The same day of the O.K. Corral shoot-out, a teller stamped this bank draft payable to Hawkins, Boarman & Company, wholesale dealers in wines, liquors, oils and cigars; $1,700.
The same day of the O.K. Corral shoot-out, a teller stamped this bank draft payable to Hawkins, Boarman & Company, wholesale dealers in wines, liquors, oils and cigars; $1,700.

 

The afternoon of the gunfight on October 26, 1881, the McLaurys and Clantons purchased their ammunition at George Spangenberg’s gun shop. The Tombstone gun dealer signed this receipt two months prior, on August 30; $1,000.
The afternoon of the gunfight on October 26, 1881, the McLaurys and Clantons purchased their ammunition at George Spangenberg’s gun shop. The Tombstone gun dealer signed this receipt two months prior, on August 30; $1,000.

 

CW_51186-Letter-George-E-Goodfellow-after-OK-Corral-gunfight_scaled
George E. Goodfellow requests the city of Tombstone appoint him health officer in this letter written on February 7, 1881. That winter, the doc’s testimony at the Spicer Hearing aided the Earp brothers in gaining a murder acquittal for their roles in the O.K. Corral gunfight. The doctor is shown riding El Rosillo, a gift he received after he aided survivors of an 1887 earthquake that struck Sonora, Mexico; $1,200.

Related Posts

  • Imagining Tombstone

    What’s it mean to market authenticity? That’s the question Kara McCormack, a postdoctoral teaching fellow…

  • According to George Parsons’ journal the first circus (Ryland’s) landed in Tombstone on September 22,…

  • One of the forgotten parts of Tombstone—shown briefly in the movie Tombstone—was Chinatown. It was…