I’m curious about Doc Manning, the man who killed gunfighter Dallas Stoudenmire. What’s his story?

John Crawley

Salem, Oregon

Born George Felix Manning in Mobile, Alabama, he studied medicine at the University of Alabama and in Paris, France. He returned from Europe to join the Confederacy. After the war, he and his three brothers—Jim, Frank and John—vowed never to shave until the South rose again. They kept that promise.

For a time, the Manning boys joined other Confederates in exile in Mexico. George eventually settled in Giddings, Texas, and practiced medicine.  Doc was hot tempered and once got into a knife fight with a rival doctor.

His most famous fight occurred in El Paso with Marshal Dallas Stoudenmire. The Manning brothers, who owned a couple of saloons, began feuding with Dallas and his brother-in-law Doc Cummings. When Jim Manning shot and killed Cummings, Stoudenmire and Doc Manning bellied up to the bar to have a “peace talk” on September 18, 1882.

Stoudenmire was drunk (as usual), and an argument ensued. The two went for their pistols, and the little doctor, who already had his gun hand in his pocket, fired. His first shot hit the marshal in the shoulder; the second slammed into Stoudenmire’s chest, knocking him through the batwing doors and into the street.

Stoudenmire still managed to get off a shot that hit Doc in the arm. The two then got into a wrestling match. Jim Manning arrived about that time and shot Stoudenmire in the head, killing him. Doc then grabbed a gun and began pistol whipping the dead man.

Jim Manning was tried for murder but was acquitted. The brothers left Texas for Arizona, where Frank died in the insane asylum. John roamed the West before dying in Los Angeles. Doc resumed his medical practice in Arizona. He died in 1925 and is buried in the Citizen’s Cemetery in Flagstaff.

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