In 1871, Wyatt Earp faced five years in prison for stealing horses in Indian Territory. In preparation for trial, he and others were held at the jail in Van Buren. Temporarily. On May 3, Earp was among 10 men who escaped through a low attic crawl space and lowering themselves out a window.
Most of the fugitives were never recaptured. Wyatt Earp, of course, became a Kansas lawman about four years later—before making his name in Tombstone. There are some theories that the Indian Territory theft charges were trumped up, but that’s not been proven.