The Earps Threatened C.S. Fly?

Illustration of the O.K. Corral shootout by Bob Boze Bell
Illustration of the O.K. Corral shootout by Bob Boze Bell

C.S. Fly’s photo studio/boardinghouse was right next to the empty lot where the Tombstone shootout occurred on October 25, 1881.  That’s led to a big question: why didn’t he get a photo of the fight or aftermath?

It’s not absolutely clear, although it’s likely that the fight broke out and ended too quickly for Fly to set up his equipment.  He also helped disarm a mortally wounded Billy Clanton afterward, so Fly was already busy.

One story says the Earps threatened Fly when he thought about getting a photo, but there’s no confirmation of that.

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.