Tombstone Tragedy John Clum found sadness in southeast Arizona.

Tombstone Tragedy John Clum Mary Clum True West Magazine
John and Mary Clum.

John Clum is best known for his time in Tombstone as mayor and founding editor of The Tombstone Epitaph.  But that period was also one of personal tragedy.

In December 1880, he and wife Mary had a daughter named Bessie.  It must have been a difficult birth; Mary died a week later, not long before John was elected town mayor.  She is buried in Boot Hill Cemetery. The baby was sickly from the start. Clum sent her back to Washington, DC to be cared for by her grandparents, but she died about seven months after her mother.

How did John Clum’s first wife die?

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.