The CBZ Newswire

Tombstone, Arizona: Boxing In The Wild West (1880-84)

by on Jul.04, 2014, under Boxing News

By Christpher James Shelton

 

 Prospector #1 (1877): “All Tombstone needs is some water and good company.”

Prospector #2: “That’s all they need in Hell!”

 

Prospector James Young

Prospector James Young

On Friday night, October 30th, 1880, Tombstone Marshal Frederick G. White had been informed by physicians that he had no hope for recovery. The bullet wound was unusual for having a downward trajectory, “Four inches below and three inches to the left of the naval.” Marshal White had been ‘accidentally’ shot by a larger cowboy, Curly Bill, on Wednesday while on duty. Sleep and opiates had been encouraged and provided for two days. The bullet pierced the small intestine while making its exit from the pelvis, “through the great sacosciatic notch,” which had turned into painful bowels inflammation along with peritonitis infection. White calmly received the news that his death was minutes or a couple hours away. Marshal White was surrounded by his father and friends. “(White) sank into a stupor which ended in death in a few moments.”

The heroes of Tombstone were not guys shooting one another, but Professor Sherman, Mrs. C.A. Stanton, Mrs. M.L. Gaston, Miss Su. F. Santee and Mrs. M.P. Price who taught grades 1-6. The heroes of Tombstone were those men and women who sought funding for better facilities at the school. The male heroes of Tombstone were those who donated their time to construct and paint the school, 50 x 30 feet, in January, 1881. While Doc Holliday was gunning people down in the Autumn of 1881 there were 188 students in school. By the following year there were 276 students with average daily attendance of 240. Heroes of Tombstone included the Presbyterian Church members who donated their structure to accommodate the growing student population.

Tombstone tourism (2014): “Doc Holliday’s Gunfight Palace. Indoor gunfights in the Town Too Tough To Die…. Doc Holliday’s Emporium. Doc Holliday merchandise – Buffalo Soldiers items – Gifts and Souvenirs…. Doc Holliday’s Saloon. Full service bar – Tombstone’s newest!”

 

 (#1-10) Tombstone Boxing Challenges (1880)

Daily Nugget: “I hereby challenge, Mr. Harry Fowler, late of New York City, for a prize fight, according to the rules of the prize ring for $250 a side. Weight to be 120 pounds. Time to suit himself. Money and man to be found at the Arcade Saloon. JOHNNY LANNON. Tombstone, Nov. 2, 1880.” The following day’s reply: “The challenge published in the NUGGET by Johnny Lannon to Harry Fowler, has been accepted by the latter, who has placed $50 as forfeit in the hands of the proprietor of the Arcade Saloon, the remaining $200 to be up by tomorrow evening. The fight will be with hard gloves and take place within twenty miles of Tombstone. Both these gentlemen are light weights and will fight at 120 pounds each, and as hard gloves is to be used we incline to the opinion that the punishment of both will be greater than the naked hand. It is generally believed that both parties will come up with the money and the match be made.” It is unclear whether the Lannon/Fowler boxing bout occurred but less than three weeks later Lannon was preparing for another battle: “Another prize fight has been arranged, this time between parties who will undoubtedly come to scratch, Johnny Lannon and Harry Anderson, the latter the champion lightweight of Glasgow. He has been in the ring on many occasions and has shown himself possessed of both skill and endurance. Both seem confident of winning the fight and stakes, $500, but having a wholesome respect for each other’s prowess will devote some time to training, so that the contest will not come off for about three weeks. Considerable money has already been put up on the result.”

A problem with boxing historians is they often possess a privileged existence with their professional job so their hobby is fantasizing a gladiator world of machismo boxers beating each other into glorious senselessness to satiate their own mundane lives. Professional boxers, like any occupation, should be paid so hopefully money is the primary motivation. Thus, a 19th century saloon owner might sponsor a pugilist so the stake money was often raised through business contacts. If the pugilist was successful it brought local fame that could assist the saloon owner by bringing in future customers. The pugilist could potentially earn income as their saloon greeter without throwing or receiving a punch to the mouth.

Tombstone boxing matches were mostly with gloves (sometimes bare-fisted), but were not bare-knuckle as sometimes incorrectly published by East Coast newspapers. The historical recognition of such a mistake occurs when rounds are listed because bare-knuckle bouts are scored by time. The white heavyweight boxing Champion was a popular 6-foot, 200 pounds, Irishman who fought bare-knuckle, Paddy Ryan. The same week as the Lannon/Fowler boxing challenge in Tombstone, deputy U.S. Marshal, Virgil Earp, and his younger brother Wyatt were building dwelling houses for their workers at the Comstock Mine. Tombstone changed status from a town to an incorporated city on February 1st, 1881.

Tombstone tourism (2014): “Crazy Annie’s Bordello. Step Back to the 1880’s at Crazy Annie’s. Crazy Annie’s Bordello Bed & Breakfast and Saloon features four cozy rooms named after ‘working women’ of the 1880’s. And the saloon is right on the premises.”

 

(#2-10) The Murder of an Apache Shaman (1881)

According to Colonel Carr’s official report to Major-General McDowell on September 13th, Carr with 6 officers, 79 soldiers and 23 “Indian scouts” arrived at Cibecue creek to arrest a shaman named (attempted phonetic spelling), “Nokay” or “Nockay Delklinne” for stirring fellow White Mountain Apaches against white people and/or soldiers. The formal request, August 14th, for military intervention was by the criminal agent of a trading post, J.C. Tiffany. The information that follows is an attempt at truth made difficult due to the misconduct and perjury of the soldiers and officers of the 6th Cavalry during the aftermath reports. Though agent Tiffany requested that Nokay Delklinne be executed, Colonel Carr insisted his intention was only to arrest the “medicine man” until the issue of an uprising was resolved. The U.S. War department annual report to President Arthur admitted that upon arrival the Apaches were not in the act or planning of warfare. Major-General McDowell’s report: “The fact of the troops finding the medicine man with his people in their homes, where they had been planting corn, shows that, whatever may have been their ulterior plans, they were not then for war.”

The peaceful Apaches became agitated when Colonel Carr ordered that their Shaman leader was being arrested without cause. Some of the soldiers believed, according to their future reports or recollection memoirs, that Nokay Delklinne possessed a magical spell with the ability to exterminate white men. Major-General McDowell: “(The Apaches) had been disturbed by idle, mischievous and false reports; were apprehensive of danger from the troops; uneasy and restless but not then hostile.” There had been previous distrust by Colonel Carr toward the loyal Apache scouts and had ordered them disarmed on August 14th: “The scouts do not like it, and this time considered it a sign of distrust, but I could not reconcile it to my duty to keep their arms when there was so much and so general belief in their disposition to treachery.” On September 13th, during the apprehension of the Apache shaman somebody fired a shot, and by all military accounts, the unarmed Nokay Delklinne was mortally wounded. Colonel Carr: “The medicine man was killed as soon as they commenced firing.” Other soldiers reported he only appeared dead with his wife sprawled atop him crying. These soldiers insisted that when shooting had become general on both sides that Nokay Delklinne arose from the dead – and had to be killed again.

White Mountain Apache tourism (2014): “’Dagot`ee` – Hello and welcome to the new website of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Our home is here in Eastern Arizona, where we have lived for thousands of years. We believe that we come from the Earth, and that we belong to the earth. Our beautiful home was given to us by our creator. Which is rich in tradition, resources, wildlife, and outdoor recreation.”

 

Chiricahua

Chiricahua

 (#3-10) Arizona’s Elusive Fugitive (1881)

Shot in the right leg – still carries the bullet inside. Shot through the left forearm. Shot in the left side. Shot in the back. Wounded in the right leg with a saber. Wounded on top of head with the butt of a musket. Goyaltha has been attacked often by the Mexican army, but always survives. He has killed so many Mexican men that he has lost count and concern. America, the growing, dominating force convinced him to surrender once. But that was slow death. It is better to die a free man than to live life as a mistreated slave. The strategy of Goyaltha was fairly simple: If Chiricahua flee from the Confederate (Arizona/Texas) or American armies, they head to Mexico, freezing American troops at the border. If Chiricahua flee from the Mexican army, they head to America (Arizona), freezing Mexican troops at the border. It is best to lose oneself in mountainous terrain, with no wind as the sun blazes, until a tired, thirsty army stops the search. Much of this status changed September 30, 1881, when America’s 6th Cavalry was soundly defeated. Chief of the agency police, Albert Sterling, was among the dead. America wanted the chief and general (warrior) captured to face justice. Those two, along with other Chiricahua, hide within Mexican territory. The general, Goyaltha, renamed ‘Geronimo’ (air-on-ee-mo) by his Mexican pursuers, became both America and Mexico’s most wanted fugitive.

White Mountain Apache tourism (2014): “Looking for fun and excitement? Hon-Dah Casino has the answer, and is located high up in the pines. With a fully functional Hotel and Conference Center, along with an arcade, a year round swimming pool, it is a great place to start. Then off to Sunrise Park Resort, which turns into a powdery paradise in the winter, with scenic lift rides, a fourth of July fireworks celebration, an awesome Archery shootout and great fishing at sunrise lake.”

 

 (#4-10) Gunfight Near The O.K. Corral (1881)

Less than three weeks before the most famous (or infamous) moment in Tombstone history, The Nugget published an October 7th boxing challenge: “I will fight any man in Arizona for the light-weight championship of Arizona, for from $100 to $5,000 a side, subject to the rules of the American Prize Ring. I mean business, and can be found at Mike Martin’s saloon. JAMES CASSIDY, ‘or Australian Jim’.”

Of the three famous Earp’s – Virgil, Wyatt and Morgan, only the former Tombstone city police commissioner was a truly abiding lawman. Unfortunately, his temper on October 26th led to the massacre of two men and a boy: Tom McLoury, Frank McLoury and 16 years-old Billy Clanton. Marshal Earp had reduced the city police force from six officers to two. Following an all-night poker game involving Ike Clanton, Marshal Earp, Tom McLoury and Sheriff Behan, there had been threats against Earp’s life. Ike Clanton had made idle threats and was intentionally unarmed the following day when Marshal Earp intended to confront him. Ike Clanton’s younger brother was with him as were two respected ranch owners, the McLoury brothers who were in Tombstone to settle a butcher debt. Tom McLoury was unarmed while Frank McLoury refused to turn over his gun to Sheriff Behan because he had not threatened anyone and planned to leave the city after settling his debt. Sheriff Behan has been portrayed by future Earp historians as a coward and borderline criminal, but he was in town to do his job, which was to prevent violence. Marshal Earp’s poor idea was to deputize his two younger brothers and their friend believing an overwhelming display of armed force would best prevent violence. It was a disastrous decision with a betrayal by those whom he trusted. Wyatt Earp had assaulted an unarmed Tom McLoury with a gun butt to head earlier. Sheriff Behan had been receiving a shave when news reached the barber shop that the Earps were going to commit armed violence, pleaded with Virgil as he spoke with the others to turn around so that he could convince the ranchers to leave peacefully. Marshal Earp continued with his plan so when he confronted the five men (which included Billy Clanton’s armed friend, Billy Claiborne), Wyatt Earp said aloud, “You sons of bitches, you have been looking for a fight and now you have it.” Marshal Earp ordered, “Throw up your hands.” Tom McLoury, as he had done with Sheriff Behan minutes earlier opened his coat to prove he was unarmed, “I have nothing,” while teenaged Billy Clanton pleaded, “Don’t shoot me. I don’t want to fight.”

POW – POW – Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday used their legal deputy status to open fire on Frank McLoury. POW – POW – POW – the first five bullets were from the Earp/Holliday clan before there was returned fire. Frank McLoury was shot in the belly and began firing at Morgan Earp. The unarmed Ike Clanton, along with Billy Claiborne, was not targeted and fled the scene safely. Tom McLoury and Billy Clanton were the first to die with a staggered Frank McLoury walking away and shooting. The conclusion was cold-blooded murder with charges filed against everyone in the Earp/Holliday clan except the marshal. A political ruling by a dishonest Judge Spicer acquitted the three fake deputies of triple homicide so that Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday were freed from jail without a jury trial. Morgan Earp had been seriously wounded and was under medical care throughout the legal proceedings. Marshal Earp had no idea his brother and Doc Holliday (whom he despised) had planned to commit illegal murders. It is only speculation whether Wyatt Earp knew of the ambush but he was smarter (or more level-headed) than Morgan and Doc and doubtfully would have placed his older brother at such risk. On December 28th, shots were fired from a 2nd floor business as Virgil Earp left the Oriental Saloon – POW – POW – POW – it is unclear how many bullets were fired in ambush. Virgil had been shot during the previous “O.K. Corral” massacre but this armed ambush landed buckshot that shattered his left arm, and for a couple days, it appeared it might need amputation. Virgil was the most family oriented of the five brothers, with a loving wife, but the permanently paralyzed lawman was forced to leave Tombstone seriously wounded. Virgil Earp and his wife became respected within the San Francisco law enforcement community, and as a testament to his integrity always claimed the O.K. Corral incident was the worst moment of his proud professional career.

Tombstone tourism (2014): “The Snack Shack. Across the street from the OK Corral. Quick Serve Fast Foods, Snacks, Beverages, Bottled Water and more!…. Ike Clanton ceramic mug. Ike Clanton as painted by local artist and writer Joyce Aros. This mug is perfect for your hot tea or coffee beverages. $16.99…. Tombstone Bordello B&B. Bed & breakfast features a swimming pool and wedding gazebo.”

 

 (#5-10) A Game of Pool (1882)

A March 18th invitation to the two most famous pugilists in America via Tombstone Epitaph: “PRESCOTT has a citizen who is determined to immortalize that mountain borough. His name is Charles Meyers. Charlie is on the shoulder from the word go…. He sends a challenge to ‘John L. Sullivan, of Boston, Mass., Paddy Ryan, of Troy, New York, or any other man in America’, to fight them for the sum of $3,000; Queensbury rules. In order to bring about a fight in Prescott, he offers to allow any pugilist travelling expenses coming to that place. For the sake of the capital of Arizona it is to be hoped that there will be some man found in America bold enough to ‘tread on Charlie’s trail’.” There had been a pugilist revolution of sorts the previous month as Sullivan had dethroned Ryan in an illegal 16 minutes bare-knuckle bout in Mississippi with the Irishman unable to begin the 9th round on time. Sullivan had fought his previous bouts with gloves. There would not be another illegal bare-knuckle heavyweight title bout for more than six years.

On Saturday night, March 18th, Morgan Earp and Robert Hatch were at the latter’s saloon in Tombstone. They had met at the theater when Earp said, “Let’s shoot a game of pool.” They had concluded one game and were playing a second. Earp’s back was toward the door while Hatch prepared to shoot. POW – POW – patrons dropped to the floor while Earp fell to the ground wounded. The assassins, Pete Spence and a Native-American named, Charley, fled the scene. Within hours, Morgan Earp was dead.

The coroner’s inquest jury implicated former deputy sheriff, Frank Stilwell, a Caucasian named Freise and another Native-American whose name remains unknown as co-conspirators in the murder plan. Dr. George Goodfellow, surgeon: “(Earp) died about 11 or 12 o-clock Saturday night, March 18, from a gunshot wound. The ball entered the back on the left side of the spinal column, about the tenth rib, passed through the body, emerging about the region of the gall-bladder, cutting in its course one of the great blood vessels.”

Tombstone’s violence that erupted involving the Earps was not due to a high ratio of criminals versus lack of law enforcement, but the introduction of politics. There were at least two political sides or more involving any issue, but in particular money and this is when disputes lead to corruptive violence. Tom McLoury was friendly with the ranchers who had lived in Cochise County before the founding of Tombstone or the arrival of the Earps, and he was aware the best tactic against them was not guns but political channels via democracy. The Earps despised an intelligent man such as McLoury while the majority of Tombstone citizens would not vote for an Earp throughout elections. The Earp financial supporters did not concern itself with democracy because as long as they could control the judges and one local newspaper, The Tombstone Epitaph, they would overpower the town. For Wyatt Earp, and in particular Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday, they grew impatient with the slow, smothering process of politics and decided when Marshal Earp briefly deputized them they could murder Tom and Frank McLoury (who was talented with a gun) ambush-style with legal impunity. Judge Spicer would free them while The Tombstone Epitaph would pretend they did nothing wrong. Judge Spicer did not want the McLoury brothers and Billy Clanton killed nor allowing multiple homicides to elude justice, but it happened and three males were dead. So he publicly chastised Marshal Earp for deputizing his brothers and their criminal friend, sincerely respected Wyatt Earp and felt Morgan Earp was duped by the immoral Holliday into doing something stupid.

Tombstone tourism (2014): “WYATT EARP DAYS – An event in honor of one of Tombstone’s most famous lawmen, Wyatt Earp. Activities include gunfights, chili cook-off, hangings, and an 1880’s fashion show.”

 

President Arthur

President Arthur

 (#6-10) Chester Arthur and Arizona (1882)

Another reason for Tombstone and the region surrounding’s escalating violence had been the ineffective leadership of Arizona Territorial governor, John C. Fremont. Other Arizona government officials attempted to contact Washington D.C., but the nation had come to a standstill with the assassination of President James Garfield, which was a lingering death for two months. Fremont had been an ambitious, though not particularly moral, military leader in the conquest of California’s land from Mexico. Fremont’s dream had been to rule California, or perhaps succeed as dictator of a separate nation. When ordered to relinquish military command by General Kearny, Fremont responded with enough resistance to be charged and convicted for mutiny. President Polk, the instigator of stealing modern California from Mexico, commuted Fremont’s military punishment. In 1856, Fremont became the first Presidential candidate for the modern Republican Party, finishing 2nd place behind Pennsylvanian, James Buchanan, 174-114 electoral votes. For a man of grand vision and delusions the eventual appointment as Territorial governor of Arizona in 1878, thirty years after his California military triumph, seemed for him anti-climactic politically. Fremont was derelict in his job as governor, did not seem to care until he was replaced in early 1882 by Frederick Augustus Tritle, who did not hesitate to request Washington D.C. assistance.

President Arthur’s message to Congress (April 26th): “By recent information received from official and other sources I am advised that an alarming state of disorder continues to exist within the Territory of Arizona, and that lawlessness has already gained such head there as to require a resort to extraordinary means to repress it.

The governor of the Territory, under date of the 31st ultimo, reports that violence and anarchy prevail, particularly in Cochise County and along the Mexican border; that robbery, murder, and resistance to law have become so common as to cease causing surprise, and that the people are greatly intimidated and losing confidence in the protection of the law. I transmit his communication herewith and call especial attention thereto. In a telegram from the General of the Army dated at Tucson, Arizona, on the 11th instant, herewith transmitted, that officer states that he hears of lawlessness and disorders which seem well attested, and that the civil officers have not sufficient force to make arrests and hold the prisoners for trial or punish them when convicted. Much of this disorder is caused by armed bands of desperados known as Cowboys, by whom depredations are not only committed within the Territory, but it is alleged predatory incursions are made there from into Mexico.

To meet the present exigencies the governor asks that provision be made by Congress to enable him to employ and maintain temporarily a volunteer militia with the same powers and authority as are conferred by the laws of the Territory force to aid the civil authorities…. On the ground of economy as well as effectiveness, however, it appears to me to be more advisable to permit the cooperation with the civil authorities of a part of the Army as Posse Comitatus.”

Tombstone tourism (2014): “HELLDORADO DAYS – Check out the most rip roaring celebration in Tombstone during Helldorado days! Helldorado is held every third weekend in October and consists of gunfight re-enactment shows, street entertainment, fashion shows and a family oriented carnival.”

 

 (#7-10) The Tucson Ring (1882)

Eleven Apaches stood before the American Federal court. They had been accused by J.C. Tiffany, the agent assigned their jurisdiction, of leading an uprising known as the ‘Cibecu Affair’. The grand jury, asserted Tiffany, must severely punish these Apaches as a signal to other ‘savages’ to mind their masters. Instead, the grand jury indicted Tiffany and his agency post: “The grand jury little thought when they began this investigation that they were about to open a Pandora’s Box of iniquities seldom surpassed in the annals of crime.” The jury concluded that U.S. obligations through written contracts/treaties had been ignored. Meat and flour, rationed for a week, would last a day. The jury concluded that agent Tiffany was almost solely responsible for the uprising. They concluded that he ran an enterprise that stole Apache rations for an expanding black market. If Apaches escaped, or if they did not, requests were fraudulently made by Tiffany for additional supplies and that his demands were fulfilled unchecked. The jury concluded that the eleven accused, regardless of birth origin, possessed American civil rights. That to hold them for fourteen months, barely feeding or clothing them, not formally charging them with any crime was un-American and unacceptable. The jury concluded that probable guilty persons bribed their way free while agent Tiffany lied in all his actions and deeds. The jury felt sorrow over tale of Chiricahua woe. Forced into farming, without any training and ill equipped, as U.S. army personnel stood by and laughed at their initial ineptitude. The Tucson Daily Star published the grand jury conclusions along with its own indignant editorial.

Tucson Grand Jury: “The management of the Indian reservations in Arizona was a fraud upon the government and that the constantly recurring outbreaks of the Indians and their consequent devastations were due to criminal neglect or apathy of the Indian agent at San Carlo. Never until the present investigations of the Grand Jury have laid bare the infamy of agent Tiffany could a proper idea be formed of the fraud and villainy which are constantly practiced in open violation of law and in (defense) of public justice.” Within days the U.S. Attorney General, Benjamin Harris Brewster, worked with the District Attorney and Marshal’s Office to reach Tiffany in New York City: “Had you come 15 minutes later I would have been on my way to Europe.” Tiffany was charged with ten felonies including embezzlement, perjury and conspiracy to defraud the government. Tiffany’s bail was set at $6,000 which he paid the same day. Tiffany’s strategy to avoid prosecution was threatening to embarrass the United States government by informing on everyone involved. Tiffany told the New York Times: “I don’t believe they will press charges. Too many persons would be indicted.” Eventually, most of the charges were dropped while Tiffany cooperated on the maze of contracts that was four years hassle to straighten. By July, 1891, Tiffany was nominated by the Prohibitionists political party as their candidate for Delegate to Congress from the Territory of New Mexico, but was not a factor in the final vote.

There is no proof of a magical or spiritual ‘spell’ placed on white men by Nokay Delklinne. The United States military officers do not acknowledge such an attempt other than oratory politics within the White Apache Mountain community. STILL – since the alleged spiritual strike by the acknowledged Shaman leader (following his assassination), it reached the highest levels of the United States government, including President Arthur. It led to permanent reform that altered the Native reservations from a prison into a home. It must be coincidence, but the white American power has been exterminated from the sovereign tribal land which now belongs to the White Mountain Apache descendants.

White Mountain Apache tourism (2014): “Our home is one of the best places in the world for Trophy Elk hunting, drawing in hunters from all over the world, to get a chance at world class Trophy Bull Elk. Want to get a taste of the local life? Visit the tourism site to see a list of the ceremonial dances, during which visitors must abide by a visitors code of conduct. Then there is the annual Hon-Dah Pow Wow, and the annual WMAT Fair & Rodeo. So come join us! ‘Ashoog’. Thank you.”

 

 (#8-10) Billy The Kid II (1882)

New Mexico native, William Bonney

Aka/ Billy The Kid

Shot down by lawman, Pat Garrett

21 year old, Billy Claiborne decides:

“A dead man don’t need a name –

I’m the new Billy The Kid”

Claiborne has learned from Ringo and others –

Newspapers are the key to fame

But to be a ‘star’

You have to kill a ‘name’

“Someone like Buckskin Frank Leslie”

Claiborne confronts the Tombstone bartender

Announces his plans to murder Leslie

Buckskin Frank tells the Kid to get lost

Claiborne insists upon gun exchange

Announces when Leslie exits the saloon –

They will dual no matter

Several people attempt to talk to ‘Billy’

Try to convince him to leave the street

Claiborne insists that he must remain

Meanwhile, Frank Leslie possesses secret

Slips out hidden door toward back

Sneaks behind Billy Claiborne

Claiborne stares ahead to saloon entrance

Rifle barrel aimed at the front

Poised to become a famed ‘gunfighter’

POW!

POW!

POW!

POW!

POW!

Leslie is detained by Chief of Police, Coil

Released from custody

Claiborne’s lifeless body removed from street

******************************************

John Heath

John Heath

When a grand jury indicted J.C. Tiffany for misconduct, President Arthur’s new Secretary of Interior, Henry Teller from Colorado, fired the Inspector General of the Indian Bureau, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, several agents and ordered a necessary audit of all their contracts.

As to the Chiricahua problem, Arthur signed a treaty with Mexico in mid-1882 that allowed mutual army troops to cross the border. While technically it meant Mexican army troops could enter America, it was intentioned so that American army troops could chase Goyaltha (Geronimo) inside Mexico.

With problems going from bad to worse, President Arthur sent Tombstone’s City Council a stern mid-1882 warning that unless it cleaned up its act voluntarily, Federal troops would be sent to take over with Martial Law imposed.

Tombstone tourism (2014): “Doc Holliday ceramic mug. A classic image of Doc Holliday colorized for this mug. This mug is perfect for your hot tea, cocoa, Old Overholt or coffee beverages. $16.99…. Doc Holliday Fridge Magnet. Stick Doc on your refrigerator or any metal surface. Heavy duty professionally made magnet features a colorized image of Doc Holliday. $5.99.”

 

(#9-10) Arizona Boxing Champion (1883)

Sports may not have tamed the alleged “Lawless West” but it transitioned what we think of the past into our modern future. Boxing remained America’s favorite sport as a former Bostonian catcher/pitcher named John L. Sullivan transformed the Manly Art of Defense. Base Ball (baseball), though, was rising in popularity and by July, 1883, Tombstone had its own team, the Picked Nine. Along with a baseball team there had to be a Field of Dreams for them to play. The best baseball player in America was Cap Anson of the Chicago White Stockings whose level of skill and strategy would have been superior to the Southwest imports. A Tombstone baseball game would be approximately three hours long, with maybe 50-65 runs combined (but less than ten earned) because of more than 40 defensive errors per nine-inning game. Sifting through the Tombstone Picked Nine names and matching them to the city directory it appears the majority of the baseball players were miners or associated with mines. Unlike boxing, which was predominantly male, baseball games in Tombstone encouraged greater spectator participation amongst women and kids.

Tombstone Republican (9/15/1883): “Neil McLeod, who is matched to fight Jim Young on the 22nd this month, has sufficiently recovered from his recent indisposition to be again upon the streets. In conversation with his attending physician, Dr. Porter, a reporter learned that his patient was not reduced to any great extent, and barring a relapse would be in good condition to fight at the time agreed upon. It is also learned that McLeod himself confirms this statement. Such being the case, the mill, barring accidents, will come off one week from next Saturday morning.”

On October 6th, a Tombstone preliminary bout was sponsored by the Police Gazette for the Championship of Arizona. The contestants were a white man named Neil McLeod, versus a black man with an unfortunate nickname “Nigger Jim”, James Young. It was published as a fight-to-the-finish gloved bout, and it likely was, but the waiver of rounds was against Gazette rules. McLeod weighed 165 pounds with George Hopkins and John Mugan as his seconds. Young weighed approximately 175 pounds with Patsy Triggs and John Rundell as his seconds. Postmaster, Fred Brooks served as referee.

ROUND 1: McLeod was the more experienced and patient pugilist. Young aggressively threw punches that did not land while McLeod was content to land a couple punches and concentrate on defense. “Young made the first offensive movement, and immediately showed his lack of skill by overhanded slugging that left him entirely at the mercy of the wiry Cornish man had he been disposed to take advantage of the opening.” Neither drew blood as the pugilists clinched to conclude the round.

ROUND 2: Young was noticeably fatigued to begin the round. He continued to expend energy. “(Young) got in two or three licks at McLeod which brought forth the cheers of his friends, but Mac retaliated in good shape by several body thumpers and a sockdologer in the mouth, which made Jim’s teeth fairly rattle.” Pugilism gambling included first blood bets with the round concluding controversially as to whether Young was bleeding. Referee Brooks ruled against McLeod’s gambling supporters.

ROUND 3: Young was profusely sweating and nearly depleted of energy. The better skilled pugilist seized the moment offensively to score the first knockdown. “(Young)’s reckless manner of using his arms allowed McLeod to get one in on his throat, speedily followed by another one under the ear, which turned Jim around so that he fell heavily on his face.” Young arose to his feet, but quickly battered around the ring. “(Young) only got up to get another square in the face which downed him against the rope and knocked out what game there was still left in him.”

ROUND 4: Young wobbled on weak legs to begin the round with hands down without defensive protection. McLeod aggressively attempted to knock out his overmatched foe. “(Young) was promptly met by McLeod, who gave him one that sent him backward along the rope, and it was for a second or two doubtful whether he would reach the floor outside or inside the ring, but the heaviness of his feet over balancing the lightness in his head saved him from being knocked out of the ring.” At that point, Young’s seconds displayed mercy by throwing in the sponge. McLeod – TKO 4. The Cornish pugilist won several hundred dollars for the victory, along with the Arizona boxing championship: “(McLeod) accepted the (Police Gazette tournament) medal, on that condition (that he would fight twice), but with this proviso, that he will no more enter the ring with a colored man.”

James Young deserves Tombstone recognition, because unlike so many others who arrived in Tombstone in 1879 and were gone by 1889 as the town’s plumbing problems precipitated a population decline, became a lifelong resident. Young should be the sort of citizen Tombstone feels pride instead of short term residents, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. While the two white men would one day be lionized as celluloid heroes, in March of 1884, they (along with Warren Earp and three others) were Arizona fugitives for the March, 1882, murder of Frank Stillwell, in Tucson. The white group also unnecessarily murdered an innocent, unarmed Mexican Native-Indian named, Florentino, who had been searching for his mules that wandered away, in a hail of bullets, four striking with two lethal, for no particular reason other than searching revenge near Pete Spence’s ranch and accidentally discovering the wrong person. The Earp/Holliday group allegedly killed Curly Bill, but without a body as proof. Meanwhile, of less interest to future historians and filmmakers, James Young, representative of the true heroes from Tombstone, was a hard worker and honest citizen. Young performed a variety of tasks as a miner, hostel, grave digger and sometime ranch worker. He was charismatic enough to make many friends and allegedly married a Mexican national. A Tombstone photograph was taken of Young in the 1910’s until he died in the city which he loved and called home.

Tombstone tourism (2014): “WYATT EARP’S VENDETTA RIDE – this five-day ride will take you to the Chiricahua, Dragoon and Whetstone Mountains, through the high country around Tombstone, visiting sites where Wyatt and his posse killed Florentino Cruz, had a shoot-out with the Cow-boys and killed ‘Curly Bill’ Brocius, plus Johnny Ringo’s haunted gravesite and more – much more!”

 

(#10-10) McLeod Loses His Arizona Boxing Title (1884)

Police Gazette (3/15/1884 – the following appears in a Tucson paper): “I hereby challenge Neil McLeod, of Tombstone, to fight me for the ‘Police Gazette’ medal and championship of Arizona, the fight to come off in two weeks from making the match. Contest to come off in Tucson…. BILLY LYNN.”

“I hereby accept the challenge of Billy Lynn, to fight for the ‘Police Gazette’ medal and championship and $20 a side; the winner to take everything and pay all the expenses. The fight to take place in Tombstone four weeks from signing articles, and to be fought with four-ounce gloves according to the ‘Police Gazette’ revised rules.”

Tombstone Republican (3/22/1884): “Schieffelin hall was last night crowded to its upmost capacity by those anxious to witness the hard glove fight between Neil McLeod, the holder of the Police Gazette medal, and a resident of Tombstone, and Billy Lynn, a lightweight pugilist of Tucson.” Postmaster, Fred Brooks served as referee. Police Gazette rules were in effect, except the waiving of limited rounds. McLeod weighed 167 pounds with Jack McDonald and Tom Harris as his seconds. Lynn weighed 135 pounds with Jim Chatham and Tim Sullivan as his seconds. Both are experienced pugilists with the taller McLeod having a tremendous reach advantage.

ROUND 1: There was light sparring throughout. McLeod began to find his target range as he landed a series of blows that knocked Lynn down by the ropes.

ROUND 2: McLeod dominated the bout thus far. “McLeod succeeded in planting one straight from the left shoulder just over Lynn’s eye, which sent him to the floor.” Lynn arose until a left handed punch (or jab) from McLeod scored his 3rd knockdown of the fight.

ROUND 3: “Closed without another knock-down, but with Mac a little winded.”

ROUND 4: McLeod was displaying some fatigue but still dominated. There was a controversial 4th knockdown of Lynn, with the latter claiming a foul. Referee Brooks declined Lynn’s request.

ROUND 5: The most action-packed offensive round of the bout. Several blows were exchanged. “Lynn at length made a pass at McLeod intended to take effect just above the belt but it fell short.” Feeling defensively exposed, Lynn followed the missed punch by intentionally falling to ground onto his knees. McLeod’s punch to head landed simultaneous – and was disqualified. “(Lynn) received what many believed he had been playing for a foul, the referee instantly awarding Lynn the fight.” Lynn – DQ 5. Tombstone spectators were outraged and angered by the decision, which proves boxing never changes, always achieving a new low until the next bout.

The following day, John L. Sullivan was in Tombstone by invitation of Sheriff Ward, not to witness a boxing bout but a mass hanging. Six men had been convicted for multiple murders in Bisbee, Arizona, with five sentenced to death. The other man, John Heath, had received a life sentence, but a citizen’s mob hanged him in Tombstone on February 22nd. Sullivan had arrived from Tucson after six disappointing exhibition rounds of approximately one-minute length against lightweight, Pete McCoy and heavyweight, Steve Taylor. Arizona Weekly Citizen: “(Taylor) hit Sullivan rather hard once or twice. Sullivan jumped around the stage with about as much grace as an elephant.” Sullivan visited the Tombstone jail to meet with the sheriff and condemned men. Everyone appeared to be in good-spirited humor. James ‘Tex’ Howard teased, “You are not as big a man as I had imagined, Sullivan. They tell me though, you can knock anyone in the world out in four rounds; is that so?” Sullivan replied that he could as Howard added, “Well, I reckon I’ll have to take your word for it, for the chances are that I shall never have an opportunity to see whether you can or not.” Howard then joked that Sheriff Ward was the better fighter because he was going to ‘knock out’ five men in one day. There is unfortunate controversy amongst 2014 boxing historians over the following days whether Sullivan sparred with James Young and four white boxers at Schieffelin hall. These historians are not from Arizona so they casually reduce James Young’s legacy to nothing other than a skin color. It is significant to them because of Sullivan’s insistence he never fought a black pugilist. Maybe Sullivan did spar five men, including Young, to appease Tombstone residents who wanted to see the heavyweight champion. If it happened, they were likely one-round exhibitions that lasted a minute or less (his three rounds with Taylor were 42, 35 and 30 seconds), so Sullivan possibly had a brief sparring session with the black Tombstone resident without regarding it seriously as a bout. What is not in doubt is the fate of Tex Howard and the other four prisoners who were hanged on March 28th to the largest audience for a Tombstone event in its history, two-thousand spectators. Upon request of the Catholic Church the deceased bodies were turned over to them for burial.

While John L. Sullivan was visiting Tombstone the most wanted fugitive of two nations, was near the current Gila River. Goyaltha (Geronimo), along with 5-6 other warriors led a pack of Chiricahua and cattle. It was broad daylight in Southern Arizona with the Natives unconcerned that they were within 12 miles of Camp Grant. The Daily Nugget mocked the efforts of capture: “(Four) companies of soldiers were idling away their time perfectly oblivious of the close proximity of the hostiles…. How long are the Apaches to be allowed to roam over our country? Here is an Apache renegade with a band of thirty-three warriors and 225 head of stolen stock, marching right through the heart of our country with perfect impunity, while the law abiding citizen and taxpayer must take care of himself and keep out of the Apache’s way.”

Tombstone tourism (2014): “Walk the very same streets here in Tombstone that Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Johnny Ringo, Ike Clanton and a host of other Western Legends walked over 130 years ago. You can just feel the history here! This is the most authentic Western Town left in the United States.”

 

Geronimo

Geronimo

 

 

 

 

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