Chronicles of Tombstone's TurbulEnt Years

Tombstone History Archives

“BIG NOSED KATE”

by Anton Mazzanovich

(Author of Trailing Geronimo, and True Short Stories of the Southwest Frontier)

 

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Brewery Gulch Gazette - June 3, 1932

 

After I read “Wyatt Earp Frontier Marshal”, I got busy and commenced to check up on it from notes and letters I received from Mrs. Katerine Holliday whom I had the pleasure to meet at Globe, Arizona many years ago. And I found that Doc Holliday up to the time he started from Prescott to Tombstone did not figure as a killer of men in Kansas and Texas as described in Wyatt Earp’s story which by the way was published by Mr. Stuart N. Lake. Mr. Lake states in the foreward of the book, “Scores of eye-witnesses to the scenes portrayed have been interviewed to verify circumstantial details; thousands of miles have been traveled to unearth substantiating material; hundreds of time-worn documents and files of frontier newspapers have been examined for pertinent content; literally thousand of letters have been exchanged with competent old-timers in developing this work.” No such animal. Because to gather material contained in the story as described would simply be impossible at this late stage. It is Wyatt Earp’s own story which he wrote long before he crossed over on the dark side of the Apache trail. Wyatt Earp often said that he would not publish anything about himself while living. “But you will hear from me after I am dead”. And after his death, Mrs Earp announced in the newspapers that she was going to publish the life story of her husband. But I suppose she failed to get book publishers interested. And that is the time that Mr. Stuart N. Lake came into the picture. As I said in my review of the story published in the Brewery Gulch Gazette in November 1931, that it would have been better if the story had never been published, because it would have left Wyatt Earp the undisputed Lion of Tombstone from what we have read in other publications such as Lorenzo D. Walters “Tombstone’s Yesterday”, the late Walter N. Burns and William Break- dorado, ***ILLEGIBLE*** books, “Tombstone” and “Helldorado”, also. “When the West was Young”, by Frederick R. Bechdolt and “Famous Sheriffs and Western Outlaws” by William Macleod Raine, as well as hundreds of articles published in magazines and newspapers in the past thirty years or more. It sure would require a heap of money to travel thousands of miles and write thousands of letters in order to gather material for the story. And I will ask those who have read the book, was the money supposed to be expended worth the venture? [CROSSED OUT:  This will be the last article I will write on the subject, and I do so to defend Doc Holliday.]

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