Old West News Archives

Doc Holliday Obituary

Doc Holliday obituaryDoc Holliday Obituary, originally published in the November 12, 1887 edition of the Ute Chief, Glenwood Springs, Colorado J. A. Holliday died, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado Tuesday, November 8, 1887, about 10 o’clock a.m., of consumption.

J .A. Holliday, or “Doc” Holliday as he was better known, came to Glenwood Springs from Leadville last May, and by his quiet and gentlemanly demeanor during his short stay and the fortitude and patience he displayed in his last two months of life, made many friends.  Although a young man he had been in the west for twenty-five years, and from a life of exposure and hardship had contracted consumption, from which he had been a constant sufferer for many years.

Since he took up his residence at the Springs the evil effects of the sulphur vapors arising from the hot springs on his weak lungs could readily be detected, and for the last few months it was seen that a dissolution was only the question of a little time, hence his death was not entirely unexpected. From the effects of the disease, from which he had suffered probably half his life, Holliday, at the time of his death looked like a man well advanced in years, for his hair was silvered and his form emaciated and bent, but he was only thirty-six years of age.

Holliday was born in Georgia, where relatives of his still reside.  Twenty-five years ago, when but eleven years of age, he started for the west, and since that time he has probably been in every state and territory west of the Mississippi river.  He served as sheriff in one of the counties of Arizona during the troublous times in that section, and served in other official capacities in different parts of the west.  Of him it can be said that he represented law and order at all times and places.  Either from a roving nature or while seeking a climate congenial to his disease, “Doc” kept moving about from place to place and finally in the early days of Leadville came to Colorado.  After remaining there for several years he came to this section last spring.  For the last two months his death was expected at any time; during the past fifty-seven days he had only been out of his bed twice; the past two weeks he was delirious, and for twenty-four hours preceding his death he did not speak.

He was baptized in the Catholic Church, but Father Ed Downey being absent, Rev. W.S. Rudolph delivered the funeral address, and the remains were consigned to their final resting place in Linwood cemetery at 4 o’clock on the afternoon of November 8th, in the presence of many friends.  That “Doc” Holliday had his faults none will attempt to deny; but who among us has not, and who shall be the judge of these things?

He only had one correspondent among his relatives – a cousin, a Sister of Charity, in Atlanta, Georgia.  She will be notified of his death, and will in turn advise any other relatives he may have living.  Should there be an aged father or mother they will be pleased to learn that kind and sympathetic hands were about their son in his last hours, and that his remains were accorded Christian burial.

Tombstone, Az. Sheriff John Behan

John BehanJohn Behan was the sheriff of Cochise County, the county that contained Tombstone, at the time Wyatt Earp was there. He was a friend of the cowboys, the political power at the time. We know of him as a foe of Wyatt. And, the result of movies about the O. K. Corral shootout, we know him as a corrupt lawman. But, just who was John Behan?
John Harris Behan was born in Missouri in 1845. As a young man he went to California, and then to Prescott, Arizona where he became the sheriff of Yavapai County. And, according to locals was trustworthy, brave and intelligent. He even served a couple of terms in the state assembly.
 
When Tombstone was founded Behan moved there. Then in 1881 Tombstone was made the county seat of the newly formed Cochise County, and Behan was appointed the county sheriff. The conflict between Behan and Wyatt Earp was probably more the result of two men displaying their testosterone than a conflict between good and bad.
 
After being voted out of office, Behan became the superintendent of the Territorial State Prison at Yuma, Arizona, the most severe federal prison in the southwest. Later Behan served as a U. S. agent along the Mexican border fighting smuggling. He joined the military during the Mexican-American War. And continuing his service to his country, served as a “secret agent” for the United States in China during the Boxer Rebellion. In 1901, he was living in Willard’s Hotel at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.. The census gave his occupation as “Promoter”.
Finally, at the age of 67, on June 7, 1912, after spending most of his life in service to his government, he died in Tucson, Arizona.
 
I believe you can agree John Harris Behan was much more than just a corrupt sheriff who opposed Wyatt Earp.

FOLLOWING THE LEGENDS

We’ve been away for a little over a week on our first Following the Legends cruise to Alaska.

What a ball!  There were twenty of us.  Sunny and I were able to meet some great people…A few of whom will continue as close friends.

The food was unbelievable, and the scenery was awesome.  Everyone saw whales.

We learned about the Old West, went on excursions and ate, ate, ate.

We’re planning another cruise in August of 2013.  I’ll be passing on information as things come together.

COWBOY KEEPER AWARD

Each year since 2006, the National Day of the Cowboy 501(c)3 has selected individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to the preservation of pioneer heritage and cowboy culture, to receive its Cowboy Keeper Award.

The award was conceived in support of the NDOC’s mission to increase awareness for and celebration of the National Day of the Cowboy.

The esteemed recipients of the 2012 Cowboy Keeper Award are; Chris LeDoux, Cowgirls Historical Foundation, J.R. Sanders, Susan Thomas, and the Will James Society.

Incidentally, one of the recipients of the 2009 Cowboy Keeper Award was yours truly.

NATIONAL DAY OF COWBOY RESOLUTION

The resolution for the National Day of the Cowboy is under assault in the California Assembly.

An animal rights advocate is maintaining the National Day of the Cowboy isn’t about the pioneer and our western heritage, but ranchers and rodeo.  He wants to change the resolution to the day of the rodeo rancher.  And then he goes on to talk about how animals are abused at rodeos.

This resolution has always been about all who are part of heritage preservation and cowboy culture.  It’s about the music, the art, the artisans, the literature, the cowboys, the cowgirls, poetry, ranching, land and animal stewardship, historic events, cowboy organizations, the cowboy’s horse, landmarks, family stories, ferriers, saddle makers, those who simply love cowboys and our mythical cowboy too.

Anyone from California needs to contact their California State Legislator and express their support of SCR 70 as soon as possible.  The vote is this coming Thursday.

 Page 1 of 4  1  2  3  4 »