Dapper Dude: Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Earp is most widely known for his participation in the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral. But he had a colorful and adventurous history, some of which as been hailed as fabricated, with other (mis)adventures historically documented. Wyatt Earp is the inspiration for our Wyatt scent, which consists of leather notes blended with hints of citrus, musk and patchouli. We picture Earp riding high on a leather saddle as he rode across the desert tracking down the Cowboys. Products in the Wyatt scent include bar soap and lotion.
Here are some highlights of this man’s colorful life:
Wyatt Earp was born in 1848 and grew up in Iowa and California.
In 1861 after his older brothers joined the Union Army, Wyatt ran away from home multiple times to join them in fighting in the Civil War, but his father found him and brought him home each time, as he was just 13 and too young to fight.
Wyatt seemed to be a restless sort throughout his life, taking various jobs and moving often wherever the money appeared to be promising. Over his lifetime, he was a teamster, buffalo hunter, bouncer, constable, saloon owner, gambler, boxing referee, policeman, county sheriff, U.S. Marshal, miner and brothel owner.
Earp spent his early life in Iowa. In 1870, Earp married his first wife, Urilla Sutherland, who died just before giving birth to their first child. He would go on to have two other common law wives, Mattie Blaylock and Josephine Marcus.
He spent time on both sides of the law, serving as policemen, sheriff and U.S. Marshal, but was also arrested for crimes including horse thievery, being found in a house of ill-repute, disturbing the peace, and being drunk and disorderly. He was also accused of fixing a boxing match, for which he was the referee.
Wyatt moved to Tombstone, Arizona in 1879 and this is the time period of his life that gained him the most notoriety.
In 1880, Earp assisted his brother, Virgil who was a Deputy U.S. Marshal in tracking ‘Cowboys’, a group of outlaws who had stolen mules from the U.S. Army. Later that year, while was Deputy Sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona, Earp had another run in with Curly Bill Brocius and pistol-whipped him. From that moment on, Brocius vowed to be an enemy of Earp’s for the rest of his life. The Earp brothers had numerous run ins with the Cowboys including Brocius, Ike Clanton, and Johnny Ringo from 1880-1881. The Cowboys stole one of Wyatt’s prized horses, and members of the Cowboys were arrested as a result of different robberies and attempted robberies of stagecoaches. Tensions and hatred ran high on both sides.
On October 26, 1881 was the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The Cowboys had been threatening to kill the Earps for weeks and authorities learned the Cowboys were armed and were gathered near the O.K. Corral. There was a 30 second gunfight, in which three Cowboys were killed and others fled the scene. It was a short fight, but it defined Wyatt Earp for the rest of his life. He had a reputation as the toughest and deadliest gunman in his day, and who never got flustered, no matter the situation.
After his brother Morgan was killed (presumably by Cowboys), Wyatt vowed to take matters into his own hands and kill every last one of the Cowboys. He created a posse including his brothers and his dear friend Doc Holliday and five other men. Over a two-week period, the posse traveled from Arizona to the New Mexico Territory and into Colorado, killing four Cowboys.
After his vendetta ride, Earp lived in California, Idaho, Texas and Alaska opening saloons, mining and other short-lived business ventures before moving to Los Angeles, California in 1910. He remained there until his death in 1929. There have been numerous books written about the life of Wyatt Earp, but there is controversy over tales that are reportedly grossly exaggerated. There are also accounts in which people testified that both Josephine and Wyatt persuaded and bribed writers to present a more clean-cut image of Earp, including saying that he never drank and didn’t own or visit brothels. So we won’t ever know the true history of Earp’s day-to-day life other than what has been historically verified. Either way, real or imagined, Wyatt Earp was a complex, colorful character that certainly made his mark on the American West.