October 16, 2022
Undoubtedly, the most famous figure in America’s Wild West remains Wyatt Earp. The illustrious gunslinger forged his bloody reputation during an era of unbridled lawlessness amid the country’s rapid westward expansion. The shootout at the OK Corral and battles around Tombstone cemented Earp’s place in history.
The last man standing from that famous shootout etched his place in American lore with an assist from Hollywood. Although, as the author of “Fast is fine, accuracy is everything. In a gun fight... You need to take your time in a hurry,” it’s no surprise Wyatt Earp became the Wild West’s foremost lawman.
A Nose For Trouble
Growing up, Earp ran away from home multiple times, hoping to join the Union Army during the Civil War. With multiple Earp brothers already in the fray, his concerned father dragged home young Wyatt each time. While helping on the family farm, Wyatt watched his dad work various odd jobs. He quickly surmised that peacekeeping and bootlegging looked a hell of a lot better than farming.
Once out on his own, Wyatt earned his education gambling, boxing, and other bohemian pursuits while hauling freight across the western states. Earp also graded track for Union Pacific Railroad before rejoining the family in Missouri.