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Doc Holliday?

For years people have mistaken this gentleman in the photo as Wyatt Earp’s friend, Doc Holliday. Though, this man in the photo did live in Tombstone at the same time as Holliday, it is not the infamous gambler.

Doc Holliday?

Recently, I heard an interview with a fourth generation Tombstone resident which happens to be a descendent of the man in the photo. It is no other than current Tombstone Mayor, Dusty Escapule. The man in the photo is his great-grandfather, John

Mayer Escapule - 25th Tombstone Movie Reunion 2018

Escapule. He mentioned that the photo was taken by C.S. Fly which included his great-grandmother and great-uncle. But the photo was cropped and that is the image that has been circulated and mistaken as Holliday.

Mayor Escapule said around 1877 his great grandfather traveled from San Fransico to write an article for the Chronical on the capture of Geronimo and the boomtown of Tombstone.

He arrived in Fort Huachuca and quickly became friends with Ed Schieffelin who he had met in Charleston. This was around the same time Ed Schieffelin discovered the Tombstone claim.

Escapule, like many others, feel in love with Tombstone. Schieffelin told Escapule if he came back in one year, when he was more established, he would give Escapule a contract to haul lumber from the surrounding mountains to his mines.

Doc Holliday (Right) and John Escaplue (Left) Side By Side

Escapule traveled back to San Francisco and sold what he could to buy enough equipment to haul lumber. He then moved to Tombstone towards the end of 1878 and got the contract.

Escapule also mentioned around 1890 – 1900 he and with the backing of a man named John Dunbar, staked a claim, and dubbed it the “State of Main.”

The mine would produce around three million dollars in silver which made Escapule a rich man. He bought a few cattle ranches called the “LTI Ranch” near the Dragoon Mountains, “Lucky Ranch,” a ranches in Texas, and Mexico.

A couple for family stories that have been passed down are interesting.

 In December of 1903, Burt Alvord and Billy Stiles who were in custody at the Tombstone Courthouse Jail and tried to escape. They fled down Freemont St. to John Escapule’s ranch and stole a couple of horses on their attempt at the getaway. They were eventually re-captured.

The second story was after the shoot-out behind the O.K. Corral, they had found $80.00 in Billy Clanton’s pocket. The $80.00 dollars was payment for breaking in horses that John Escapule had hired him to do. He paid Billy earlier that morning before the infamous gunfight where he would lose his life.

John Escapule passed away October 11, 1926. He was buried at the Tombstone Cemetery among other Tombstone pioneers like photographer C.S. Fly.


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