Bob Cash
Re: Bob/ you have the right man...
Mon Sep 26, 16:57

Sharon, because of his long public service Frank Vaghn's staements "might be more acceptable", as you say. However, when it comes to anything related to the Earps one has to be very careful with the memoirs of Cochise County old-timers. In a post below I compared the memories of several reputable old timers, with mainly ant-Earp views, that not only seriously clash with the known facts, also with each other's narratives. John P. Gray, Cora Drew, Latigo Carmichael all claimed to witness the street fight at Fly's lot, however they all placed ut in a different location. Melvin Jones and Judge Hancock, both respected, long time residents of S.E. Arizona, claimed to have known Curly Bill in interviews in the thirties. Here's Steve Gatto's view of Jones' credibility.

Steve Gatto
The Basis For Melvin Jones' Lack Of Credibility
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:57

Well, when Melvin Jones claims that William Graham was Curly Bill Brocius and he provably was not, that's going to affect his credibility. Further, when Jones claims that William Graham was Curly Bill Brocius and claims he was dubbed with the nickname by a cantina girl on a cattle drive during November 1878, the fact that Curly Bill Brocius was provably using that nickname before that cattle drive is going to affect Jones' credibility. Moreover, when Walter Noble Burns' 1927 book quotes Jones as not being known by Curly Bill, that's going to affect Jones' credibility regarding his 1932 claim of having known Curly Bill and worked a cattle drive with him. In addition, when Melvin Jones claims in his 1932 article that Curly Bill had been shot in the face and Curly had actually been shot in the neck, that's going to affect his credibility. Also, when Jones states Curly Bill told him that he was leaving Arizona for good around August 1881 but William Graham stays in Arizona for years after March 1882, that's going to affect his credibility. Lastly, when Jones claims Curly Bill cursed the Earp that hit him over the head and then states it was Virgil, that's going to affect his credibility because Curly Bill clearly knew that Wyatt Earp was the Earp that hit him over the head with a pistol and arrested him for shooting Fred White and the cowboy would have cursed Wyatt for his interference. (End of Gatto's post) As can be seen by this information, Melvin Jones' memory got "better" between the time Burns interviewed him and the 1932 interview. This happened to many old timers as Earp's story gained national prominence after TOMBSTONE, HELLDORADO and FRONTIER MARSHAL were published.

The memoir of someone who was definitely at Drew's station that night, Ed Drew's daughter Cora, is stupendously inaccurate about a lot of known facts, but she shared with Vaughn the belief that Doc Holliday was involved. However, unlike Vaughn, she mentions nothing about anyone seeing Doc ride by the station on the Dunbar horse (highly unlikely in that Doc would have been riding toward Benson and not Tombstone and exposing himself to witnesses at the station), or the McLaurys being present, although she does say they were frequent visitors. She also describes hearing a fist shot and then a string of shots like firecrackers going off. Vaughn mentions one rifle shot. Both Drew and Vaughn state that they were able to observe the would be robbers and murderers ride away from the attempted hold up scene, which was 1600 ft away (something doubted by John Rose as not possible in the link below). Vaughn gave the interview after several books had been published stating that John Slaughter had seen Doc riding toward Tombstone that night and, in my opinion only, this may have made Vaughn’s memory “better”. After all, while he states that Slaughter, the McLaurys, and Clantons testified at the Doc’s hearing in Tombstone (something not verified by or claimed any contemporary account, or even in any later accounts by anti-Earp partisans) , why did he not testify?

  • Bob/ you have the right man...Joyce A. Aros, Sun Sep 25 18:11
    ...and so you can see why his statements might be more acceptable regarding the situation out at Drew's. Sadly, Mrs. Kitt did not seem to have a curious nature as she did not attempt to pursue any additional... more
    • Re: Bob/ you have the right man... — Bob Cash, Mon Sep 26 16:57