Joyce A. Aros
The coffee is not doing it, but...
Tue May 16, 18:33

...I don't want you to get bored and you need someone to pull your strings.

Regarding many of your digging little reminders, let me interject a note or two. You won't see it this way but it might give you some food for thought. I am not going to make excuses for rough men who allowed a hard life to dull their sensibilities from time to time, but I think I can understand them to a limited degree because I have known people like them who also lived harsh and lonely lives.

There is no real solid evidence to identify the Clantons and some associates as really bad guys when they lived and worked in the Sulphur Spring valley in south-eastern Cochise county. Ike and Ringo and a number of others seemed to be trying to build a life. They had ranch property, were actually farming and supplying vegetables and so on for many passing through and living in the area. They had a mercantile so they tried to run a business and regulate their lives to some degree. The Clantons had been farmers, sheep men, cattle men and freighters. Everyone did what ever was available at the time to try to build some kind of life. It was rough and course out there and that probably explains why so few had wives or families. Too difficult to build a family when you are in an all male environment and drinking bouts are one of the few things that make life worth living when you slow down a little.

I think the aftermath of the Fremont street gunfight changed the direction they were working towards. Maybe bitterness was a strong motivator. They branched out toward Graham county after a bit and ran into constant social conflict with what were the hated Mormons at the time. Prejudice against them was strong and these guys needed a target. They dealt with the Indians more, both Apache and Navajo. It kind of went down hill from there. Ike seemed to drink more and became more troublesome than he had been when down south. Phineas also got into trouble and he was kind of quiet.

I think the loss of Billy had a harsh effect on them. That may sound sentimental, but reports were that Billy's grave had been cared for for a few years, had a good iron fence around it and was clean. It no longer exists where it originally was. Once Ike and Phin completely left the area, the grave was destroyed by someone as the fence disappeared.

That is kind of what I think happened due to the gunfight. They seemed to have no direction anymore and the father's violent death might have added to it.
We need to remember; these were people after all is said and done. Tough times breed tough men, not always in the right way!~