Morgan Seth Earp, Deputy U.S. Marshal

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Morgan Seth Earp

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Pella, Marion County, Iowa, United States
Death: March 18, 1882 (30)
Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona, United States (murdered)
Immediate Family:

Son of Nicholas Porter Earp and Virginia Ann Earp
Husband of Annie Earp
Partner of Louisa Alice Earp
Brother of James Earp, Deputy Marshal Dodge City; Virgil Earp, Deputy U.S. Marshal, Marshal of Tombstone; Martha Elizabeth Earp; Wyatt Earp; Warren Earp and 4 others
Half brother of Nathan T. Earp; Sgt. Newton Jasper Earp, USA and Mary (Mariah) Ann Earp

Occupation: Deputy Marshal, Lawman
Last Updated:

About Morgan Seth Earp, Deputy U.S. Marshal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_Earp

Morgan Seth Earp (April 24, 1851 – March 18, 1882) was the younger brother of Wyatt Earp, the famous gunfighter. Morgan was involved in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, where he was wounded. His assassination in Tombstone was part of a wave of vendetta killing in the southeastern Arizona Territory.

Early life

Morgan Earp was born in Pella, Marion County, Iowa, to Nicholas Porter Earp (1813–1907), a cooper and farmer, and his second wife Virginia Ann Cooksey (1821–1893).

When elder brothers Newton, James, and Virgil went off to the American Civil War, they left their young teenage brothers Wyatt and Morgan to tend the family farm. The two brothers grew up close, with a shared wish for adventure and a dislike of farming. Before adulthood, teenaged Morgan followed James Earp up to Montana for a couple of years. Later he was with Wyatt on the Western frontier.

In 1875, Morgan departed the Earp clan living in Wichita, Kansas, and became a deputy sheriff under Charlie Bassett at Dodge City. In late 1877, Morgan took his common-law wife Louisa A. Houston to Montana, where they lived until March, 1880.

At different times in Arizona, both Wyatt and Morgan worked as shotgun messengers for Wells Fargo & Co., deputy sheriffs for Pima County, and also as deputies under Tombstone's Chief of Police Virgil Earp, their older brother. During early 1882, Morgan was appointed to the federal position of Deputy U.S. Marshal, an office subservient to Wyatt Earp, who had been given the position by the U.S. Marshal C. Dake, after Virgil was wounded, and had authority to deputize.

Morgan has gained an undeserved reputation for being a hot-tempered man, but this appears to be on the basis of incidents related in the book The Earp Brothers of Tombstone purportedly written by Virgil Earp's wife Allie. However, the incidents in the book involving Morgan, like much else in the book, are almost certainly fabricated (see Barra, 1998, book postscript). From the rest of what is known of Morgan's life, he normally showed the same even temper and cool reactions to danger as did his brothers.

Gunfight at the OK Corral

Morgan was deputized by his brother Virgil to serve as special policeman with badge on September 26, 1881. This may have happened after a round of threats from the cowboys against the Earps after the Bisbee stage robbery earlier that month. On October 20 Morgan went to Tucson to find Doc Holliday and bring him back in an attempt to avoid some trouble with Ike Clanton. Although he found Holliday and brought him back on the 22nd, the attempt at avoiding trouble failed.

Clanton began making trouble in town on October 25, leading to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral on Wednesday, October 26. Of the Earp faction, Morgan was not the least experienced in gunplay, contrary to common belief. Morgan cut his teeth as deputy sheriff during three cattle seasons in Dodge City. Following this Earp saw much law enforcement action as town marshal of Butte, Montana (1878), and later as policeman there. He also survived a 1879 gun duel in Miles City, Montana - killing his man - a notorious Brooks brother. Participating in the Tombstone gunfight he was wounded, hit by a bullet across the back, which broke both shoulder blades and chipped off a piece of vertebra. However he recovered in seconds and continued to fire his pistol. The fight was ended when simultaneous shots were fired by Morgan and Doc Holliday at Frank McLaury. One or the other's bullet went through the base of Frank's skull behind the ear, killing him within minutes, before he could be moved. Story told in History Channel.

Assassination

Two months after the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, in December 1881, Virgil Earp was seriously and permanently wounded in an assassination attempt. By February 1882, Morgan had seen enough of the general danger to the Earps in Tombstone and sent his common-law wife Louisa Houstin Earp to the Earps' parents in Colton, California. However, Morgan chose to remain in Tombstone to guard Virgil, support Wyatt, and continue to work in law enforcement.

Morgan was ambushed about 10 P.M. on Saturday, March 18, 1882. After going to see a musical, he went to play a late round of pool against owner Bob Hatch at the Campbell & Hatch Billiard Parlor on Allen Street, in Tombstone. There, while playing, he was hit by a rifle shot to the side of his lower back. An assassination attempt was also made at the same time on Wyatt Earp, who was watching the game, but the bullet missed.

The rifle shots entered the lighted billiard parlor through a glass-windowed locked door which opened from the rear of the parlor onto a dark alley, which ran between Allen and Fremont Streets, along the side of the parlor. The Campbell and Hatch Billiard parlor and card room no longer exists, having burned in a fire in May 1882. It was two lots east of Hafford's Saloon on 4th Street and Allen, which was re-built after the fire and may be seen today. An old photo said to be of the interior of the Campbell & Hatch billiard parlor room, is actually of another similar establishment.

The bullet that hit Morgan shattered his spine and passed through his left kidney. The wound was pronounced fatal by the three doctors who examined him a short time later. After being shot, Morgan was unable to stand even with assistance, and said "This is the last game of pool I'll ever play." Wyatt reported in his biography years later that Morgan, before dying, whispered to Wyatt "I can't see a damned thing," a reference to supposed visions of Heaven seen by dying people, which Morgan and Wyatt had discussed on a previous occasion. To the last, Morgan's behavior is in keeping with what is known of him. He died less than an hour after being shot, while lying on a lounge in an adjoining card room of the billiard parlor, not on the billiard table, as some accounts report.

After Morgan's death, he was laid out in a blue suit belonging to his friend Doc Holliday. His body was then taken by wagon on the next day (Sunday) by family and friends to the nearest railroad head, in Benson. From there, accompanied by older brother James Earp, Morgan's body was sent to his wife and parents in Colton, California. On the following day (Monday), Virgil and his wife followed in a wagon, accompanied under a guard of family and friends estimated at about 20 members. When it was learned that members of the Cowboy faction were waiting for them at Contention. Consequently, at a livery stable outside Contention a number of the body guard stabled their horses to make it appear as if they intended to stay there. A small guard including Wyatt, Sherman Mc Masters, "Turkey Creek" Johnson and Doc Holliday continued on with Virgil and Allie by wagon to Benson, having left their mounts in Contention. Expecting trouble in Tucson, the guard party rode the train with Virgil and Allie as far as Tucson.

Morgan was first buried in the old city cemetery of Colton, near Mount Slover. When the cemetery was moved in 1892, Morgan's body was reburied in the Hermosa Cemetery in Colton. See burial site information here.

Morgan was believed by the Earps to have been shot by Clanton supporters, though none were formally charged with the crime. His death sent Wyatt on a three-week rampage in the country around Tombstone, sometimes referred to as the Earp Vendetta Ride, killing anyone Wyatt believed was connected to Morgan's death. Wyatt believed that accused stage-robber Frank Stilwell fired the shot that hit Morgan, while the shot which missed Wyatt was fired by William Brocius, a.k.a. "Curly Bill". Both Stilwell and Brocius were killed in the rampage.

Artifact

The revolver that Morgan was supposedly wearing when he was killed can be seen on display at the College of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri. The pearl-handled grip is still stained with Morgan's blood from the fatal injury sustained during his last game of pool.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_Earp

Morgan Seth Earp (April 24, 1851 – March 18, 1882) was a Tombstone, Arizona Special Policeman when he helped his brothers Virgil and Wyatt and Doc Holliday confront outlaw Cowboys in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881. All three Earp brothers had been the target of repeated death threats made by the Cowboys who were upset by the Earps' interference in their illegal activities. The lawmen killed Cowboys Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton. All four lawmen were charged with murder by Billy's older brother, Ike Clanton, who had run from the gunfight. During a month-long preliminary hearing, Judge Wells Spicer exonerated the men, concluding they had been performing their duty.

Friends of the slain outlaws retaliated, and on December 29, Cowboys ambushed Virgil, leaving him maimed. Two and a half months later, on March 18, 1882, they ambushed Morgan, shooting him at night through the window of a door while he was playing billiards and killed him. The Cowboys suspected in both shootings were let off on technicalities or lack of evidence. Wyatt Earp felt he could not rely on civil justice and decided to take matters into his own hands. He concluded the only way to get justice for his murdered brother was to avenge his death. Wyatt assembled a posse that included their brother Warren Earp and set out on a vendetta to kill those they felt were responsible.

Morgan married Louisa Alice Houston sometime in the 1870s. They lived in Montana before joining his brothers in Tombstone. Louisa was staying with his parents in California when Morgan was murdered.

Early life

Morgan Earp was born in Pella, Iowa, to Nicholas Porter Earp (1813–1907), a cooper and farmer, and his second wife Virginia Ann Cooksey (1821–1893).

When elder brothers Newton, James, and Virgil went off to the American Civil War, they left their young teenage brothers Wyatt and Morgan to tend the family farm. James and Morgan grew up close, with a shared wish for adventure and a dislike of farming. Before adulthood, teen-aged Morgan followed James Earp up to Montana for a couple of years. Later he was with Wyatt on the Western frontier.

Sometime between 1871 and 1877 Morgan met Louisa Alice Houston, the daughter of H. Samuel Houston and Elizabeth Waughtal. Louisa (born January 24, 1855) was the second eldest of 12 children. In 1875, Morgan left his family in Wichita, Kansas and became a deputy marshal under Charlie Bassett at Dodge City. In late 1877, Morgan and Louisa moved to Miles City, Montana, where they bought a home. Shortly after Wyatt and Virgil headed for Tombstone, Arizona, Morgan and Louisa sold their home in Montana and headed west. Morgan apparently didn't think the wild mining town of Tombstone was suitable for Louisa, who was a petite woman and suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. He took her instead to stay with his parents in Temescal, California, in March 1880. Morgan set out to meet his older brothers in Tombstone on July 20, 1880. Louisa followed him in early December.

At different times in Arizona, both Wyatt and Morgan worked as shotgun messengers for Wells Fargo & Co., deputy sheriffs for Pima County, and as deputies under Tombstone's Chief of Police Virgil Earp, their older brother. During early 1882, Morgan was appointed to the federal position of deputy U.S. marshal, an office subservient to Wyatt Earp, who had been given the position by the U.S. Marshal C. Dake, after Virgil was wounded, and had authority to deputize.

Morgan gained a modern reputation as a hot-tempered man, but this appears to be based on incidents described in the book The Earp Brothers of Tombstone purportedly written by Virgil Earp's wife Allie. However, the incidents in the book involving Morgan, like much else in the book, are almost certainly fabricated. From the rest of what is known of Morgan's life, he normally showed the same even temper and cool reactions to danger as did his brothers.

Gunfight at the OK Corral

On Wednesday, October 26, 1881, the tension between the Earps and the Cowboys came to a head. Ike Clanton, Billy Claiborne, and other Cowboys had been threatening to kill the Earps for several weeks. Tombstone city Marshal Virgil Earp learned that the Cowboys were armed in violation of a city ordinance and had gathered near the O.K. Corral. Morgan was a deputy to his brother Virgil and on October 26, 1881, responded with Virgil and Wyatt to reports that Cowboys were armed on the streets of Tombstone. Ike Clanton had repeatedly threatened the Earps and he was backed up by Cowboys Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, and Billy Clanton. Virgil asked Wyatt and Morgan and Doc Holliday to assist him, as he intended to disarm them. At approximately 3:00 p.m. the Earps headed towards Fremont Street where the Cowboys had been reported to be gathering.

They confronted five Cowboys on Fremont Street in an alley between the Harwood House and Fly's Boarding House and Photography Studio, the two parties were initially only about 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3.0 m) apart. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne fled the gunfight. Tom and Frank McLaury, along with Billy Clanton, were killed. Morgan was clipped by a shot across his back that nicked both shoulder blades and a vertebra, although he was able to continue to fire his weapon. Virgil was shot through the calf and Holliday was grazed by a bullet.[6] Assassination[edit]

The Longhorn Restaurant is located in what used to be the Bucket of Blood Saloon, the Holiday Water Company, and the Owl Cafe and Hotel. Virgil Earp was shot from the second floor.

Two months after the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, in December 1881, Virgil Earp was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt that left him with a permanently crippled left arm. By February 1882, Morgan grew wary of the danger to the Earps in Tombstone and sent Louisa to live with his parents in Colton, California. Morgan remained in Tombstone to support his brothers.

Ambush and murder

At 10:50 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, 1882, after returning from a musical at Schieffelin Hall, Morgan was ambushed. He was playing a late round of billiards at the Campbell & Hatch Billiard Parlor against owner Bob Hatch. Dan Tipton, Sherman McMaster, and Wyatt watched, having received threats that same day.

The assailant shot Morgan through the upper half of a four-pane windowed door. The bottom two windows had been painted over. The door opened onto a dark alley that ran through the block between Allen and Fremont Streets. Morgan, about 10 feet (3.0 m) from the door, was struck in the right side and the bullet shattered his spine, passed through his left side, and entered the thigh of mining foreman George A. B. Berry. Another bullet lodged in the wall near the ceiling over Wyatt's head. Several men rushed into the alley but found the shooter had fled.

After Morgan was shot, his brothers tried to help him stand, but Morgan said "Don't, I can't stand it. This is the last game of pool I'll ever play." They moved him to the floor near the card room door. Dr. William Miller arrived first, followed by Drs. Matthews and George Goodfellow. They all examined Morgan. Goodfellow, recognized in the United States as the nation's leading expert at treating abdominal gunshot wounds, concluded that Morgan's wounds were fatal.

Goodfellow described Morgan's wounds:

He was in a state of collapse resulting from a gunshot, or pistol wound, entering the body just to the left of the spinal column in the region of the left kidney emerging on the right side of the body in the region of the gall bladder. It certainly injured the great vessels of the body causing hemorrhage which, undoubtedly, causes death. It also involved the spinal column. It passed through the left kidney and also through the loin.

In the book Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal, author Stuart Lake wrote that Wyatt said that Morgan, before dying, whispered to Wyatt, "I can't see a damned thing." Wyatt said that they had promised each other to report visions of the next world when at the point of death. They moved him to a lounge and Morgan's family—Wyatt, Virgil, and James, along with Allie and Bessie—gathered around him. Morgan's wife Louisa was in Colton with his parents, and Warren Earp was out of town. Morgan died less than an hour after he was shot.

Burial

After his death, Morgan was laid out in a blue suit belonging to Doc Holliday. The Earps took his body by wagon the next day to the New Mexico and Arizona railroad station in Contention. From there, his older brother James Earp accompanied Morgan's body to Colton, California where Morgan's wife and parents were waiting. Morgan was first buried in the old city cemetery of Colton, near Mount Slover. When the cemetery was moved in 1892, Morgan's body was reburied in the Hermosa Cemetery in Colton.

Aftermath

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_Earp#Aftermath

In movies

The actor Ray Boyle played Morgan Earp in fifteen episodes between 1956 and 1961 of the ABC/Desilu Productions western television series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, with Hugh O'Brian as Wyatt Earp.

DeForest Kelley played Morgan Earp in the 1957 film Gunfight at the O.K. Corral alongside Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp, and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday.

Sam Melville played Morgan Earp and James Garner Wyatt Earp in the 1967 film Hour of the Gun.

Bill Paxton played Morgan Earp in the 1993 movie Tombstone with Kurt Russell as Wyatt, Sam Elliott as Virgil, and Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday.

In the 1994 film Wyatt Earp, Morgan is portrayed by actor Linden Ashby, with Kevin Costner as Wyatt, Michael Madsen as Virgil, David Andrews as James, Dennis Quaid as Doc, and Jim Caviezel as Warren Earp.

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Morgan Seth Earp, Deputy U.S. Marshal's Timeline

1851
April 24, 1851
Pella, Marion County, Iowa, United States
1882
March 18, 1882
Age 30
Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona, United States
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