Southeastern Arizona Mining Towns

Southeastern Arizona Mining Towns - Images of America - Author William Ascarza
Southeastern Arizona Mining Towns – Images of America – Author William Ascarza

Southeastern Arizona has one of the most diverse mining localities in the state. Towns such as Bisbee, Clifton, Globe, Miami, Ray, Silverbell, and Superior have earned reputations as premier metal producers that are most notably known for their copper. Other mining towns that have made their marks in the region include Dos Cabezas, Gleeson, Harshaw District, Helvetia, Patagonia District, Pearce, Ruby, and Tombstone. Mining in southeastern Arizona has significantly influenced the development of mines in northern Sonora, Mexico. The foundation of Mexico’s largest copper mine in Cananea was financed by American capital, specifically under the direction of miners and investors from southeastern Arizona. Overall, the process of mining has established the economy of southeastern Arizona, making it a viable source of copper-related minerals in the 21st century’s global market.

About the Author

Auther of Southeastern Arizona Mining Towns, William Ascarza writes the Arizona Star column Mine Tales about Arizona mining history. An entrepreneur, historian, researcher and travel guide, Ascarza is author of five books, including Zenith on the Horizon: An Encyclopedic Look at the Tucson Mountains from A to Z and Tucson Mountains, Sentinel to the North: Exploring the Tortolita Mountains.

Tombstone (Images of America)

Tombstone (Images of America) - Author: Jane Eppinga
Tombstone (Images of America) – Author: Jane Eppinga

Tombstone sits less than 100 miles from the Mexico border in the middle of the picturesque Arizona desert and also squarely at the heart of America’s Old West. Silver was discovered nearby in 1878, and with that strike, Tombstone was created. It soon grew to be a town of over 10,000 of the most infamous outlaws, cowboys, lawmen, prostitutes, and varmints the Wild West has ever seen. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral made Wyatt Earp and John Henry “Doc” Holliday legendary and secured Tombstone’s reputation as “The Town Too Tough to Die.” In this volume, more than 200 striking images and informative captions tell the stories of the heroes and villains of Tombstone, the saloons and brothels they visited, the movies they inspired, and Boot Hill, the well-known cemetery where many were buried.

About the author

Writing credentials include over 200 articles for both popular and professional publications. For four years I produced all material for the Arizona Sheriff Magazine. My writing credentials include more than 200 articles for both popular and professional publications covering a broad spectrum of children’s fiction, travel, personal profiles, biology, construction, food, and public relation pieces. My books include a biography of Henry Ossian Flipper, West Point’s First Black Graduate, Arizona Twilight Tales, and books in Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series focusing on Arizona towns including Tucson, Nogales, Apache Junction and Tombstone. She writes regularly for Biology Digest a quarterly publication for high school science teachers. In 2009, Globe Pequot published my book. They Made Their Mark: An Illustrated History of the Society of Woman Geographers. That same year she made a presentation on the Society of Woman Geographers at the 10th International Congress of Women in Madrid, Spain.

Book Summary

NameTombstone (Images of America)
AuthorJane Eppinga
PublisherArcadia Publishing
Pages128 Pages

The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882

The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882 reports of the murder of Tombstone Resident Morgan Earp while playing pool in Tombstone, Arizona. This event followed the O K Corral shootout and the attempted murder of Virgil Earp. These two events caused Wyatt Earp to lead a vendetta ride across the desert hunting the assassins. The death of Moargan made the right side of page three.

The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882
The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882
Morgan Earp historical photo, 1881. Probably taken by C.S. Fly.
Morgan Earp historical photo, 1881. Probably taken by C.S. Fly.

March 20, 1882
The Assassin at Last Successful in His Devilish Mission

Morgan Earp Shot Down and Killed While Playing Billiards

At 10:00 Saturday night while engaged in playing a game of billiards in Campbell & Hatch’s Billiard parlor, on Allen between Fourth and Fifth, Morgan Earp was shot through the body by an unknown assassin.

At the time the shot was fired he was playing a game with Bob Hatch, one of the proprietors of the house and was standing with his back to the glass door in the rear of the room that opens out upon the alley that leads straight through the block along the west side of A.D. Otis & Co.’s store to Fremont Street.

This door is the ordinary glass door with four panes in the top in place of panels. The two lower panes are painted, the upper ones being clear. Anyone standing outside can look over the painted glass and see anything going on in the room just as well as though standing in the open door.

At the time the shot was fired the deceased must have been standing within ten feet of the door, and the assassin standing near enough to see his position, took aim for about the middle of his person, shooting through the upper portion of the whitened glass.

The bullet entered the right side of the abdomen, passing through the spinal column, completely shattering it, emerging on the left side, passing the length of the room and lodging in the thigh of Geo. A.B. Berry, who was standing by the stove, inflicting a painful flesh wound.

Instantly after the first shot a second was fired through the top of the upper glass which passed across the room and lodged in the wall near the ceiling over the head of Wyatt Earp, who was sitting as a spectator of the game.

Morgan fell instantly upon the first fire and lived only about one hour. His brother Wyatt, Tipton, and McMasters rushed to the side of the wounded man and tenderly picked him up and moved him some ten feet away near the door of the card room, where Drs. Matthews, Goodfellow and Millar, who were called, examined him and, after a brief consultation, pronounced the wound mortal.

He was then moved into the card room and placed on the lounge where in a few brief moments he breathed his last, surrounded by his brothers, Wyatt, Virgil, James and Warren with the wives of Virgil and James and a few of his most intimate friends.

Notwithstanding the intensity of his mortal agony, not a word of complaint escaped his lips, and all that were heard, except those whispered into the ear of his brother and known only to him were, “Don’t, I can’t stand it. This is the last game of pool I’ll ever play.” The first part of the sentence being wrung from him by an attempt to place him upon his feet.

The funeral cortege started away from the Cosmopolitan hotel about 12:30 yesterday with the fire bell tolling its solemn peals of “Earth to earth, dust to dust.”


Statement of E F Boyle

A Brief History

The gunfight at the O.K. Corral summary refers to an infamous shootout in the American West in the streets of Tombstone Arizona at at 3:00pm, October 26,1881. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, and Wyatts brothers Virgil and Morgan confronted Ike Clanton, Billy Clanton, Billy Claiborn and brothers Frank and Tom McLaury in a vacant lot next to the uninteresting O.K. Corral over death threats made in recent days.

The thirty second gunfight caused witnesses to see nine men fire dozens of times at distances of under twenty feet. The aftermath left three men dead and became the most notorious gunfight of the wild west.

Following the trial, murder charges were filed against the Earp brothers and Doc Holiday. I preliminary hearing in front of Justice of the Peach Wells Spencer. The thirty day trail held court in the Tombstone Mining exchange and heard testimony from both sides of the confrontation. The defendants were found not guilty and only promoted a deadly feud between the Earps and the Clantons.

Statement of E F Boyle

The transcribed testimony and statement of E. F. Boyle regarding the gunfight on Fremont Street in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. E. F Boyle is one of six people who testified that they heard Ike Clanton making threats to kill the Earps and Holiday. Boyle testified on November 17th and 23rd, 1881.

On this seventeenth day of November, 1881, on the hearing of the above entitled cause, on the examination of Wyatt Earp and J. H. Holliday; E. F. Boyle, a witness of lawful age being produced and sworn, deposes and says as follows:

E. F. Boyle, November 17, 1881. Barkeeper. To questions, relates that he knows Ike and that he met Ike in front of the telegraph office, about 8:30 or 9 A.M., October 26. They had a talk. Ike had a pistol with him.

(Q) State what if any threats were then made by him in respect to Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp or Doc Holliday, and if any threats were made, whether or not you communicated the same to W. Earp, V. Earp, M. Earp or Doc Holliday before the difficulty [later in the day]. Objected to. Objection sustained. Unanswered.

[Signed] E. F. Boyle

E. F. Boyle, a barkeeper, of Tombstone, November 23, 1881.

(Q) As to any threats he had heard from Ike. Objected to by prosecution. [Overruled.]
(A) After I went off watch at 8 o’clock in the morning, I met Ike Clanton in front of the telegraph office in this town. His pistol was in sight and I covered it with his coat and advised him to go to bed. He insisted that he wouldn’t go to bed: that as soon as the Earps and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street, the ball would open-that they would have to fight. He started to Kelly’s saloon and I went down to Wyatt Earp’s house and told him that Ike Clanton had threatened that when him and his brothers and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street that the ball would open. Then I left and went home to bed.

(Q) Did you see any weapons [on Ike] except the rifle?

(A) Yes the pistol.

(Q) Do you know Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton?

(A) I know them all.

(Q) Do you know their reputation for courage and how expert they were in the use of firearms?

(A) Only by hearsay.

(Q) To what extent is that hearsay?

(A) The hearsay is that they are the finest in the country.


(Q) [Not written].

(A) Ike Clanton was the only one present at the time of our conversation.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) Learned of their reputation last year before the difficulty.

(Q) [Not written.]

(A) Knew Tom McLaury about 18 months, never knew him to be in a difficulty with anybody. Learned of Tom McLaury’s reputation from old James Sweeny of Pick-‘Em-Up. I learned that Tom was one of the best shots in the country. I never questioned his courage.

(Q) Now tell me, who else told you about his reputation as a courageous and fine shot?

(A) Well, there [were] several sitting together down at Pick-‘Em-Up, and Jim Sweeny and Ned Fielder were speaking of his courage and being a fine shot, all I know of his reputation is from these men.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) Knew Billy Clanton about the same length of time. Never was on intimate terms with him. Never knew him to be in any difficulty.

(Q) How do you come to state he had a general reputation for courage and was an expert shot?

(A) From the association of men he traveled with.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) I can’t tell any of the men from whom I heard their reputation. I have known Ike Clanton about two years. Knew Frank McLaury about 18 months. Ed Shipman, he now lives in Los Angeles, and it is from his statement that I got his general reputation, and no other.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) Will Hicks and Frank McLaury were in Kelly’s saloon and a man named Smith that keeps a store in Galeyville and Frank McLaury went out. This all happened one morning about two months ago. I came to open up the saloon for Kelly, and when I opened the saloon, I met this big [sic] Ed Byrnes, Frank McLaury, and John Ringo; and Byrnes started to tell me what-[all crossed out with lines, but no notation of the same.]

(Q) Did you ever of your [own] knowledge know of Frank McLaury to be in any difficulty?

(A) No sir.


Tombstone Daily Nugget, October 27, 1881

The Tombstone Daily Nugget, October 27, 1881 described the the infamous gun fight at the O K Corral between the Earps and the Clanton faction in Tombstone.

Tombstone Daily Nugget October 27, 1881

A Desperate Street Fight

Tombstone Daily Nugget, October 27, 1881

Marshal Virgil Earp, Morgan and Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday Meet the Cowboys – Three Men Killed and Two Wounded, One Seriously – Origins of the Trouble and its Tragic Termination.

The 26th of October, 1881, will always be marked as one of the crimson days in the annals of Tombstone, a day when blood flowed as water, and human life was held as a shuttlecock, a day always to be remembered as witnessing the bloodiest and deadliest street fight that has ever occurred in this place, or probably in the Territory.The origin of the trouble dates back to the first arrest of Stilwell and Spencer for the robbery of the Bisbee stage. The co-operation of the Earps and the Sheriff and his deputies in the arrest caused a number of cowboys to, it is said, threaten the lives of all interested in the capture. Still, nothing occured to indicate that any such threats would be carried into execution. But Tuesday night Ike Clanton and Doc Holliday had some difficulty in the Alhambra saloon. Hard words passed between them, and when they parted it was generally understood that the feeling between the two men was that of intense hatred. Yesterday morning Clanton came on the street armed with a rifle and revolver, but was almost immediately arrested by Marshal Earp, dismissed and fined by Justice Wallace for carrying concealed weapons. While in the Court room Wyatt Earp told him that as he had made threats against his life he wanted him to make his fight, to say how, when and where he would fight, and to get his crowd, and he (Wyatt) would be on hand.

In reply, Clanton said: “Four feet of ground is enough for me to fight on, and I’ll be there.” A short time after this William Clanton and Frank McLowry [sic] came into town, and as Thomas McLowry was already here the feeling soon became general that a fight would ensue before the day was over, and crowds of expectant men stood on the corner of Allen and Fourth streets awaiting the coming conflict.

It was now about two o’clock, and at this time Sheriff Behan appeared upon the scene and told Marshal Earp that if he disarmed his posse, composed of Morgan and Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday, he would go down to the O.K. Corral where Ike and James [sic] Clanton and Frank and Tom McLowry were and disarm them. The Marshal did not desire to do this until assured that there was no danger of attack from the other party. The Sheriff went to the corral and told the cowboys that they must put their arms away and not have any trouble. Ike Clanton and Tom McLowry said they were not armed, and Frank McLowry said he would not lay his aside. In the meantime the Marshal had concluded to go and, if possible, end the matter by disarming them, and as he and his posse came down Fremont Street towards the corral, the Sheriff stepped out and said: “HOld up boys, don’t go down there or there will be trouble: I have been down there to disarm them.” But they passes on, and when within a few feet of the the Marshal said to the Clantons and McLowrys: “Throw up your hands boys, I intend to disarm you.”

As he spoke, Frank McLowry made a motion to draw his revolver, when Wyatt Earp pulled his and shot him, the ball striking on the right side of his abdomen. About the same time Doc Holliday shot Tom McLowry in the right side using a short shotgun, such as is carried by Wells-Fargo & Co.’s messengers. IN the meantime Billy Clanton had shot at Morgan Earp, the ball passing through the point of the left shoulder blade across the back, just grazing the backbone and coming out at the shoulder, the ball remaining inside his shirt. He fell to the ground but in an instant gathered himself, and raising in a sitting position fired at Frank McLowry as he crossed Freemont Street, and at the same instant Doc Holliday shot at him, both balls taking effect either of which would have proved fatal, as one struck him in the right temple and the other in the left breast. As he started across the street, however, he pulled his gun down on Holliday saying, “I’ve got you now.” “Blaze away! You’re a daisy if you have, ” replied Doc. This shot of McLowry’s passed through Holliday’s pistol pocket, just grazing the skin.

While this was going on Billy Clanton had shot Virgil Earp in the right leg, the ball passing through the calf, inflicting a severe flesh wound. In turn he had been shot by Morgan Earp in the right wrist and once in the left breast. Soon after the shooting commenced Ike Clanton ran through the O.K. Corral, across Allen Street into Kellogg’s saloon and thence into Toughnut street where he was arrested and taken to the county jail. The firing altogether didn’t occupy more than twenty-five seconds, during which time fully thirty shots wree fired. After the fight was over Billy Clanton, who, with wonderful vitality, survived his wounds for fully an hour, was carried by the editor and foreman of the Nugget into a house near where he lay, and everything possible was done to make his last moments easy. He was “game” to the last, never uttering a word of complaint, and just before breathing his last he said, “Goodbye boys; go away and let me die.” The wounded were taken to their houses, and at three o’clock next morning were resting comfortably. The dead bodies were taken in charge by the Coroner, and an inquest will be held upon them at 10 o’clock today. Upon the person of Thomas McLowry was found between $300 and $400 and checks and certificates of deposit to the amount of nearly $3,000.

During the shooting Sheriff Behan was standing nearby commanding the contestants to cease firing but was powerless to prevent it. Several parties who were in the vicinity of the shooting had “narrow escapes” from being shot. One man who had lately arrived from the east had a ball pass through his pants. He left for home this morning. A person called “the Kid” who shot Hicks at Charleston recently, was also grazed by a ball. When the Vizina [mine] whistle gave the signal that there was a conflict between the officers and cowboys, the mines on the hill shut down and the miners were brought to the surface. From the Contention mine a number of men, fully armed, were sent to town on a four-horse carriage. At the request of the Sheriff the “Vigilantes,” or Committee of Safety, wre called from the streets by a few sharp toots from the Vizina’s whistle. During the early part of the evening there was a rumor that a mob would attempt to take Ike Clanton frm the jail and lynch him, and to prevent any such unlawful proceedings a strong guard of deputtes [sic] was placed around that building and will be so continued until all danger is past.

At 8 o’clock last evening Finn Clanton, a brother of Billy and Ike, came to town, and placing himself under the guard of the Sheriff, visited the morgue to see the remains of his brother, and then passed the night in jail in company with the other.


Shortly after the shooting ceased the whistle at the Vizina mine sounded a few short toots, and almost simultaneously a large number of citizens appeared on the streets armed with rifles and a belt of cartridges around their waists. These men formed in line and offered their services to the peace officers to preserve orderin case any attempt at disturbance was made, or any interference offered to the authorities of the law. However, no hostile move was made by anyone, and the quiet and order was fully restored, and in a short time the excitement died away.


The bodies of the three slain cowboys lay side by side, covered with a sheet. Very little blood appeared on their clothing, and only on the face of young Billy Clanton was there any distortion of the features or evidence of pain in dying. The features of the two McLowry boys looked as calm and placid in death as if they had died peaceably, surrounded by loving friends and sorrowing relatives. No unkind remarks were made by anyone, but feeling of unusual sorrow seemed to prevail at the sad occurrence. Of the two McLowry brothers we could learn nothing of their previous history before coming to Arizona. The two brothers owned quite an extensive ranch on the lower San Pedro, some seventy or eighty miles from this city, to which they had removed their band of cattle since the recent Mexican and Indian troubles. They did not bear the reputation of being of a quarrelsome disposition, but were known as fighting men, and have generally conducted themselves in a quiet and orderly manner when in Tombstone.