On this day (October 26) in 1881 occurred the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.  A deadly shootout in which Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp and his brothers killed the Clantons and McLaurys.  Holliday and the Earp brothers were wounded.  The gunfire lasted only 30 seconds and it is still debated today as to who fired the first shot.  Holliday and the Earps were arrested for murder, but were released a month later when a Tombstone judge ruled they were “completely justified in committing these homicides.”  The two groups were fighting for control in the town of Tombstone, which had become one of the richest mining towns in the Southwest.

Similar to Tombstone, Ada, Oklahoma, in the early 1900s had two groups fighting for control . . . the groups were Gus Bobbitt and his gang vs. Jesse West and Joe Allen and their gang.  As happened in Tombstone, the feud in Ada resulted in death.  Tombstone, however, went on to become a tourist town wherein according to the city’s website:

“Each year many thousands of visitors walk where old west heros and villains lived, worked and fought.”

Movies have been made depicting the shootout as well.  Ada, on the other hand, tried to sweep away any remains of the feud and the murders that occurred in its community.  Over 40 people took part in lynching Jesse West and Joe Allen after they had been arrested for the murder of Gus Bobbitt.  Yet, of those 40, not a single person ever spoke publicly of the killings.   I suppose Ada could have become a tourist town much like Tombstone, by celebrating the history of the heroes and villians of their town.  But the citizens chose to live in a quiet way.  Perhaps that is one reason why I so admire the town as I do.

Shootout at OK Corral, Tombstone, Arizona, October 26, 1881

Shootout at OK Corral, Tombstone, Arizona, October 26, 1881