Backtracking slightly, meet Urilla. This was Wyatt Earp's first wife when he was 20 years old. Sadly, just before she was due to have a baby, she died of typhoid fever. Wyatt's sense of a happy life went down the drain.
Here he is with Bat Masterson in Colorado after they left Tombstone.
As to Josephine Sarah Marcus, she said she came to Tombstone with the Pauline Markham theatre troupe, but nothing can be found to substantiate that fact. In fact, Tombstone Sheriff Behan owned a saloon in Tip Top Arizona, where he kept a prostitute named Sadie Mansfield. He moved her to Tombstone in 1880. "Sadie" was a popular nickname for Sarah among the prostitutes.
It is rather suspicious that the stories told reveal both traveled to Prescott by stagecoach with a black woman named Julia. Both were 19 years old, had parents that came from Prussia and both slept with Behan. Everyone speculates they are one and the same.
Although they had parted ways, Wyatt saw Doc Holiday again in 1882 in Gunnison Colorado. Josephine said he was unsteady on his feet, coughing constantly and looked like a skeleton. Doc had not long to live. He died in November of 1887 in Glenwood Colorado at age 36.
In 1884, Wyatt, his brothers James and Warren, along with Warren's wife Bessie, arrived in Eagle City Idaho where the latest gold rush was happening. For $2,250 they purchased a white tent basically, and set up a saloon called the White Elephant.
In no time, he was Sheriff, but ended up in a claim jumping real estate fraud scheme. That pretty much tarnished his reputation, so he left Idaho for California.
In 1887 Wyatt and Josie moved to San Diego, living in the Brooklyn Hotel for about four years as he invested in real estate deals. He bought four saloons and gambling halls, raking in over $1,000 a night. One of his more popular buildings housed the Golden Poppy Brothel.
Being the gambler capitalist he was, he became interested in boxing, even refereeing many matches. When he won a race horse on a bet, he began edging into that pastime also. By 1891, the boom of San Diego real estate went bust and Wyatt moved back to San Francisco. Having lost much of his real estate fortune, they moved from house to house.
Finally, in 1896 the big Sharkey Fitzsimmons boxing match came about with Wyatt being the last minute referee. After he saw a bad punch, he stopped the fight and called Sharkey the winner, even though he had received a bad beating the entire bout. That was not a favorable decision and Wyatt was in the hot seat with his reputation demolished again.
So ... what better than to get out of town and head to the gold rush in Dawson, Yukon Territory!! They ended up in Nome, building the Dexter Saloon with his partner Charles Hoxie. It was the first two story building, with 12 rooms upstairs, built as luxurious as possible with carpets, draperies and mirrors.
The hotel (and upstairs) drew men like Jack London, Wilson Mizner and boxing promoter Tex Rickard. By the way, Josie and Wyatt didn't get along well at all. She had a gambling problem, causing Wyatt to be pretty perturbed when she lost the money he gave her to invest in oil in California, which later hit big time. In November of 1899, after many public fights, he and Josie finally left for Seattle Washington because she was supposedly pregnant. Apparently this happened several times and she had miscarriages every time they arrived back in civilization. Sounds suspicious.
Washington didn't work out so great either, so back to Nome they went, eventually selling out their share of the Dexter for $80,000, about $2.5 million today. Hearing about more silver and gold in Tonopah Nevada, Wyatt and Josie moved there and opened the Northern Saloon and dabbled in mines around the area.
When that went bust, back to Los Angeles they went where at 62 years of age, Wyatt was hired at $10.00 a day to work outside the law catching criminals that escaped or fled to Mexico. He was arrested for a time, being involved in the Potash Wars of the Mohave Desert and attempting to fleece a real estate broker in a fake faro game. No one ever said Wyatt Earp was honest.
Wyatt finally moved Josie to Vidal near Parker Arizona on the Colorado River. This was his favorite place to be, although it is reported Josie hated it. This is the only image of them together. He stayed here, she stayed in town most of the time. Wyatt loved the peace and quiet of the desert.
As hard times hit the cattle industry, cowboys were drawn to Hollywood and silent films. Due to his reputation, Wyatt became involved in western movies as an unpaid consultant. It was also the perfect place to find a poker game, smoke a cigar and get away from the ever unhappy Josie.
Wyatt tried to get William Hart to make a movie about his life, but instead Hart suggested he have someone write a book. In 1925, former mining engineer John Flood was set to write the book, but his writing was so bad, it was rejected. Stuart Lake worked on another book, but Josephine made up such ridiculous stories about their life, that no one believed any of it.
Wyatt lived to the ripe old age of 80 and on January 13, 1929 died of cystitis. Apparently Josephine wasn't all that sad, since she didn't even attend his funeral after having him cremated and she didn't even show up for that.
As late as 1936, Josephine went to court to try and conceal the facts regarding Wyatt's second wife Mattie, rewriting history in her favor. She died on December 19, 1944 in the same bungalow that she and Wyatt lived in. Since she died penniless, Sid Grauman (Grauman's Theater) and William Hart paid for her funeral and burial.
Her book "I Married Wyatt Earp" by Glen Boyer is discredited as largely fictional. It seems Josie just couldn't tell the truth.
There are a lot more stories and tales of the renown Wyatt Earp, some good and some bad, but too many to lay them all out here. That's probably what makes him so fascinating almost 100 years after his death.