The Legend of Wyatt Earp and his Early Years in Missouri
I have no doubt that you know about wild west legend Wyatt Earp, but did you know that he got his start as a lawman in Missouri? It's true including an interesting twist involving Harry S. Truman.
Yes, Wyatt Earp was a famous lawman in Dodge City and an active participant in the shootout at the OK Corral with Doc Holliday and his brothers. But, before that famous era, he was a constable in Lamar, Missouri. The Barton County Chamber of Commerce tells part of the story about Wyatt Earp and his time there:
Wyatt Earp was born March 19, 1848 in Monmouth, Illinois very little is known of his early years. But we do know his family moved to Lamar, Missouri around 1869 when Wyatt was around 21 years old. During his early time here, he was appointed as Lamar’s constable on November 26, 1869 following his father’s resignation.
It's at this point when things get very interesting. Tragically, Wyatt's wife and unborn child passed away in Lamar which is what led to his journey west to Dodge City and Tombstone. But, his time in Missouri was not done yet as he ended up owning President Harry S. Truman's boyhood home. Missouri State Parks shared this fascinating connection between the Earps and President Truman.
Considering my Holliday family history involving Doc, it's probably not surprising that I find this Wyatt Earp connection with Missouri so compelling. I think I can make an argument that his sometimes tragic times in Missouri helped shape the rugged lawman he would become eventually becoming immortalized at the OK Corral in Tombstone.