Fred White B. 1849 D. 10/30/1880

 

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The links between the Xs are stories and picrures of people
that had a part in Tombstone, AZ history
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About Doc Holiday
About Wyatt Earp

About Virgil Earp

About Morgan Earp

About James Earp

About Warren Earp

About Newton Earp

About William "Curley Bill" Brocius (outlaw)

About Billy Claiborne (outlaw)

About Pete Spence (outlaw)

About Ike Clanton (outlaw)

About Phin Clanton (outlaw)

About Johnny Ringo (outlaw)

About "Old Man" Clanton" (outlaw)

Frank Stillwell (outlaw)

About Frank McLaury (outlaw killed at the OK Corral)
About Tom McLaury (outlaw killed at the OK Corral)

About Billy Clanton (outlaw killed at the OK Corral)

About Johnny Behan (Sheriff)

William Breckinridge (Deputy Sheriff)

About Fred White (Marshal)
About George Parson

About Wells Spicer (Judge)

About George Goodfellow MD

About Nellie Cashman (Angel Of Mercy)

About Big Nose Kate (prostitute & Doc Holiday's girlfriend)

About Ed Schieffelin

About John Clum (editor/publisher of Tombstone Epitaph)

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Morgan Earps Death In The Tombstone Epitaph
Tombstone Epitaph Story The Day After The OK Corral Shootout

Tombstone Pioneers Burial Place
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Mistakes In The Movie Tombstone

For fallacies in the movie Tombstone please visit this web site: http://www.ferncanyonpress.com/tombston/movie.shtml

Fred White was a young lawman and the first town Marshal of the then boomtown, Tombstone, Arizona. White had been elected on January 6th, 1880.

Over the months leading up to his death, White formed an alliance and friendship with Wyatt Earp (then deputy undersheriff for the Southern portion of Pima County, which included Tombstone). Fred White had established himself as a likable and professional lawman, and contrary to later depictions in film, was well respected by the "Cow-boy" faction. He often arrested members of the "Cow-boys", but rarely had any problems in doing so. On the rare occasion that one did resist arrest, he used force as need-be, and seemingly had the support of other "Cow-boys" in doing so. He got along particularly well with "Curly" Bill Brocious, and Brocious often joked with him.

Of all those involved in the intricate political, business and personal conflicts of Tombstone, White is generally viewed as an unbiased individual. The Earps liked and respected him, the "Cow-boys" and Clantons liked and respected him, he had no interest in any business dealings, and by all reports he treated everyone fairly.

On the night of October 28th, 1880, several "Cow-boys" entered town and began drinking, with several of them firing their pistols in the air at different locations. Marshal White proceeded to confront each of them, disarming them. All of those confronted by him gave up their weapons voluntarily, without incident. Late that night, White encountered "Curly" William B. Brocious in a vacant lot where the Birdcage Theater now stands. Brocious was intoxicated and he (or his companions) were firing pistols into the air. White instructed Brocious to surrender his pistol, which Brocious did, handing it barrel first to White. Although no one is completely certain, apparently the pistol's hammer was "half-cocked" back over a live round (it contained six live rounds), and when White grabbed the barrel and pulled, the weapon discharged, shooting White in the groin. Brocious was arrested by Wyatt Earp and his brother Morgan, who were working as Pima County sheriff's deputies at the time. Wyatt pistol whipped Brocious during the arrest.

Brocious was alleged to have terribly regretted the shooting of White, whom Brocious apparently liked, and maintained that it was an accident. White lingered for a couple of days, dying on October 30th, 1880. However, prior to his death, he gave testimony that ultimately would lead to Brocious being freed of any wrong-doing. White stated that the pistol fired accidentally, and that Brocious, intoxicated, evidently did not realize the pistol was cocked. It was due to White's testimony prior to his death, as well as a demonstration for the court that Brocious' pistol could be fired from the half-cock position, that Judge Neugass in Tucson, Arizona dismissed the charge against Brocious.

Despite his regret over the shooting death of Fred White, Brocious did not accept being pistol whipped by Wyatt Earp during his arrest, which would lead to increasing tensions between the Earp and Clanton/"Cow-boy" factions. White was buried in Boot Hill cemetery, in Tombstone.


 

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