The Examination

November 1, 1881


Commencement of the Examination of the Marshal's Posse.

Yesterday afternoon at three o'clock, the examination if Morgan Earp et al, concerned in the late street fight, was commenced before Justice Wells Spicer with quite an array of legal talent on both sides. For the prosecution are Goodrich and Goodrich, Smith, Earll, Campbell & Robinson, Smith & Colby, J. M. Murphy and District Attorney Price. For the defense are Howard a Street, T. J. Drum and Thomas Fitch. E. J. Risley, court reporter taking short hand report. At the commencement of the examination the rule was invoked and enforced, that none but those interested, and one witness at a time, should be allowed in the court room. The testimony for the prosecution was opened by the examination of Coroner H. M. Mathews, who being sworn, testified as follows:

My name is H. M. Mathews; am a practicing physcian; over the age of twenty-one years, and Coroner of Cochise county; on the 26th of October, 1881, was in the town of Tombstone on that day; saw on that day William Clanton, Thomas McLowry, Frank McLowry. I was notified; did not see the affray; saw those men on the middle of the day; Frank and Thomas McLowry dead, and William Clanton in a dying condition; must state I did not know either of them at that time; only knew them as they were identified by witnesses under oath before the Coroner's Jury; William Clanton I did not examine at the time; did shot time afterwards; about 9 or 10 o'clock at night examined them, at the dead house; yes; know the cause of death of William Clanton from that examination; they died from the effects of pistol and gun-shot wounds; there were two wounds on the body; did not examine them thoroghly; there was one two inches from the left nipple, penetrating the lungs; the other was beneath the twelvth rib, above and beneath, six inches to the right of the navel; think neither of the wounds went through the body; not probing the wounds; cannot positively say what direction they took; both went in front through the body; my opinion at that time was those wounds were the cause of death, consider them the cause of death; examined the body of Frank McLowry at the same time and day; found in the body of Frank McLowry one wound, penetrating the cranium, beneath the right ear; another penetrating the abdomen one inch to the left of the navel.


beneath the ear caused instant death-same as if shot through the heart-the wound through the head was at the base of the brain, just beneath the ear; no, sir. did not probe the wound; probed it a little; it passed horizontally through the brain; the wound in the abdomen was a straight penetratinfg shot; I examined the body of Tom McLowry at the same time and place; found on his body twelve buckshot wounds-on the right side of the body, near together, under the arms, between the third and fifth ribs; my opinion was the were buckshot wounds; laid the palm of my hand on them; it would cover the whole of them, about four inches in space; the wound penetrating straight into the body; he had on a blouse, vest and pants; if the wounds went into the cavity of the chest I should assuredly consider them mortal; the body was warm; Frank McLowry's body was also warm; saw him die myself; the bodies were all warm; the only thing I can recollect of Frank McLowry's clothing was a buckskin pair of pants; they were identified before me that as the bodies of Frank and Tom McLowry and Wm. Clanton afterwards; that is all I know of the names of these parties; the buckskin pants were worn over overalls; can't say as to Wm. Clanton's clothing; was not present at the time the bodies were stripped by the undertaker; have not the slightest doubt of the cause of death of all three parties; the cause of death were the wounds found on the bodies.


The wounds of Tom McLowry were made four to six inches below the arm-pit; the wounds were right below, the wounds in the arm were in the rear portion of the arm.

At the conclusion of the Coroner's jury, which occuppied the afternoon the testimony adjourned until 10 o'clock to-day.



November 1, 1881.

The deposition of William Allen. He resides in Tombstone. He is not in any business at this time. He knew all the participants, in one degree or another. He says that on the morning of the difficulty he heard there had been some trouble between Isaac Clanton and Doc Holliday. He says he walked down the street and saw there was "quite a stir." On meeting one henry Fry, he laerned Tom McLowry had been hit with a pistol by Wyatt Earp. (Objection by Defense sustained). "I first saw Frank McLowry on that day pretty near the Grand Hotel, as they were riding in. Frank McLowry, Billy Clanton and an old man whom I am not acquainted with. This was about two o'clocl in the afternoon. At first, Doc Holliday went out and shook hands with one of them in a pleasant way and said, "How are you," or something of that kind. Holliday left them there and Frank McLowry, Billy Clanton and the old man went on to (the) Grand Hotel. I left them then. This was near the middle of the street, nearly opposite the Alhambra saloon. I crossed the street and went over to them. The boys were about to take a drink, and asked me to join them. i called Frank off to one side and asked him if he knew what was going on. (Objection and motion to strike).

"The boys, Frank McLowry, Billy Clanton anf the old gent, after the statement I made to them, got on their horses and rode down the street. I have heard the old gentleman's name was Frick. After I told them what I had heard, that Tom McLowry had been hit on the head by Wyatt Earp, Frank says, "What did he hit Tom for?" I said I don't know. He says, "We won't drink," That is the last words I ever heard him say. They got on theor horses and rode off. Before that he said, "I will get the boys out of town." The glasses were on the counter when he said this. They did not drink. I saw them after they crossed the street, going through the OK Corral. I was going down Allen Street. (Defense moves to strike).

He continues to relate that he saw the boys walking, one of them leading a horse. They were crossing the street from the direction of the Dunbar stable, going through the OK Corral. He says he went on and passed through the OK with Mr. Coleman. He then saw Doc Holliday and the Earp party coming down the sidewalk on Freemont street. He says he followed in behind the Earps. he saw Ike and Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLowry and Johnny Behan near Fly's building. He did not use any very great exertions, but he told them not to go.

When the Earp party got down to the Clantons, the Earp party said, "You sons of B---, you have been looking for a fight.' The same instant, Virgil said, "Throw up your hands." Tom McLowry threw open his coat open and said, "I anin't got no arms." He caught hold of the lapels of his coat and threw it open. W. Clanton said, "I do not want to fight," and held his hands out in front of him. (Witness shows how). He had nothing in his hands when he held them in this position. I did not notice what Frank McLowry did. I did not notice him nor Ike. Just as William Clanton said, "I do not want to fight," and Tom McLowry threw open his coat, and said, "I anin't got no arms," the firing commenced by the Earp party.

I think it was Doc Holliday who fired first. Their backs were to me. I was behind them. The smoke came from him. I could not tell who fired the second shot, they came in such quick successsion. I think the first was a pistol shot and the next a double barrel shot gun. These two shots were from the Earp side, before any other shots were fired. At the time the two first shots were fired Frank McLowry was holding his horse. He had no gun in his hand. He had a gun on him. Isaw it. A pistol on him--I think it was Frank mcLowry. at the moment of the first fire, I cannot tell whetehr Billy Clanton had the horse or Frank. I think he was standing on the ground. I have stated that Billy held out his hands, in this position, and said, "I do not want to fight." He was in this position when the firing commenced. I saw Thomas McLowry when the first two shots were fired slap his breast, like this, and went into the vacant lot by Fly's building. Billy Clanton dropped down at (the) two first shots.

I kept in between the buildings after this. I saw Frank McLowry across the street when he fell. I picked Tom McLowry up and carried him in the house, where he died. He must have walked cleran around the house. I did not see any guns in the hands of any of the Clantons or McLowrys--shotguns or rifles, I mean. I saw some time before the shooting--I saw Virg with a shotgun at the gunsmith's on Fourth Street. Next time, he was standing in the door. I could not see whether the Earp party had guns on their persons down Fremont street. They passed down too quick. The first I saw of weapons was when the fight commenced. I picked up Thomas McLowry and helkped carry him into the house. I did not see any weapons on him. No cartridge belt. I pulled his hsirt down to see where he was shot. He was breathing yet. I got in between the buildings after the two shot were fired and did not see any more of the shooting. If the McLowrys shot at all, it was after I got in behind the building. I do not recollect of any reply the Earps made to Behan when he told them to go back--did not hear any remarks afterwards.


Discusses Tom's wounds. "It was a buckshot wound." It was an hour or hour and a half or two after I met the boys at the Grand Hotel, where we proposed to take a drink but did not, that the shooting took place. Did not see Issac Clanton at the Grand Hotel nor after that time and the time of the difficulty, except as I saw him pass the street to the OK Corral with the others,.--not to speak to him. The first time I saw Thomas McLowry was at a distance as they crossed the street, about 20 minutes or half an hour before the shooting. At the time I was on Allen Street walking down the street between third and fourth. Thomas McLowry was crossing the street from Dunbar's corral. I think it was him. Only knew him by sight--no personal acquaintance. The other parties were with him--meaning Ike Clanton, William Clanton, Frank McLowry, and another man they call Billy the kid. I think Frank McLowry was leading a horse, or Billy Clanton, one of the two, was leading a horse.

After seeing them pass through the OK corral, I stood on the side-walk a while. I was on the other side of Fourth Street between Fourth and Third streets, when they passed through. I stood on the sidewalk a while with Mr. Coleman, then told him i did not want to see it. He said, "Come on, let's go see it." And so I went into the OK corral and passed through it with Coleman onto Fremont Street. When I reached Fremont street I walked down to the upper corner--the corner of Fly's building, the photograph gallery--to a point eight or ten feet from the sidewalk on the street. I stopped only about a minute on the way there. When I reached Fremont Street the Earps were between Fly's building and the next house on the vacant lot between. The Earps had already passed down Fremont Street when I came onto the street. I was standing in the little place near Baurer's butcher shop, just this way from it, when I heard Behan tell the Earps not to go there. The Earps were near the front of this butcher shop when Behan told them not to go down, and had already passed me.

When I first saw the McLowrys and Clantons they were on the vacant lot next to Fly's building. Thomas McLowry was--I could not tell how they stood. They were pretty much together. I think Billy was off to the right. I won't be sure. The horse was right there. One of them had him on the bridle. Billy Clanton or Thomas McLowry had the bridle. I think it was one of the two. I think the horse was facing in towards the lot. At the time I heard Thomas McLowry say, "I haven't got any arms," I was standing ten feet off, in front of Fly's building. I could not state how McLowry and they with him were standing. I could place them. When Thomas McLowry said, "I haven'y got any arms," he held his lapels of his coat open. I think he was between Fly's building. They were between the two buildings. Billy Clanton, when he said, "I don't want to fight with them," I cannot state where they were standing. He was facing towards Fly's building when he held out his hands. The man who held the horse was facing towards Fly's building. All three men were about 20 feet from me at the time--20 or 25 feet. The Earps and Holliday at this time were close to the other portion. The Earps were 15 feet or so from me. I have told where I was and where the other party were. I was in front of Fly's building, on the vacant lot. I think Wyatt only got to the corner. (Follows more opinion as to where the various combatants stood).

He says the first shot was from a pistol. "The shot came from the Earp party. The smoke came from Doc Holliday." More talk about where they all stood. He said he saw Doc Holliday swing his hand up and then saw smoke come from him, and from the sound believes the first shot came from the Earp party,--from hearing the shot and seeing the smoke. I did not see it but I know from the sound tgat the second shot fired was from a shotgun. He says when the shot went off, Tom threw his hands up to his breast. Tom was only four or five feet from the nearest of the Earp party--"might have been Morg. I did not see anyone with a shot gun then." After these first two shot he ducked between the buildings. I got out of the way quick. At the time I said to Mr. Coleman that I did not want to see it, I meant I did not want to see the quarrel. I knew there would be one. At least, I considered there would be one, from the appearance of things, and I did not want to see it. But I went with Coleman.

I have resided in Tombstone two years. My relations with the Earps have been the best, always friendly. Before I came here, I lived in Colorado--Denver--Cheyenne--Georgetown--Cheyenne in Wyoming. I have never had any other name than Wm. Allen. They have called me other names but this is my true name here. A man gets a nickname around the mountains.

Q. Did you not call yourself by and pass under another name than William Allen in Colorado?

A. I decline to answer.

The court instructs the witness of his legal right to decline to answer. The attorney for the prosecution objected to the question on the grounds of being irrelevant, etc. Overruled. Exceptions taken.

Q. Did you not when residing in Colorado and during your residence there call yourseld and pass by the name of L. Brand, and were you not under indictment in Georgetown, Colo., for larcenty? And did you not immediately after such indictment escape and flee from Colorado and come from there to Tombstone?

A. I never went by that name and never (heard) it.

Q. Were you not indicted in Colorado for larcenty prior to coming to Arizona?

(Overruled and excluded. Defense excepts).

The question again asked. The court refuses to put it to the witness. Defense excepts. Deposition is read over to the witness, and he adds that by guns he meant pistols, in that connection.


Concerns whether he saw pistol in Holliday's hand. He says he heard a shot, saw smoke, but did not see the pistol. He saw doc raise his hand, etc.

The Examination- Reported November 3, 1881