The OK Corral

Essay by Hossy May 2004

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It would be a rare thing for a man to say he had never heard of Doc Holliday - Dr. John H. Holliday. For this man was schooled to become a dentist, and did practice at times, but gravitated to the gambling table and the thrilling excitement of a knife or gunfight. Wyatt Earp said of him: "The most dangerous man alive." Doc had tuberculosis, and this may account for his philosophy of dangerous living. He knew he was a dying man with little to lose.

He was born the son of a fiery-tempered Confederate Army major in Valosta, Georgia, about 1852, and educated in the medical college in Baltimore, but after the family doctor gave him but four years to live, he packed up and started to wander down through Texas.

For a while he practiced in Dallas, but after killing a couple of angry gamblers Doc moved on.

Working on teeth along the way, drinking continually, and gambling, he became very proficient with a pair of pistols. He practiced the fast draw at every opportunity. Another man died over a card game as Doc flew across the table and knifed him, and tow more died of gunshot in Jacksborough. His guns flashed again in Denver, and his knife sent another man under. In Wyoming he killed still another gambling man. Doc was a chronic killer.

While in Forth Griffin on the trail of Dave Rudabaugh, the killer, Wyatt Earp met Doc Holliday and linked the renown gunfighter from the start. A friendship grew and was cemented after Doc saved Wyatt's life.

There was a "Mrs. Doc Holliday," butter known as Big Nosed Kate. She was a heller, but her big heart went out to Doc on many occasions when he had his coughing fits. She is...