Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dan Tipton (1844 - February 25, 1896)

Dan Tipton (1844-1898)
Member of Wyatt Earp's Vendetta Posse

Good morning folks.  Here I go again with my vow to make more frequent and regular postings to this Tipton family history blog.  I have another personal blog which I update almost daily.  Plus, since I've retired I've been busier than ever.  I'm sure you've heard retirees make this statement after they retired:  "I don't know how I had time to do everything when I worked because now that I'm retired I'm busier than ever!"  That's me folks, so much to do and so little time.  Especially now that when I woke up this morning I realized I was an old man at 71 years of age and time seems to be flying by.  

I do have a lot of Tipton information to write about.  However, let me start with Dan Tipton, one of the few Tiptons that I cannot tie into my family tree.  

Dan Tipton was a very interesting man as all Tiptons are.  We all have our story.  Dan's story caught my eye because for a time he was in the famous American western lawman Wyatt Earp's

Wyatt Earp
posse.  Here is Dan Tipton story that I took from Wikipedia:

Dan Tipton (1844-February 25, 1896) was a sailor minor, gambler, and member of a federal posse led by American Old West lawman Wyatt Earp.  He participated in Earp's

Wyatt Earp
vendetta during which four outlaw Cowboys

Ike Clanton - member of the outlaw gang the Cowboys
were killed.

Life in Arizona:

Tipton served aboard the USS Malvern during the American Civil War and drifted west afterward.  He showed up in Tombstone in March 1881.  When Morgan Earp was assassinated on March 19. 1881, Tipton was present in the billiard parlor where Morgan was killed.  Tipton joined Earp's posses after it returned from Prescott.  While escorting Virgil Earp and his wife Allie to the train bound for California, Wyatt killed Frank Stilwell

Frank Stillwell
who had been named as a suspect in Morgan's murder.

Tipton rode with Wyatt, Warren Earp,

Warren Baxter Earp
Doc Holliday, Texas Jack Vermillion,

Doc Holliday

Texas Jack Vermillion
Turkey Creek Jack Johnson and Sherman McMaster as they searched for the other Cowboys thought responsible for attacking the Earps.  He was with the Earp posse when it rode out to Pete Spence's

Pete Spence

wood camp where they found Florentino Cruz, a.k.a. Indian Charlie, who had been implicated in trying to kill the Earps.  He returned to Tombstone to obtain more funds for the Earps and was arrested on trumped up charges by Cochise County Sheriff and Earp enemy Johnny Behan.

Johnny Behan

 While in jail he missed the shootout at Iron Springs on March 24 during which Wyatt Earp killed Curly Bill Brocius

Curly Bill Brocius

because he was bringing money to the Earp posse.

After Tipton was released on March 25, he brought $1,000 donated by E.B. Gage, who was part owner of the Tombstone-based Grand Central Mining Company

Tombstone, Arizona

and superintendent of the Grand Central Mine.  He was also a prominent Republican and a member of the Citizens Safety Committee.  He took the money to the Earp part at Henry Hooker's Sierra Bonita Ranch north of Wilcox.  The posse members looked for more members of the outlaw Cowboys for a few more days before leaving Arizona on April 15 to avoid arrest warrants.  Tipton remained with the group through New Mexico and into Colorado, where most of the posse stayed to avoid arrest warrants from Cochise County.

Boot Hill, Tombstone, Arizona

Later life:

In 1897, Tipton ran afoul of the law.  Customs agents arrested him for smuggling forged Chinese immigrant labor certificates.  He was convicted in October and sentenced to 20 months in the Ohio Federal Penitentiary.

Ohio Penitentiary where Dan Tipton died

I have a current Tipton connection to Arizona.  My first cousin Shirley Tipton Patterson lives in Arizona.  Shirley's dad Rich Tipton was the brother of my dad Isaac Tipton.  The last time I saw Shirley was when the photo below was taken in 1951 during a Tipton Gathering at Uncle Ed and Aunt Mabel Tiptons' house in the country for a Sunday dinner.

Cousin Shirley is the tall girl standing behind her sister Sandy Tipton. They are both standing in front of the baby (whose name I don't know) with her thumb in her mouth.  I am standing in the front row, fourth from the right with my two younger brothers John and Isaac.  I have my arms folded.  This photo was taken in 1951 when both Shirley and I were ten years old.  I haven't seen her since.
Shirley now lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband Bob Patterson.  They are pictured below.

Bob Patterson and Shirley Tipton Patterson
These days I play a faux cowboy once a year at an old time photo shop at Rehoboth Beach.  Here was my photo as a gunslinger from last year:

Ron Tipton - Faux Cowboy 2012


Jon said...

The Tiptons have some great historical connections and the stories are fascinating. Wonderful photos, as always - - but I don't think I woud have wanted to mess around with Pete Spence. He looks scary as hell.

I used to have some Arizona relatives but they are now deceased. I was in Tombstone twice. Believe it or not I actually throught of moving there and buying a house, but the town has lately become MUCH too touristy.

Ron said...


That Pete Spence is one hot looking dude isn't he?