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Ike Clanton

Ike Clanton

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Joseph Isaac Clanton (1847 – June 1, 1887) was born in Callaway County, Missouri
Callaway County, Missouri
Callaway County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. It is part of the Jefferson City, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2010, the population was 44,332. Its county seat is Fulton. The county was organized in 1820. It was named for Capt. James Callaway, a grandson of...

. He is best known for being a member of group of outlaw Cowboys
The Cowboys
The Cowboys is a 1972 Western motion picture starring John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Slim Pickens, A Martinez and Bruce Dern. Robert Carradine makes his film debut with fellow child actor Stephen R. Hudis. It was filmed at various locations in New Mexico, Colorado and at Warner Brothers Studio in...

 that had ongoing conflicts with lawmen Wyatt
Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp was an American gambler, investor, and law enforcement officer who served in several Western frontier towns. He was also at different times a farmer, teamster, bouncer, saloon-keeper, miner and boxing referee. However, he was never a drover or cowboy. He is most well known...

, Virgil
Virgil Earp
Virgil Walter Earp fought in the Civil War. He was U.S. Deputy Marshal for south-eastern Arizona and Tombstone City Marshal at the time of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in the Arizona Territory. Two months after the shootout in Tombstone, outlaw Cowboys ambushed Virgil on the streets of...

, Morgan Earp
Morgan Earp
Morgan Seth Earp was the younger brother of Deputy U.S. Marshals Virgil and Wyatt Earp. Morgan was a deputy of Virgil's and all three men were the target of repeated death threats made by outlaw Cowboys who were upset by the Earps' interference in their illegal activities. This conflict eventually...

 and Wyatt's friend Doc Holliday
Doc Holliday
John Henry "Doc" Holliday was an American gambler, gunfighter and dentist of the American Old West, who is usually remembered for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and his involvement in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral...

. The Clantons repeatedly threatened the Earps because they interfered with the Cowboys' illegal activities. On October 26, 1881, Ike was present at the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a roughly 30-second gunfight that took place at about 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona Territory, of the United States. Outlaw Cowboys Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne ran from the fight, unharmed, but Ike's brother...

 in the boomtown
Boomtown
A boomtown is a community that experiences sudden and rapid population and economic growth. The growth is normally attributed to the nearby discovery of a precious resource such as gold, silver, or oil, although the term can also be applied to communities growing very rapidly for different reasons,...

 of Tombstone
Tombstone, Arizona
Tombstone is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona Territory. It was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in the American Old West. From about 1877 to 1890, the town's mines produced USD $40 to $85 million...

, Arizona Territory
Arizona Territory
The Territory of Arizona was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 24, 1863 until February 14, 1912, when it was admitted to the Union as the 48th state....

, but was unarmed and ran from the gunfight. His 19 year old brother Billy was killed in the gunfight. Ike filed murder charges against the Earps but after a 30-day preliminary hearing, Justice Wells Spicer
Wells Spicer
Wells W. Spicer was an American journalist, prospector, politician, lawyer and judge whose legal career immersed him in two significant events in frontier history: the Mountain Meadows massacre in the Utah Territory in 1857; and the 1881 shootout commonly known as the Gunfight at the O.K...

 ruled that there was not enough evidence to indict the Earps. Ike was implicated in the attempted assassination of Virgil Earp
Virgil Earp
Virgil Walter Earp fought in the Civil War. He was U.S. Deputy Marshal for south-eastern Arizona and Tombstone City Marshal at the time of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in the Arizona Territory. Two months after the shootout in Tombstone, outlaw Cowboys ambushed Virgil on the streets of...

 on December 30, 1881, but was released for lack of evidence. Ike died in the saddle six years later when he was shot by a lawman pursuing him on cattle-rustling
Cattle raiding
Cattle raiding is the act of stealing cattle.In Australia, such stealing is often referred to as duffing, and the person as a duffer...

 charges.

Early life


Ike Clanton was one of seven children born to Newman Haynes Clanton, (1816–1881) and his wife Maria Sexton (Kelso) Clanton. His father worked at times as a day laborer, a gold miner, a farmer, and by the late 1870s, a cattleman in Arizona Territory
Arizona Territory
The Territory of Arizona was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 24, 1863 until February 14, 1912, when it was admitted to the Union as the 48th state....

.

Clanton's mother died in 1866. Ike stayed with the family when they moved to Tombstone
Tombstone, Arizona
Tombstone is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona Territory. It was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in the American Old West. From about 1877 to 1890, the town's mines produced USD $40 to $85 million...

, Arizona Territory, about 1877 (before Tombstone became a town or even a mining center). At that time, Newman Clanton was living with his sons Phineas ("Fin"), Ike, and Billy. By 1878 Ike was running a small "lunch counter" at the Tombstone Mill site (now Millville on the San Pedro River—not in modern Tombstone). By 1881, however, he was working on his father's ranch at Lewis Springs, about 12 miles (19.3 km) west of Tombstone and 5 miles (8 km) from Charleston
Charleston, Arizona
Charleston is a ghost town in Cochise County in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Arizona. It was occupied from the late-1870s through the late-1880s, and was located in what was then known as the Arizona Territory...

.

The Clantons and their ranch hands and associates were known as the "Cowboys
The Cowboys (Cochise County)
The Cowboys were a loosely associated group of outlaw cowboys in Pima and Cochise County, Arizona Territory in the late 19th century. They were cattle rustlers and robbers who rode across the border into Mexico and rounded up cattle that they then sold in the United States...

", and they had a reputation for reckless behavior. They were accused of cattle rustling from across the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as other acts of banditry and murder.

Notoriety, clashes with the Earp lawmen


Ike Clanton's notoriety is based largely on his conflict with Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp was an American gambler, investor, and law enforcement officer who served in several Western frontier towns. He was also at different times a farmer, teamster, bouncer, saloon-keeper, miner and boxing referee. However, he was never a drover or cowboy. He is most well known...

 and Wyatt's friend Doc Holliday
Doc Holliday
John Henry "Doc" Holliday was an American gambler, gunfighter and dentist of the American Old West, who is usually remembered for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and his involvement in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral...

. The Earps and the Clantons had political, personal, and legal differences and the animosity between them grew throughout 1881. Ike Clanton repeatedly boasted in public, drank heavily, and had a quick temper. He was well known for talking too much.

In November 1879, shortly after arriving in Tombstone, Wyatt Earp had a horse stolen. More than a year later, probably sometime in December 1880, Wyatt was told the horse was being used near Charleston, and Wyatt and Holliday were forced to ride to the Clanton's ranch near Charleston to await ownership papers in order to legally recover it. According to Wyatt's testimony later, 18 year-old Billy Clanton asked him insolently if he had any more horses to "lose," but he gave the horse up without first being shown the ownership papers, demonstrating to Wyatt that Billy knew to whom the horse belonged. Sheriff Johnny Behan
Johnny Behan
John Harris Behan was from April, 1881 to November, 1882 sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona Territory. Behan was appointed the first sheriff of the newly-created county in February, 1881. The mining boomtown of Tombstone was the new county seat and Behan's headquarters...

 later testified that the incident had angered Ike Clanton. It also angered Wyatt Earp.

Benson stage robbery


On the evening of March 15, 1881, three Cowboys
The Cowboys (Cochise County)
The Cowboys were a loosely associated group of outlaw cowboys in Pima and Cochise County, Arizona Territory in the late 19th century. They were cattle rustlers and robbers who rode across the border into Mexico and rounded up cattle that they then sold in the United States...

 attempted to rob a Kinnear & Company stagecoach
Stagecoach
A stagecoach is a type of covered wagon for passengers and goods, strongly sprung and drawn by four horses, usually four-in-hand. Widely used before the introduction of railway transport, it made regular trips between stages or stations, which were places of rest provided for stagecoach travelers...

 carrying USD$26,000 in silver bullion (about $ in 2010 dollars) enroute from Tombstone to Benson, Arizona
Benson, Arizona
-Transportation:Benson Airport is located 3 miles north west of the city.Benson is served by Interstate 10 to the north, which travels directly to downtown Tucson....

, the nearest freight terminal. A popular and well-known stage coach driver named Eli 'Budd' Philpot was shot and killed as well as a passenger named Peter Roerig riding in the rear dickey seat
Rumble seat
A rumble seat, dicky seat, dickie seat or dickey seat is an upholstered exterior seat which hinges or otherwise opens out from the rear deck of a pre-World War II automobile, and seats one or more passengers. An 1899 Century Dictionary describes a rumble as " A seat for servants in the rear of a...

. The horses bolted, leaving the robbers with nothing. Robert H. Paul
Robert H. Paul
Robert H. Paul was a law enforcement officer in the American Southwest for more than 30 years. He was sheriff of Pima County, Arizona Territory from April 1881 to 1886 and a friend of Deputy U.S. Marshall Virgil Earp and his brother Wyatt Earp...

, who later became Sheriff, said he thought the first shot killing Philpot in the shotgun messenger
Shotgun messenger
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a shotgun messenger was a private "express messenger" and guard, especially on a stagecoach but also on a train, in charge of overseeing and guarding a valuable private shipment, such as particularly the contents of a strongbox or safe...

 seat had been meant for him as he would normally have been seated there., -

Deputy U.S. Marshal Virgil Earp and his temporary deputies Wyatt and Morgan Earp, along with Bat Masterson
Bat Masterson
William Barclay "Bat" Masterson was a figure of the American Old West known as a buffalo hunter, U.S. Marshal and Army scout, avid fisherman, gambler, frontier lawman, and sports editor and columnist for the New York Morning Telegraph...

, Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational diversified financial services company with operations around the world. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by assets and the largest bank by market capitalization. Wells Fargo is the second largest bank in deposits, home...

 agent Marshall Williams, and County Sheriff Johnny Behan
Johnny Behan
John Harris Behan was from April, 1881 to November, 1882 sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona Territory. Behan was appointed the first sheriff of the newly-created county in February, 1881. The mining boomtown of Tombstone was the new county seat and Behan's headquarters...

 set out to find the bandits. They tracked down Luther King, who confessed to holding the reins of the robbers' horses, and he identified the robbers as Bill Leonard, Harry "The Kid" Head and Jim Crane.

Cowboy allies Behan and Milt Joyce attempted to implicate Doc Holliday in the robbery. After Doc Holliday and his on-again, off-again mistress Big Nose Kate
Big Nose Kate
Mary Katherine Horony Cummings , known as Big Nose Kate, was the Hungarian-born long-time companion and common-law wife of fabled gambler and gunfighter Doc Holliday in the American Old West....

 had a particularly nasty, drunken argument, Holliday kicked her out. Behan and Joyce plied Big Nose Kate with more booze and suggested to her a way to get even with Holliday. At their urging, she signed an affidavit
Affidavit
An affidavit is a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent under an oath or affirmation administered by a person authorized to do so by law. Such statement is witnessed as to the authenticity of the affiant's signature by a taker of oaths, such as a notary public...

 implicating Holliday in the attempted stagecoach robbery and murders. Holliday was a good friend of Leonard, a former watchmaker
Watchmaker
A watchmaker is an artisan who makes and repairs watches. Since virtually all watches are now factory made, most modern watchmakers solely repair watches. However, originally they were master craftsmen who built watches, including all their parts, by hand...

 from New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, and one of the three men King named as the robbers. Judge
Judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

 Wells Spicer
Wells Spicer
Wells W. Spicer was an American journalist, prospector, politician, lawyer and judge whose legal career immersed him in two significant events in frontier history: the Mountain Meadows massacre in the Utah Territory in 1857; and the 1881 shootout commonly known as the Gunfight at the O.K...

 issued an arrest warrant
Arrest warrant
An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by and on behalf of the state, which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual.-Canada:Arrest warrants are issued by a judge or justice of the peace under the Criminal Code of Canada....

 for Holliday. The Earps found witness
Witness
A witness is someone who has firsthand knowledge about an event, or in the criminal justice systems usually a crime, through his or her senses and can help certify important considerations about the crime or event. A witness who has seen the event first hand is known as an eyewitness...

es who could attest to Holliday's location at the time of the murders and Kate sobered up, revealing that Behan and Joyce had influenced her to sign a document she didn't understand. With the Cowboy plot
Conspiracy (political)
In a political sense, conspiracy refers to a group of persons united in the goal of usurping or overthrowing an established political power. Typically, the final goal is to gain power through a revolutionary coup d'état or through assassination....

 revealed, Spicer freed Holliday. The district attorney
District attorney
In many jurisdictions in the United States, a District Attorney is an elected or appointed government official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses. The district attorney is the highest officeholder in the jurisdiction's legal department and supervises a staff of...

 threw out the charges, labeling them "ridiculous." Doc gave Kate some money and put her on a stage out of town.

Wyatt offers Ike reward money


After he was passed over by Johnny Behan
Johnny Behan
John Harris Behan was from April, 1881 to November, 1882 sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona Territory. Behan was appointed the first sheriff of the newly-created county in February, 1881. The mining boomtown of Tombstone was the new county seat and Behan's headquarters...

 for the position of undersheriff
Undersheriff
An Undersheriff is an office derived from ancient British practice and still extant in, among other places, the United Kingdom and the United States, though somewhat different forms.-United States:...

, Wyatt thought he might beat him in the next Cochise County
Cochise County, Arizona
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*78.5% White*4.2% Black*1.2% Native American*1.9% Asian*0.3% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*4.0% Two or more races*9.6% Other races*32.4% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

 election. He thought catching the robbers would help him win the sheriff's office. Wyatt later said that on June 2, 1881 he offered the Wells, Fargo & Co.
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational diversified financial services company with operations around the world. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by assets and the largest bank by market capitalization. Wells Fargo is the second largest bank in deposits, home...

 reward money and more to Ike Clanton if he would provide information leading to the capture or death of the stage robbers. According to Wyatt, the plan was foiled when the three suspects, Leonard, Head and Crane, were killed in unrelated incidents.

In the summer of 1881, Clanton got into an argument with gambler "Denny" McCann. On the morning of June 9, 1881, they were drinking in an Allen Street saloon when Clanton insulted McCann. McCann slapped Clanton, who left and fetched his pistol. McCann did the same and the two met on the street in front of the Wells, Fargo's and Co.
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational diversified financial services company with operations around the world. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by assets and the largest bank by market capitalization. Wells Fargo is the second largest bank in deposits, home...

 office. They drew their weapons when acting Tombstone Marshal Virgil Earp
Virgil Earp
Virgil Walter Earp fought in the Civil War. He was U.S. Deputy Marshal for south-eastern Arizona and Tombstone City Marshal at the time of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in the Arizona Territory. Two months after the shootout in Tombstone, outlaw Cowboys ambushed Virgil on the streets of...

 stepped between them, preventing a shooting.

Clanton rustling and ranching


The Clanton Ranch grew into a successful enterprise. During his testimony after the shootout at the O.K. Corral
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a roughly 30-second gunfight that took place at about 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona Territory, of the United States. Outlaw Cowboys Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne ran from the fight, unharmed, but Ike's brother...

, Ike Clanton claimed to have raised and purchased about 700 head of cattle during the past year, and the Clanton ranch was one of the most profitable cattle ranches in that part of the country. However, the Clantons never registered a brand
Branding iron
A branding iron is a tool which uses the process of pressing a heated metal shape against an object or livestock with the intention of leaving a mark....

 in either Cochise County or Pima County
Pima County, Arizona
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*74.3% White*3.5% Black*3.3% Native American*2.6% Asian*0.2% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*3.7% Two or more races*12.4% Other races*34.6% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

 which was required to legally raise cattle. The Clantons were reputed to be among a group of outlaw
Outlaw
In historical legal systems, an outlaw is declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, this takes the burden of active prosecution of a criminal from the authorities. Instead, the criminal is withdrawn all legal protection, so that anyone is legally empowered to persecute...

 Cowboys
The Cowboys (Cochise County)
The Cowboys were a loosely associated group of outlaw cowboys in Pima and Cochise County, Arizona Territory in the late 19th century. They were cattle rustlers and robbers who rode across the border into Mexico and rounded up cattle that they then sold in the United States...

 who crossed the border into Mexico where they stole cattle and re-sold them to the hungry miners in Cochise County. Curly Bill Brocius
William Brocius
William "Curly Bill" Brocius was a gunman, rustler and an outlaw Cowboy in the Cochise County area of Arizona Territory during the early 1880s. He had a number of conflicts with the lawmen of the Earp family, and he was named as one of the individuals who participated Morgan Earp's assassination....

, Tom and Frank McLaury bought and sold stolen cattle to Old Man Clanton, among others. The Mexican government at the time placed high tariffs on goods transported across the border, making smuggling a profitable enterprise.

The outlaw Cowboys
The Cowboys (Cochise County)
The Cowboys were a loosely associated group of outlaw cowboys in Pima and Cochise County, Arizona Territory in the late 19th century. They were cattle rustlers and robbers who rode across the border into Mexico and rounded up cattle that they then sold in the United States...

 in Cochise County were not organized, and their acts of violence, rustling or robbery were usually committed by independent groups of Cowboys. Old Man Clanton, Ike's father, ran a ranch near the Mexican border that served as a waystation for much of the smuggling carried out by the outlaws.

On August 12, 1881, Old Man Clanton and six other men were herding stolen cattle sold to him by Curly Bill through Gualadupe Canyon near the Mexican border. Around dawn, they were ambushed by Mexicans dispatched by Commandant
Commandant
Commandant is a senior title often given to the officer in charge of a large training establishment or academy. This usage is common in anglophone nations...

 Felipe Neri in what became known as the Guadalupe Canyon Massacre
Guadalupe Canyon Massacre
The Guadalupe Canyon Massacre was an incident that occurred on August 13, 1881 in the Guadalupe Canyon area of the southern Peloncillo Mountains – Guadalupe Mountains. The canyon straddles the modern Arizona and New Mexico state line and connects the Animas Valley of New Mexico with the San...

. Old Man Clanton and five other men were killed in the ambush.

Gunfight in Tombstone



Ike Clanton had told others that Doc Holliday, Virgil Earp, Wyatt Earp, and Morgan Earp had all confided in him that they had actually been involved in the Benson stage robbery. On October 25, 1881, Ike Clanton was in Tombstone, drunk and very loud. Holliday accused him of lying about the Benson stagecoach robbery. Tombstone City Marshal Virgil Earp intervened and threatened to arrest both Doc and Ike if they did not stop arguing, and Holliday went home.

After the confrontation with Ike Clanton, Wyatt Earp took Holliday back to his boarding house at Camillus Sidney "Buck" Fly's Lodging House to sleep off his drinking, then went home and to bed. Tombstone
Tombstone, Arizona
Tombstone is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona Territory. It was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in the American Old West. From about 1877 to 1890, the town's mines produced USD $40 to $85 million...

 Marshal
Marshal
Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

 Virgil Earp played cards with Ike Clanton, Tom McLaury, Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan
Johnny Behan
John Harris Behan was from April, 1881 to November, 1882 sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona Territory. Behan was appointed the first sheriff of the newly-created county in February, 1881. The mining boomtown of Tombstone was the new county seat and Behan's headquarters...

 and a fifth man (unknown to Ike and to history), until morning.

At about dawn on October 26, the card game broke up and Behan and Virgil Earp went home to bed. Ike Clanton testified later he saw Virgil take his six-shooter out of his lap and stick it in his pants when the game ended. Not having rented a room, Tom McLaury and Ike Clanton had no place to go. Shortly after 8:00 am barkeeper E. F. Boyle spoke to Ike Clanton, who had been drinking all night, in front of the telegraph office. Boyle encouraged him to get some sleep, but Ike insisted he would not go to bed. Boyle later testified he noticed Ike was armed and covered his gun for him, recalling that Ike told him "'As soon as the Earps and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street, the ball would open—that they would have to fight'... I went down to Wyatt Earp's house and told him that Ike Clanton had threatened that when him and his brothers and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street that the ball would open." Ike said in his testimony afterward that he remembered neither meeting Boyle nor making any such statements that day.

Later in the morning, Ike picked up his rifle
Rifle
A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves cut into the barrel walls. The raised areas of the rifling are called "lands," which make contact with the projectile , imparting spin around an axis corresponding to the...

 and revolver from the West End Corral, where he had stabled his wagon and team and deposited his weapons after entering town. By noon that day, Ike, drinking again and armed, told others he was looking for Holliday or an Earp. At about 1:00 pm, Virgil and Morgan Earp surprised Ike on 4th Street where Virgil buffaloed (pistol-whipped) him from behind. Disarming him, the Earps took Ike to appear before Judge Wallace for violating the city's ordinance against carrying firearms in the city. Virgil went to find Judge Wallace so the court hearing could be held.."

Ike reported in his testimony afterward that Wyatt Earp cursed him. He said Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan offered him his rifle and to fight him right there in the courthouse, which Ike declined. Ike also denied ever threatening the Earps. Ike was fined $25 plus court costs and after paying the fine left unarmed. Virgil told Ike he would leave Ike's confiscated rifle and revolver at the Grand Hotel which was favored by Cowboys when in town. Ike testified that he picked up the weapons from William Soule, the jailer, a couple of days later.

At around 1:30–2:00 pm, after Tom had been pistol-whipped by Wyatt, Ike's 19-year-old younger brother Billy Clanton and Tom's older brother Frank McLaury arrived in town. They had heard from their neighbor, Ed "old man" Frink, that Ike had been stirring up trouble in town overnight, and they had ridden into town on horseback to back up their brothers. They arrived from Antelope Springs, 13 miles (20.9 km) east of Tombstone
Tombstone, Arizona
Tombstone is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona Territory. It was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in the American Old West. From about 1877 to 1890, the town's mines produced USD $40 to $85 million...

, where they had been rounding up stock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

 with their brothers and had had breakfasted with Ike and Tom the day before. Both Frank and Billy were armed with a revolver and a rifle, as was the custom for riders in the country outside Tombstone. Apache
Apache
Apache is the collective term for several culturally related groups of Native Americans in the United States originally from the Southwest United States. These indigenous peoples of North America speak a Southern Athabaskan language, which is related linguistically to the languages of Athabaskan...

 warriors had engaged the U.S. Army near Tombstone just three weeks before the O.K. Corral gunfight, so the need for weapons outside of town was well established and accepted.

Billy and Frank stopped first at the Grand Hotel on Allen Street, and were greeted by Doc Holliday. They learned immediately after of their brothers' beatings by the Earps within the previous two hours. The incidents had generated a lot of talk in town. Angrily, Frank said he would not drink, and he and Billy left the saloon immediately to seek Tom. By law, both Frank and Billy should have left their firearms at the Grand Hotel. Instead, they remained fully armed. The city statute was not specific about how far a recently-arrived visitor might "with good faith, and within reasonable time" travel into town while carrying a firearm. This permitted a traveler to keep his firearms if he was proceeding directly to a livery, hotel or saloon.

A man named Coleman told Virgil that the Cowboys had left the Dunbar and Dexter Stable for the O.K. Corral and were still armed, and Virgil decided they had to disarm them. The three main Tombstone corrals were all west of 4th street, a block or two from where Wyatt saw the Cowboys buying cartridges.


Cochise County Sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

 Johnny Behan
Johnny Behan
John Harris Behan was from April, 1881 to November, 1882 sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona Territory. Behan was appointed the first sheriff of the newly-created county in February, 1881. The mining boomtown of Tombstone was the new county seat and Behan's headquarters...

, a friend to the Cowboys, later testified that he first learned of the trouble while he was getting a shave at the barbershop after 1:30 pm, which is when he had risen after the late-night game. Behan stated he immediately went to locate the Cowboys. At about 2:30 pm he saw Ike, Frank, Tom, and Billy gathered off Fremont street in a narrow 15–20 ft (4.6–6.1 m) wide empty lot or alley immediately west of 312 Fremont Street, which contained Fly's 12-room boarding house and photography studio. The lot was six lots removed from the rear entrance to the O.K. Corral
O.K. Corral, Arizona
The O.K. Corral was originally a small horse corral located in the 19th century boomtown city of Tombstone in the Territory of Arizona, an organized incorporated territory of the United States. It is most famously associated with the "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" which is somewhat of a misnomer...

.

When Virgil Earp learned that Wyatt was talking to the Cowboys at Spangenberg's gun shop he picked up a 10-gauge or 12-gauge, short, double-barreled shotgun
Coach gun
A coach gun is a double-barrel shotgun, generally with barrels approximately 18" in length placed side by side . The name comes from the use of such shotguns on stagecoaches by shotgun messengers in the American Wild West and during the Colonial period of Australia.-History:The term "Coach gun"...

from the Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational diversified financial services company with operations around the world. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by assets and the largest bank by market capitalization. Wells Fargo is the second largest bank in deposits, home...

 office around the corner on Allen Street. To avoid alarming Tombstone's public, Virgil returned to Hafford's Saloon carrying the shotgun under his long overcoat
Duster (clothing)
A duster is a light, loose-fitting long coat.The original dusters were full-length, light-colored canvas or linen coats worn by horsemen to protect their clothing from trail dust. These dusters were typically slit up the back to hip level for ease of wear on horseback and were the recommended...

. He gave the shotgun to Doc Holliday who hid it under his overcoat. He took Holliday's walking-stick in return. From Spangenberg's, the Cowboys moved to the O.K. Corral where witnesses overheard them threatening to kill the Earps. They then walked a block north to an empty lot next to C. S. Fly's boarding house where Doc Holliday lived.

Virgil Earp was told by several citizens that the McLaurys and the Clantons had gathered on Fremont Street and were armed. He decided he had to act. Several members of the citizen's vigilance committee offered to support him with arms, but Virgil said no. He had previously deputized Morgan and Wyatt and also deputized Doc Holliday that morning. Wyatt spoke of his brothers Virgil and Morgan as the "marshals" while he acted as "deputy."

Witnesses later testified that Ike Clanton had spent all day, even after his arrest and disarming, threatening to gun down the Earps. However, when the gunfight broke out, Ike ran forward and grabbed Wyatt, exclaiming that he was unarmed and did not want a fight. To this protest Wyatt said he responded, "Go to fighting or get away!"." Clanton ran through the front door of Fly's boarding house and escaped, unwounded.

In the days prior to the gunfight, Ike had enlisted the help of fellow Cowboy Billy Claiborne, who was reputed to be good with a gun. Claiborne, who was also unarmed, fled the gunfight. Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton were killed.

Files murder charges against Earps


After the gunfight in Tombstone that Ike had fled, during which the McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton were killed, Ike Clanton filed murder charges against the Earps and Doc Holliday. They were arrested and released on bail. During a month-long preliminary hearing before Judge Wells Spicer
Wells Spicer
Wells W. Spicer was an American journalist, prospector, politician, lawyer and judge whose legal career immersed him in two significant events in frontier history: the Mountain Meadows massacre in the Utah Territory in 1857; and the 1881 shootout commonly known as the Gunfight at the O.K...

, Clanton told a story of abuse that he had suffered at the hands of the Earps and Holliday the night before the gunfight. He denied threatening the Earps. He testified that the Clantons and Frank McLaury raised their hands after Virgil's command, and Tom thrust open his vest to show he was unarmed. Clanton said Wyatt shoved his revolver in his belly, telling him, "You son-of-a-bitch, you can have a fight!".

Ike backed up Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan
Johnny Behan
John Harris Behan was from April, 1881 to November, 1882 sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona Territory. Behan was appointed the first sheriff of the newly-created county in February, 1881. The mining boomtown of Tombstone was the new county seat and Behan's headquarters...

's testimony that Holliday and Morgan Earp had fired the first two shots and that the next several shots also came from the Earp party. Under cross-examination
Cross-examination
In law, cross-examination is the interrogation of a witness called by one's opponent. It is preceded by direct examination and may be followed by a redirect .- Variations by Jurisdiction :In...

, Clanton told a story of the lead-up to the gunfight that did not make sense. He said the Benson stage robbery was concocted by the Earps and Holliday to cover up money they had "piped off" to pay bribes. Ike also claimed that Doc Holliday and Morgan, Wyatt, and Virgil Earp had separately confessed to him their role in the Benson stage holdup, or else the cover-up of the robbery by allowing the robbers' escape.

Ike Clanton proved a better witness for the defense than the prosecution. He said that Doc Holliday, Virgil Earp, Wyatt Earp, and Morgan Earp had all confided in him that they had actually been involved in the stage robbery. He further claimed that Holliday had told him that Holliday had "piped off" money from the stage before it left (although no money was missing, and the stage had not been successfully robbed). Clanton also said Holliday had confessed to him about killing the stage driver. Murder was a capital offense, and given their relationship, it was unlikely Holliday would confide in Ike. Ike testified that Earp had threatened to kill his confederates because he feared they would reveal his part in the robbery. Ike said he feared that Wyatt wanted to kill him because he knew of Wyatt's role. These and other inconsistencies in Ike's testimony lacked credibility. By the time Ike finished his testimony, the entire prosecution case had become suspect.

Judge Spicer exonerated the lawmen. In his ruling, he noted that Ike Clanton had the night before, while unarmed, publicly declared that the Earp brothers and Holliday had insulted him, and that when he was armed he intended to shoot them or fight them on sight. On the morning of the shooting Virgil Earp had arrested him for carrying a revolver. At the gunfight, he was unarmed. Spicer noted that Ike Clanton had claimed the Earps were out to murder him, yet on both occasions that day the Earps had not killed him, and allowed him to escape unchallenged during the fight. Spicer wrote, "the great fact, most prominent in the matter, to wit, that Isaac Clanton was not injured at all, and could have been killed first and easiest."

Clanton was later accused, along with his brother Phin Clanton and friend Pony Diehl
Pony Diehl
Charles "Pony" Diehl was an Old West outlaw who crossed paths and associated with some of the most famous western characters in American history. His origins are unknown, although he is believed to have been part Cherokee....

, of attempting to kill Virgil Earp
Virgil Earp
Virgil Walter Earp fought in the Civil War. He was U.S. Deputy Marshal for south-eastern Arizona and Tombstone City Marshal at the time of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in the Arizona Territory. Two months after the shootout in Tombstone, outlaw Cowboys ambushed Virgil on the streets of...

 on December 30, 1881, a shooting which left Virgil with a crippled left arm. Though Ike's hat was found at the scene where the ambushers waited, a number of associates stood up for him, saying that he had been in Contention that night, and the case was dismissed for lack of evidence.

On Saturday, March 18, 1882, Morgan Earp was killed by a shot through a door window facing a dark alley while playing billiards at Hatch's Saloon in Tombstone. Wyatt was shot at and missed. Wyatt Earp concluded that he could not rely on civil justice and decided to take matters into his own hands. He concluded that only way to deal with Morgan's murderers was to kill them..

Deputy U.S. Marshal Wyatt Earp led a federal posse that escorted Virgil Earp to the railroad, bound for his parent's home in Colton, California
Colton, California
Colton is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The city is located in the Inland Empire region of the state and is approximately 57 miles east of Los Angeles. The population of Colton is 52,154 according to the 2010 census, up from 47,662 at the 2000 census.Colton is the...

. Wyatt shot and killed Frank Stilwell
Frank Stilwell
Frank C. Stilwell was an outlaw Cowboy who murdered at least two men in Cochise County during 1877-1882. For four months he was a deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona Territory for Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan...

, who was laying in wait at the Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Tucson is a city in and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States. The city is located 118 miles southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The 2010 United States Census puts the city's population at 520,116 with a metropolitan area population at 1,020,200...

 rail yard. A few days later Wyatt gathered a larger posse and set out on a vendetta
Earp vendetta ride
The Earp Vendetta Ride, lasting from March 20 to April 15, 1882, was a manhunt for outlaw Cowboys led by newly appointed Deputy U.S. Marshal Wyatt Earp. He was searching for men he held responsible for maiming his brother Virgil, the Tombstone Marshal and Deputy U.S. Marshal, and assassinating his...

, determined to mete out justice that had evaded him. Wyatt never located Ike, although they killed three other outlaw Cowboys, and the Earps and Holliday left the Arizona Territory in late April, 1882.

Death


Ike Clanton and his brother Phineas were charged with cattle-rustling
Cattle raiding
Cattle raiding is the act of stealing cattle.In Australia, such stealing is often referred to as duffing, and the person as a duffer...

 and pursued by detective Jonas V. Brighton. On June 1, 1887, at Jim Wilson's Ranch on Eagle Creek, south of Springerville, Arizona
Springerville, Arizona
Springerville is a town in Apache County, Arizona, United States within the White Mountains. Its postal ZIP code is 85938. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town is 1,956.Springerville sits at an elevation of 6,974 feet...

, Phin Clanton surrendered, but Ike resisted and was shot dead.

A reporter who corresponded with Brighton in late June 1887 relayed Brighton's story about the arrest and shooting:
A conflicting account reports that Ike's body lay where it fell for several days until nearby Mormon
Mormon
The term Mormon most commonly denotes an adherent, practitioner, follower, or constituent of Mormonism, which is the largest branch of the Latter Day Saint movement in restorationist Christianity...

 ranchers buried him in a unmarked grave in the old Mormon cemetery southeast of Eagar, Arizona
Eagar, Arizona
Eagar is a town in Apache County, Arizona, United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town is 4,126.Eagar was first settled in 1871.-Geography:Eagar is located at ....

 on what is today called "The 26 Bar Ranch".

In late June 1996 a Clanton family descendant, Terry “Ike” Clanton, along with former Citadel professor and grave expert James A. Browning, searched the area near Eagle Creek in what is now Greenlee County, Arizona, where Ike was reportedly buried. They quickly discovered a shallow grave under a large tree that they believe contains the remains of Ike Clanton. Since their discovery, Terry has unsuccessfully tried to interest Tombstone city officials in exhuming the remains and re-interring them in Tombstone’s famous Boot Hill graveyard
Boot Hill
Boot Hill is the name for any number of cemeteries, chiefly in the American West. During the 19th century it was a common name for the burial grounds of gunfighters, or those who "died with their boots on" ....

.

Portrayals in film


Ike Clanton is portrayed by Grant Withers
Grant Withers
Grant Withers was an American film actor. With early beginnings in the silent era, Withers moved into talkies establishing himself with a list of headlined features as a young and handsome male lead...

 in the 1946 John Ford
John Ford
John Ford was an American film director. He was famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath...

 classic "My Darling Clementine
My Darling Clementine
My Darling Clementine is a 1946 western movie. It was directed by John Ford, and based on the story of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral between the Earp brothers and the Clanton gang. It features an ensemble cast including Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, Ward Bond, Walter Brennan, and others.The movie...

". Lyle Bettger
Lyle Bettger
Lyle S. Bettger was a character actor known most for his Hollywood roles from the 1950s, typically portraying villains...

 portrayed Clanton as a brutal thug in John Sturges' 1957 film Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957 film)
The film was based on a real event which took place on October 26, 1881. It was directed by John Sturges and featuring a screenplay written by novelist Leon Uris, and the movie's supporting cast included Rhonda Fleming, John Ireland, Jo Van Fleet, Martin Milner, Dennis Hopper, Jack Elam, Lee Van...

. In Sturges' 1967 sequel, Hour of the Gun
Hour of the Gun
Hour of the Gun is 1967 Western film starring James Garner and depicting Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday during their 1881 battles against Ike Clanton and his brothers in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and the gunfight's aftermath in and around Tombstone, Arizona.The film is based on the non fiction...

, he is portrayed very differently as a highly sophisticated figure by Robert Ryan
Robert Ryan
Robert Bushnell Ryan was an American actor who often played hardened cops and ruthless villains.-Early life and career:...

. Although the film is a generally accurate depiction of the events surrounding the gunfight at OK Corral and the subsequent Earp Vendetta, it errs in showing Ike as having been tracked down in Mexico and shot by Wyatt. Later films correctly show Wyatt allowing Ike to live. Ike Clanton appears in the 1966 Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

story "The Gunfighters
The Gunfighters
The Gunfighters is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, set in 19th Century America on the days leading up to the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral...

", played by William Hurndell, which is largely based on the Sturges film and portrays Ike as the villain, albeit a somewhat comedic and inept one. It differs from history by showing Ike participate and die in the OK Corral gunfight.

Clanton is played by Stephen Lang
Stephen Lang (actor)
Stephen Lang is an American actor and playwright. He started in theatre on Broadway but is well known for his film portrayals of Stonewall Jackson in Gods and Generals and George Pickett in Gettysburg , as well as for his 2009 roles as Colonel Miles Quaritch in Avatar and as Texan lawman Charles...

 in the 1993 movie Tombstone (1993) starring Kurt Russell
Kurt Russell
Kurt Vogel Russell is an American television and film actor. His first acting roles were as a child in television series, including a lead role in the Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters...

 as Wyatt Earp. This movie draws heavily on the book by former Tombstone Assistant Marshal Billy Breakenridge
Billy Breakenridge
William Milton "Billy" Breakenridge was an American lawman, teamster, railroader, soldier and author. He was assistant Tombstone City Marshal in the Arizona Territory when the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place....

, "Helldorado: Bringing the Law to the Mesquite". He is played by Jeff Fahey
Jeff Fahey
Jeffrey David "Jeff" Fahey is an American film and television actor. He has portrayed Captain Frank Lapidus on the ABC series Lost and the title role of Deputy Marshal Winston MacBride on The Marshal.-Early life:...

 in the 1994 movie Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Earp (film)
Wyatt Earp is a 1994 American semi-biographical Western film, written by Dan Gordon and Lawrence Kasdan and directed by Kasdan. It stars Kevin Costner in the title role as lawman Wyatt Earp, and features an ensemble cast that includes Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, Isabella Rossellini, Mark Harmon,...

(1994) starring Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner
Kevin Michael Costner is an American actor, singer, musician, producer, director, and businessman. He has been nominated for three BAFTA Awards, won two Academy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards. Costner's roles include Lt. John J...

 as Wyatt Earp. Christopher Fulford
Christopher Fulford
Christopher Fulford is a British actor who is best known for his supporting roles in many British TV shows.In his early career he often appeared in British crime dramas. He was guest star of both the ITV crime series Inspector Morse, in Driven to Destruction and as a killer in the early A Touch...

 played him in 2007 in the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 drama-documentary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. In The Original Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

 Third Season (1969) episode entitled 'Spectre of the Gun,' Captain James T. Kirk played by William Shatner
William Shatner
William Alan Shatner is a Canadian actor, musician, recording artist, and author. He gained worldwide fame and became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T...

, plays the part of Ike Clanton throughout the episode as part of an alien illusion test.

External links