Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Frank Stilwell's Incredible Ride

February 10, 2015
   We are working on the killing of Frank Stilwell in the Tucson train yard by Wyatt Earp and crew in March of 1882. One of the controversies in the story is Morgan Earp was shot and killed in Tombstone at approximately 10:50 PM on Saturday night, and Frank (named in the inquest as one of the killers) checked into the Palace Hotel in Tucson at 5 A.M., a mere six hours later (a 75 mile run). The fastest a stagecoach ever made the run was nine-and-a-hallf hours.

Daily Whip Out: "Frank Stilwell Crosses Pantano Wash In The Predawn Light"

   Utilizing the intrepid research of historian Roy Young, we have several conflicting reports: The Arizona Daily Star published "an undocumented report" that Frank arrived in Tucson on Sunday aboard "the emigrant train."

   Meanwhile, John Pleasant Gray, who was a cowboy and friendly with all the Cowboy gang, wrote a manuscript, with an ironic title, "When All Roads Led to Tombstone" in which he said, "It was contended that it was impossible for a man to go from Tombstone to Tucson—a distance of seventy-five miles—between the hours of 11 P.M. and 5 A.M. by any method of transportation then extant. The sheriff would not hold Stillwell [sic] in the face of this alibi. A long time afterward it came out that an old roan saddle horse could have told a different story had he the power of speech."

"I guess there will be hell here tonight."
—A train news boy, who rode in on the train from Benson with the Earps, saying this to the baggage clerk