Morgan Earp

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Pella, Iowa
Birth Sign
Pella, Iowa

One of the fabled Earp brothers, Morgan Earp, is the subject of the book “The Earp Brothers of Tombstone,” which is thought to have been authored by his sister-in-law. Both the film “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” and the television series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” have depicted his life. He was left to care for the farm with his teenage sibling while his older brothers were serving in the American Civil War. He began as a shotgun messenger, but he preferred shooting to farming. Later, he assisted his brother as a deputy marshal in Tombstone. While in Tombstone, Morgan and his brothers got into a fight with the “Cowboys,” an outlaw gang said to be responsible for stealing horses and cattle. The legendary gunfight at the “OK Corral,” in which the Earp brothers engaged the “Cowboys,” resulted in the deaths of three of the “Cowboys” and the wounding of Morgan. The brothers were detained on suspicion of murder but eventually freed because the jury found that their acts were appropriate. Six months later, while playing pool late at night at a billiards parlor, Morgan was shot and killed by a shooter who entered the room through a window. Wyatt, his brother, made the decision to use force to exact revenge for his brother’s passing. Wyatt and his crew killed three of the suspects even though the court cleared the accused. Later, the law apprehended the other “Cowboys” responsible for Morgan’s demise on various counts.

Table of Contents

Early Childhood & Life

Nicholas Porter Earp and Virginia Ann Cooksey, his second wife, welcomed Morgan Earp into the world on April 24, 1851, in Pella, Lowa. His father was a farmer who also worked as a cooper, making barrels and other objects out of wood and other materials. Three of Morgan’s nine siblings were sisters.

During the American Civil War, Morgan’s older brothers, James, Newton, and Virgil, served on the front lines while Morgan and his younger brother Wyatt were left to manage the farm. Although he was still a youngster, Morgan detested farming and soon moved to Montana with his brother James. Later, during the war, Wyatt and Morgan were stationed on the western border.

Career of Morgan Earp

Morgan began working for “Wells Fargo & Co.” as a shotgun messenger. He was hired as a deputy in Tombstone by his brother Wyatt after serving as one under his brother Virgil. The Clantons and McLaurys, who were thought to be involved in stealing cattle and horses, came into confrontation with Morgan and his brothers while they were in Tombstone.

Billy Brooks, who had challenged Morgan to a duel after learning that Morgan was taking Brooks’ place as Marshal, is said to have been the first person Morgan murdered. During the duel, Brooks was fatally shot in the stomach while Morgan suffered a shoulder injury.

In October 1881, Ike Clanton and his “Cowboys,” who were on the wrong side of the law, threatened the Earp brothers. Marshal Virgil Earp had learned that Clanton and his “Cowboys” were staying close to the “OK Corral” while carrying weapons in violation of Tombstone city code. In a street fight, Marshal Virgil and his deputies Morgan and Wyatt went out to disarm the individuals.

Three of Ike Clanton’s “Cowboys” were killed while he was fleeing the scene. Despite receiving a shoulder wound, Morgan was able to keep using his weapon. During the gunfight, his brother Virgil was also hit in the calf. Although Morgan and his brothers were accused of murder, the jury found that their acts were appropriate, and they were freed 30 days later.

Virgil Earp was severely hurt and permanently disabled in a second attempt to kill him in December 1881. Louisa was transferred to be with Morgan’s parents in Colton, California, once Morgan recognized the threat to the family. He made the decision to remain in Tombstone, nonetheless, in order to help out his brothers.

Morgan was shot through a window on March 18, 1882, by a gunman as he was playing billiards at a late-night billiards establishment. He was shot in the right shoulder, shattering his spine and other important structures in the process. The top medical professionals evaluated him, but he was beyond saving.

After being shot, he passed away 30 minutes later, and his body was carried to his parent’s home in Colton, California, where his wife was waiting. He was laid to rest in the town’s cemetery, next to Mount Slover. His remains were later unearthed and reinterred in the Colton Hermosa Cemetery once the cemetery was moved.

Personal Legacy & Life

While serving as a deputy in Dodge City in the 1870s, Morgan married Louisa Alice Houston. She was a small woman with rheumatoid arthritis, and Morgan did not want to subject her to a hard existence. As a result, he purchased a home in Miles City, Montana, where they temporarily resided. Later, in July 1880, he left to join his brothers in the mining community of Tombstone, Arizona, taking her with him to live with his parents in Temescal, California. However, Louisa joined him in Tombstone six months later, only to be ordered home when things got worse.

According to the descriptions in the book that his sister-in-law, Allie, wrote, he developed a reputation as being a man with a short fuse. In contrast, he was a rather level-headed and sober individual in real life.

Morgan only had one wife, and he never betrayed her. She remarried after he passed away, but her second marriage did not appear to be as blissful as her devoted marriage to Morgan.

Estimated Net Worth

The estimated net worth of Morgan Earp is unknown.


The TV series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” which ran on “ABC” from 1955 to 1961, starred actor Ray Boyle as Morgan Earp. DeForest Kelley and Sam Melville both played him in the 1957 western “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” in the 1967 movie “Hour of the Gun,” respectively.

He was portrayed by Bill Paxton and Lindan Ashby in the films “Tombstone” (1993) and “Wyatt Earp” (1994), in which his narrative was also presented.

While he was dying, Morgan didn’t exhibit any signs of sorrow or anguish. He jokingly said to his brothers that it appeared to be his final game of pool. He also said, “I can’t see a darn thing,” in a whisper to Wyatt, breaking a promise the brothers had made to each other that they would share with the other when it was their turn to pass away.

Even though Morgan’s death was under investigation, his brother Wyatt made the decision to revenge on his brother’s passing by enforcing the law himself. He gathered a group of men and went after the cowboys he thought were responsible for his brother’s demise. Wyatt and his men killed three of the suspects while the accused was cleared by the court, and the majority of the others were apprehended by the law on various counts.

The Earp Brothers of Tombstone, a tale about the Earp brothers, is purportedly the work of Virgil Earp’s wife, Allie.