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DescriptionVirgil Earp: "Good For" Saloon Token. 23 mm. (7/8" diameter) aluminum token. Plain edge with reeded rim. The obverse reads: "V. W. Earp Sawtelle." The reverse reads: "Good for 5¢ In Trade". Authenticated, slabbed and graded by A.N.A.C.S. as AU 50 [damaged]. There is even grey patination on both sides. The reverse has rim dings at the 1 o'clock and 7 o'clock positions as well as very slight scratches or abrasions at and near the word "Good". The lettering and design elements are highly raised with sharp edges. Only a handful are known.
Virgil Walter Earp (1843-1905). Noted lawman, brother of Morgan, Wyatt and James Earp, Marshal of Tombstone Arizona and participant in the Gunfight at the O. K. Corral. Earp worked at various occupations during his career. After serving in the Union army, he worked in law enforcement, farming, rail construction, stagecoach driver, sawmill operations, prospector and saloon keeper. Like Wyatt, he never stayed in one place for too long, preferring to go where opportunities arose, typically in frontier boom towns. On October 26, 1881, the Clanton Gang rode into Tombstone and refused to deposit their weapons at the local livery stable or saloon, in violation of a town ordinance. Virgil appointed Doc Holliday along with his brothers Morgan and Wyatt as temporary deputies and went to disarm the offenders. The resulting confrontation was the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. On December 28th, Virgil barely survived an assassination attempt by the Clantons which left his left arm maimed and permanently disabled. Three months later, his brother Morgan was killed in another ambush. Under heavy escort, Virgil and his wife then left for Colton, California. For the remainder of his life, he lived at various locations, serving as a City Marshal, dabbling in mining and ranching and operating a saloon and meeting hall. He petitioned the city leaders of Colton to repeal a temperance statute that allowed only one saloon in town. When that effort failed, he opened a saloon in the Sawtelle section of Los Angeles. This occurred in the Spring of 1904 and was the occasion for the issuance of this trade token. In July 1904, he left California for the last time to join his brother Wyatt in the boom town of Goldfield, Nevada where he served as a deputy sheriff.
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