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    Description

    The 1880-1881 Signature Book of the Pima County Bank: A "Holy Grail" Item for Advanced Collectors of Tombstone, Arizona Artifacts and History. One of the iconic items in the legendary Tombstone collection of John D. Gilchriese, this volume disappeared from view after its 1985 sale. It has been carefully preserved by one of the premier collectors of Western artifacts, who has now decided the time has come to pass it along to another caretaker.

    This massive volume, housed for protection in a lavish custom leather case, contains on alphabetically-ordered pages the signatures of hundreds of Tombstone citizens during the era of the O.K. Corral gunfight. Customers of the bank were asked to sign the book to provide a comparison signature when needed. Certain familiar names seem to leap from the pages: Wyatt and Virgil Earp, Kate Holliday (only known signature of "Big Nose Kate"), Ike and N. H. Clanton, Tom and W. R. McLaury, J. H. Behan, J. G. Meagher, J. Hume, Fred J. Dodge, and at least four Campbells. W. R. McLaury signs with "Fort Worth" after his name. He had come up from Texas to pursue a vendetta against the Earps after the O.K. Corral shootings. Among the others signing are businessmen, adventurers, miners, ranchers, clergymen, and even a few alleged ladies of the evening. For serious scholars of "The Town Too Tough to Die," these signatures provide a unique jumping-off point to investigate the interlocking histories of the citizenry of Tombstone.

    For example, on one of the six-plus pages beginning with "H" is a tantalizing entry for "Harris, Earp & Co." in a hand bearing some striking similarities to that of Josie Earp. Hattie Earp was married to a T. S. Harris, who owned the Tombstone Foundry (she later divorced him). Could Harris have had a business connection with Wyatt and/ or Josie Earp? Our research has failed to answer the question, but this is certainly one of the many fertile grounds for further investigation contained in this historic volume.

    It is difficult to describe the emotions one feels in holding this book in one's hands. It is as if the whole so-familiar history of Tombstone flashes before one's eyes in an instant. In our Legends of the West auction series we have been privileged to offer some very special Western artifacts, but none more memorable than this one.




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    Auction Dates
    June, 2014
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,701

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