Death At The OK Corral
On October 26, 1881, the McLaury brothers took part in the Gunfight at the OK Corral. At that time, the tension between the Earp and Cowboys reached a fever pitch. Ike Clanton had been cited earlier in the day for carrying a weapon in town, after which Tom McLaury had arrived to get Ike. Wyatt Earp and McLaury faced off in a heated exchange outside the courtroom. Wyatt later testified he saw a pistol in Tom's waistband and buffaloed Tom with his pistol's barrel. Tom left his pistol at a nearby saloon at some point that afternoon, but the Earps had no way of knowing that.
Later in the day the Clantons and McLaurys, along with Billy Claiborne, faced off against the Earps and Doc Holiday in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Some witnesses testified that Frank and Billy Clanton drew their weapons first, while others loyal to the Cowboys supported their version of events in which Tom opened his coat to show he was unarmed. The Earps and Holiday killed Frank and Tom McLaury along with Billy Clanton. All three were buried in Tombstone's Boot Hill cemetery. Their brother William McLaury spent most of his finances in pursuing charges against the Earps and Doc Holliday.
Tom McLaury had $3,000 in his possession when he died during the shootout, a fact that the prosecution emphasized during the preliminary hearing that followed the shoot out. His brother William, who joined the prosecution team, wrote in a letter home to Texas that his brothers had just sold their herd of cattle and were leaving Tombstone shortly to come be with him in Fort Worth. He said that they were in Tombstone on business, with plans to depart shortly afterward to visit him in Texas. They may have been arranging a cattle deal with their neighbor E. B Frink with butchers Bauer & Kehoe.
Read more about this topic: Frank Mc Laury
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