Ghost Towns, Tombstone, Arizona
The Tombstone Epitaph
The Tombstone Epitaph is a monthly tombstone publication that serves as a window in the history and culture of the Old West. Founded on May 1, 1880, The Epitaph is the oldest continually published newspaper in Arizona.
John Clum was no stranger to southern Arizona when he decided to relocated from Tucson to Tombstone in 1880. In Tucson, Clum had published the Tucson Citizen, another landmark Arizona newspaper that soon may cease publication. Prior to taking over the Citizen, Clum had been the U. S. government appointee in charge of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. While there, Clum had the distinction of being the only U. S. authority to capture Geronimo the renegade Apache. Geronimo later was released. He did not finally surrender to the U. S. Army until 1886, thus bringing the Apache War period to an end.
Clum was among the group of townspeople who supported the Earp brothers as they attempted to enforce law and order in Tombstone in the early 1880s. Tensions between the factions—the Earps and the "cowboys" escalated to a violent showdown near the O.K. Corral in 1881. In an explosion of gunfire, the Earps and their eclectic friend, Doc Holliday, killed three young cowboys—Frank and Tom McClaury and Billy Clanton. Personal, professional and political disagreements found their outlet on that cold October afternoon, producing an event that continues to inspire historical research and debate.