Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Family History - Dan Tipton

Dan Tipton - 1844 -1898
Member of Wyatt Earp's "Vendetta" posse

A change of pace folks.  Instead of hearing about me and my health and personal issues, here is a fascinating slice of my family history.  My family connection to Arizona.  As regular followers of this blog may know, I am my family historian.  I do the family research on my Tipton ancestry.  I do have a Tipton first cousin living in Arizona now.  Shirley Tipton Patterson.
Shirley Tipton standing in  front of baby with thumb in mouth behind her sister Sandy Tipton who also moved to Arizona - I am standing to the right with my arms folded next to my two younger brothers John and Isaac - photo taken during a Tipton Sunday chicken dinner at Uncle Ed and Aunt Mabel Tiptons' place in the country - 1951 when we were both ten years old - the last time I saw cousin Shirley
Shirley and I were born the same year (1941).  I haven't seen her for year but I hope to some day.  Her father Rich Tipton and my father Ike Tipton were brothers. We Tiptons are pretty much spread across the country now.  

Cousin Shirley Tipton Patterson today with her husband Bob Patterson - fully "Arizonized"

I am a ninth generation Tipton.  My first Tipton ancestor to arrive on these shores was Jonathan Tipton (1657-1757).  He was born in Kingston, Jamaica and left after a hurricane destroyed his barrel stave (for storing rum) business in Port Royale, Jamaica.  He arrived in Baltimore, Anne Arundel County, Maryland around 1697.  He was my 6th great grandfather.

I do have a lot of "Tipton" information to write about.  However, let me start with Dan Tipton, one of the few Tiptons that I cannot tie into my family tree.  

Dan Tipton was a very interesting man as all Tiptons are.  We all have our story.  Dan's story caught my eye because for a time he was in the famous American western lawman Wyatt Earp's 
posse.  Here is Dan Tipton's story that I took from Wikipedia:

Wyatt Earp
Dan Tipton (1844-February 25, 1896) was a sailor minor, gambler, and member of a federal posse led by American Old West lawman Wyatt Earp.  He participated in Earp's vendetta during which four outlaw Cowboys were killed.
Ike Clanton - member of the Cowboys outlaw gang

Life in Arizona:

Morgan Earp
Tipton served aboard the USS Malvern during the American Civil War and drifted west afterward.  He showed up in Tombstone in March 1881.  When Morgan Earp was assassinated on March 19. 1881, Tipton was present in the billiard parlor where Morgan was killed.  Tipton joined Earp's posses after it returned from Prescott.  While escorting Virgil Earp and his wife Allie to the train bound for California, Wyatt killed Frank Stilwell who had been named as a suspect in Morgan's murder.

Frank Stillwell

Warren Baxter Earp

Tipton rode with Wyatt, Warren Earp, Doc Holliday, 
Doc Holliday
Texas Jack Vermillion, 
Texas Jack Vermillion
Turkey Creek Jack Johnson and Sherman McMaster as they searched for the other Cowboys thought responsible for attacking the Earps.  He was with the Earp posse when it rode out to Pete Spence's 
Pete Spence
wood camp where they found Florentino Cruz, a.k.a. Indian Charlie, who had been implicated in trying to kill the Earps.  He returned to Tombstone to obtain more funds for the Earps and was arrested on trumped up charges by Cochise County Sheriff and Earp enemy Johnny Behan.
Johnny Behan
 While in jail he missed the shootout at Iron Springs on March 24 during which Wyatt Earp killed
 Curly Bill Brocius because he was bringing money to the Earp posse.
Curly Bill Brocius
Tombstone, Arizona
After Tipton was released on March 25, he brought $1,000 donated by E.B. Gage, who was part owner of the Tombstone-based Grand Central Mining Company and superintendent of the Grand Central Mine.  He was also a prominent Republican and a member of the Citizens Safety Committee.  He took the money to the Earp part at Henry Hooker's Sierra Bonita Ranch north of Wilcox.  The posse members looked for more members of the outlaw Cowboys for a few more days before leaving Arizona on April 15 to avoid arrest warrants.  Tipton remained with the group through New Mexico and into Colorado, where most of the posse stayed to avoid arrest warrants from Cochise County.

Boot Hill, Tombstone, Arizona

Later life:

In 1897, Tipton ran afoul of the law.  Customs agents arrested him for smuggling forged Chinese immigrant labor certificates.  He was convicted in October and sentenced to 20 months in the Ohio Federal Penitentiary.
 The 53-year old inmate lasted just four months behind bars before dying of Bright's Disease on February 25, 1898.  He left no known kin. His body was buried in an unmarked grave at the Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.

Ron Tipton - Faux Cowboy (although I do think I lived in an earlier time - I just so fit in the costume) 

By the way, do you think any of those guys back then were gay?  Oh I'm sure one of two of them were.  Talk about being in the closet.  Now those days were tough.

Unknown couple - 1880's
Probably not a part of Wyatt Earp's Vendetta posse - just guessing


  1. Anonymous1:27 PM

    Interesting cowboy history. Love that photo of you in western wear. The rodeo is in town. Maybe some Tiptons are here!

    1. Jeffery,

      Cowboy drag is the only drag I do well.


  2. Ron,

    He looks like a wild-eyed you. Sure it wasn't just another of your old time photo shots?


    1. Lar,

      Now I know I have lived before! Definite similarities between me and cousin Dan Tipton.


  3. the family resemblance is mos def there; and you DO like the western adventures.

    1. Anne Marie,

      I always felt a special connection to the Western Experience. I think I must have lived in that time in one of my previous lives.


  4. Anonymous9:07 PM

    Really, really interesting. I've done a bit of research based on handwritten notes handed down to me from my father and grandmother. It's really fun! You're really big into it, and I think preserving and documenting the family history is important. Obviously you do, too!

    Peace <3

    1. I do Jay and I have a lot more to post which I will


  5. Anonymous7:28 PM

    Ron , I am with James allen Tipton. His mother was a Matejka. Jim's father told him that they are related to the Younger brothers. How we do not know. wondering If his family is related to all this.


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