Sarah Marcus was born in New York, in 1861 to Prussian-Jewish parents.
In 1868, the Marcus family moved to San Francisco. Josephine enjoyed
a decent education that was supplemented by dancing and singing lessons.
In the fall of 1878, Josephine traveled with a dancing troupe to Arizona
territory. She arrived in Tombstone, Arizona Territory in 1880 and
became involved with Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan. Behan had
commitment issues, and after much ado, Josie let go of Behan and moved
her attentions towards Wyatt Earp. She would, well, for most of the
time, have Wyatt's undivided attention as his common-law wife for
the next 46 years.
The following photo from the Phillips
Collection is of Josephine Earp:
| Wyatt and Josephine
spent the years after Tombstone either traveling, being involved in
mining ventures, or owning saloons. Since Wyatt had a tendency to
include a brothel in his establishments, there were rumors of infidelity.
At times, the Earp's were filthy rich and, at times, struggled with
money to such a degree that they had to rely on family for support.
Josie loved to gamble on horse racing and could amass great debts.
She was, by most accounts, a strong willed and difficult woman. But,
Wyatt and Josephine maintained their relationship no matter the circumstances,
no matter how much money that had in the bank, or how difficult it
might have been.
Josephine stood by her man and went to great lengths to protect their
public image during their entire relationship. The events surrounding
the shootout in Tombstone and Wyatt's involvement in fixing a boxing
match made headlines and they were subjects that seemed to plague
Josephine wherever they traveled or settled. As a result, she was
always running offense where her husband was concerned. When her memoirs
were being written late in her life, Josephine did all she could to
be evasive about their past, particularly about the rumors of another
wife (Mattie Blaylock who committed suicide in 1888), which was very
counterproductive and frustrating for all those involved.
Cary Lane, Ph.D., a leading Professor of Forensic Arts from John Jay
College, performed facial regression analysis on this photo of Josephine
comparing it to authenticated photos of an older Jospehine and found
several facial consistencies, but inconsistencies in the shape of
the nose. However, as Josie got older, the shape of her nose widened
and flattened which is consistent with aging and weight gain.
Lane also performed the same analysis comparing our Josephine to the
face in another photo believed by Ann Kirschner, Josephine Earp biographer,
to be that of a 16-year-old Josephine. Mr. Lane concluded that "There
is little evidence to suggest that this is not the same subject in
For comparison purposes, the two photos mentioned are placed side
by side. The photo on the left is believed to be 16-year-old Josephine
and is courtesy of Ann Kirschner's book about the life of Josephine
Earp. The photo on the right is from the Phillips
|Wyatt Earp passed
away in 1929. In a letter to John H. Flood, Wyatt Earp's secretary
and biographer, Josephine Earp includes a postscript in which she
says, "Oh, how I miss Mr. Earp."
| Josephine went
on protecting her husband's reputation until she passed away in 1944.
Josephine Earp. (2015, August 16). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Retrieved 20:36, September 24, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Josephine_Earp&oldid=676328648
Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp,
by Ann Kirschner, HarperCollins, 2013
http://www.icollector.com/Josephine-Earp-ALS_i9901573, October 7,