The Clantons of Tombstone, by Ben T. Traywick, Red Marie’s Bookstore, Tombstone, Ariz., 1996, $24.95 paperback.
The Earps of Tombstone are better known, of course, but part of the reason they are so well-known is because they fought the Clantons of Tombstone. After all, the Earps and Clantons go together like the Hatfields and the McCoys. It was actually the Clantons of the Tombstone area; the papa of the clan, Newman Haynes “Old Man” Clanton, avoided town; he and the boys lived in an adobe house about 12 miles outside the town limits. Of course, the big fight that made the Clantons (and Earps) famous occurred in town–near the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881–but Old Man Clanton was dead by then, having been shot down with four others on August 13, 1881 (see story, P. 12). Two of Old Man’s sons were on the losing side of the West’s most famous gunfight–Billy was killed and Ike ran (Chapter 7 is fittingly called “1881–Not a Good Year for Clantons!”). In the aftermath of those famous 30 seconds, there was plenty more killing, but Ike (who author Ben Traywick calls “the absolute worst to ever have the Clanton name”) managed to stay alive until June 1, 1887, when he was shot down while resisting arrest shortly after brother Phin was arrested. Phin, described by the Yuma Times as “the last of the ‘Clanton Gang,'” died on January 5, 1906, of pneumonia. Traywick admits that “this is not intended to be the definitive book on the Clantons,” but he provides much documented information about Tombstone’s second most famous family, including plenty of facts about Clantons before and after the turbulent Tombstone years.