Sunday, August 15, 2010

Meet the Clantons -- V

The Tombstone Nugget reported the funeral of the slain cowboys.

The Burial of the Dead Cowboys – An Immense Procession, Etc.

While it was not entirely expected, the funeral of Billy Clanton and Thomas and Frank McLowry (sic), yesterday, was the largest ever witnessed in Tombstone. It was advertised to take place at 3 o’clock, but it was about 4 o’clock before the cortege moved, yet a large number had gathered at the undertaker’s long before the first time mentioned. The bodies of the three men, neatly and tastefully dressed, were placed in handsome caskets with heavy silver trimmings. Upon each was a silver plate bearing the name, age, birthplace and date of the death of each. A short time before the funeral, photographs were taken of the dead. The procession was headed by the Tombstone brass band playing the solemn and touching march of the dead. The first wagon containd the body of Billy Clanton, followed by those of the McLowry (sic) boys. A few carriages came next in which were near friends and relatives of the deceased, among whom were Ike and Finn Clanton. After these were about three hundred people on foot, twenty-two carriages and buggies and one four-horse stage, and the horsemen, making a line of nearly rtwo blocks in length. The two brothers were buried in one grave, and young Clanton close by those who were his friends in life and companions in death. The inscrip@tion upon the plates of the caskets stated that Thomas McLowry was 25 years of age, Frank McLowry 29 years of age, both natives of Mississippi, and that William H. Clanton was 19 years of age and a native of Texas.

It seems newspapers of the day did not believe in paragraphs.

One interesting sidelight. Originally, Billy Clanton’s headstone read: Sacred to the Memory of William Clanton Who Was Murdered October 26, 1881. Age 19 years. Now there is only a small marker that reads: Billy Clanton killed Oct. 26, 1881.


  1. Billy is played by a young Dennis Hopper in GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL. Interesting that the funeral was so large. Must have been nearly everybody in town. I'm guessing that none of the Earps attended.

  2. Yeah. It doesn't look like the Earp faction had the support of the general public. The accounts certainly don't make them out as heroes. I was interested in the original epitaph on Billy's headstone. Murdered. More to come.