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Wyatt Earp. Reproduction of a drawing by Alan Riley, c. 1949–1956. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-93572).

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Earp, Wyatt (19 March 1848–13 January 1929), outlaw, gambler, and lawman, was born Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp in Monmouth, Illinois, the son of Nicholas Porter Earp, an adventurer and frontiersman, and his second wife, Virginia Ann Cooksey. After the Civil War the entire Earp family moved from Missouri to Iowa and then wandered westward until reaching California. After three years of farm life, Nicholas Earp’s sons struck out on their own....

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Hickok, Wild Bill (27 May 1837–02 August 1876), western lawman and gambler, was born James Butler Hickok in Homer, Illinois, the son of William Alonzo Hickok and Polly Butler, farmers. As a young man, Hickok spent most of his time working on—and, after the death of his father in 1852, managing—the family farm. The availability of land in newly organized Kansas Territory was enticing to Hickok, and in June 1856 he and his brother Lorenzo moved westward. His mother’s illness soon prompted Lorenzo to return to Homer. Hickok remained, but he did not settle into an agrarian lifestyle. Various events offered other opportunities to him. In the pre–Civil War years, he served in General ...