LAMAR, Mo. — Wyatt Earp’s closest living descendant was in Lamar for the Wyatt Earp Fallfest.
I spoke to Judy Earp about her family and Wyatt’s legacy.
Judy Earp, Wyatt Earp Descendent, says, “He always considered Lamar his hometown. Always when he would be asked where he was from it was from it was always Lamar. I think his heart was here in Lamar.”
Judy Earp’s great grandfather is the first cousin of Wyatt Earp.
“There was Johnathon Douglas Earp he was my great great grandfather and he was the first one to come to lamar and he was the brother of Nicholas, Wyatt Earps father. And convinced Nicholas and his family to move here. I know that Virgil Earp had a grocery store on the square here.”
Wyatt moved to Lamar in the late 1860s and the Earp’s have a rich history in Barton County.
“My great great grandfather owned Truman’s birthplace here before it was sold to the state to be a state park. So the whole family has a lot of history here in Lamar.”
The Barton County Historical Society and Museum has Wyatts marriage certificate in the courthouse.
Joe Davis, Volunteer at the Historical Society, says, “This was his first job as a constable the first place he ever wore a badge. This is where he met and married his first wife which is one of the few proven facts about Wyatt.”
He says Wyatt stayed in Lamar about two years before moving to Oklahoma.
“Wyatt Earp turned into a bigger than life character and that’s the way he wanted people to think of him. He had several biographers doing his life story and he gave them some pretty good tall tales.”
I met George Earp, Wyatt’s cousin, about 1955 at the Connor Hotel in Joplin, Missouri . My girlfriend and I would talk to him in the lobby. He would talk about Wyatt and tell us he was a nice guy. He gave us his business card which I still have. I was about 14 at the time. He was a very nice man.