The Earps Invade Southern California: Bootlegging Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and the Old Soldiers' Home

The Earps Invade Southern California: Bootlegging Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and the Old Soldiers' Home

by Donald Chaput, David de Haas


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Most readers of the Wild West know Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp, and Morgan Earp for the famous shootout on the streets of Tombstone, Arizona. But few know the later years of the close-knit Earp family, which revolved around patriarch Nicholas Earp, and their last push at a major monetary coup in Los Angeles.

By 1900 a newly established Old Soldiers’ Home was in place at Sawtelle (between Santa Monica and Los Angeles), with thousands of veterans earning monthly pensions, but in an environment where alcohol was prohibited. Enter the Earps and their “blind pig” (illicit alcohol sales) scheme. Two of the Earps, Nicholas and son Newton, were enrolled in the Soldiers’ Home, and Newton’s far more famous half-brothers Wyatt and Virgil showed up from time to time, but the star of the operation was older brother James.

Booze would flow, the pension money would be “dispersed about,” and jails were sometimes filled, as the Earps and several other men on the make competed for the veterans’ money. We are also reintroduced to Old West figures such as “Gunfighter Surgeon” Dr. George Goodfellow, “Silver Tongued Orator” Thomas Fitch, millionaire George Hearst, detective J.V. Brighton, Lucky Baldwin, and many other well-known westerners who touched the lives of the Earps.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781574418095
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
Publication date: 07/21/2020
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 402,778
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

DON CHAPUT is the author of Virgil Earp: Western Peace Officer; The Earp Papers: In a Brother's Image; and co-author of Cochise County Stalwarts: A Who's Who of the Territorial Years. He lives in Pasadena, California. DAVID D. DE HAAS, MD currently practices emergency medicine in Orange County, California. He has published many medical and Wild West-related articles. He resides in San Juan Capistrano, California.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Preface David D. de Haas xiii

Prologue xvi

Acknowledgments xvii

Chapter 1 The Wandering Earp Band of Brothers 1

Chapter 2 The Birth of Santa Monica and the Old Soldiers' Home 7

Chapter 3 The Birth of Soldiers' City 18

Chapter 4 Malibu Attacks! The Earp Scheme 25

Chapter 5 Almost Paradise 37

Chapter 6 The Den of Evil 52

Chapter 7 Sawtelle; a New City 60

Chapter 8 The Earps Cometh 67

Chapter 9 Enter V.W. Earp; Virgil Joins the Revelry 80

Chapter 10 The City of Angels 87

Chapter 11 Exit Virgil Earp; Goldfield Beckons 95

Chapter 12 Fellow Sophisticates from the Wild West 99

Chapter 13 The Earps Lose the Battle of Sawtelle 106

Chapter 14 King of the Blind Pigs and the Sawtelle Social Club 112

Chapter 15 The Evolution of Sawtelle 118

Chapter 16 Santa Monica Accepts its Destiny: Tombstone/Wild West Connections 123

Chapter 17 The Earps Retreat 137

Chapter 18 In Perspective: A Family on the Move 140

Epilogue 143

Appendix I Some of the Other Soldiers 151

Appendix II The Sawtelle Battle Earp Reserve Troops 177

Endnotes 191

Bibliography 217

Index 229

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