Bob Cash
Re: A Wyatt Earp Anthology
Sat Jul 03, 13:06

Robert, some time back, I was intrigued by the section of the article that Roy Young mentions John Yoast, but I was under the impression that Yoast supported the anti-Earp faction, and was more interested in John Good's attitude toward Earp and how he knew him.

From my post, "The most intriguing quote by Rhodes, especially because of who he cites as his main sources of info on Wyatt, is, ' ...It is highly improbable that Wyatt deliberately lied. Lying is a coward's vice - and Wyatt was a brave man. But he might easily get mixed up. I do - and Stuart does-and you do - and we are all young men compared with Earp....I seem to think... that, on the whole, Earp, rather than his enemies, stood for the general good...' We know Yoast had a negative view of the Earps and can assume that Mary Elsie Clanton had an equally negative attitude about the killers of her youngest brother, so the question is what was John Good's attitude regarding them? Did he see Wyatt Earp in Ellsworth (or elsewhere) and did his viewpoint of that encounter color Rhodes opinion that Wyatt Earp was a brave man who generally stood for good?"

I based my take on Yoast's attitude toward the Earps on Robert Boller's description of Yoast's first words on discovering Ringo's body, "Just before we reached the campgrounds, John Yoas (sic) stopped his team and called to the teamsters he had found a dead man. They had driven by and didn’t notice him. He, Yoas, hesitated to go near the corpse until I got there. The first word he said after looking closely at the corpse was “My God, it’s John Ringo!” The body had turned black and was smelling. Yoas said, “SOME MORE DIRTY WORK OF THE EARPS.”

Boller mentions Yoast one more time in his 1934 description of the events surrounding Ringo's death and subsequent coroners' jury : " He had held the sixshooter against his head about an inch above his right ear and pulled the trigger. That is the way we all agreed that it happened except John Yoas (sic), and he too was convinced when I showed him where the bullet had entered the tree on his left side."

On the one hand, it would seem strange for the actual murderer to argue against a suicide verdict for his victim. On the other hand, one has to consider that, if Yoast was the actual killer, while he may have been motivated by revenge, he may also have hoped to collect the various rewards for Ringo's death that may have been offered and a suicide ruling would have complicated that, even with a piece of Ringo's scalp and hair.

It should be noted that, regardless of Boller's assertion to the contrary, the coroner's jury did not rule the death a suicide or make any determination. Based on their report. the coroner's official ruling was, "cause of death, 'unknown', but supposed gunshot wounds".

    • A Wyatt Earp AnthologyRobert Buckley, Sat Jul 03 5:14
      Roy B. Young has more details on the Yoast brothers, John and Hiram, and their relationship with Eugene Manlove Rhodes in his article “ Wyatt Earp Talks Pretty”: A look at Wyatt Earp’s Interaction wit... more
      • Re: A Wyatt Earp Anthology — Bob Cash, Sat Jul 03 13:06
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