We notice on Burns' 'Sources' page ix quite a few old-timers' names. Two of them stand out as contemporaries who were close to the action: Breakenridge and Edward Vail of Empire Ranch notoriety. The latter receives special attention by Burns on pages 32-33.
Those two names are mentioned again on page 383 apart from the others. Whereas Edith Kitt is mentioned as "custodian" of the Arizona Pioneers’ Historical Society, Edward Vail was the President when Burns was researching for his book. The significance of Kitt as an old-timer source (she was 3 years old at the time of the gunfight) pales drastically as compared with Edwrd Vail, who was 32, visiting Tombstone on many occasions from Empire Ranch.
Although Ed Vail was not there for the gunfight, a most significant colleague checked in at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on November 4, 1881, the first day of the Spicer hearing when Martha King testified. That colleague was his wealthy uncle Nathan R. Vail, up from Empire Ranch. There can be little doubt that "Uncle Ned" as he was called, passed on much scuttlebutt gathered from the early days of the court proceedings.
Breakenridge as a significant source for the Earps firing first is found in is "Helldorado" book page 257. Although during the Spicer hearing he says the Earps denied having fired first, it is pointed out that Wyatt's widow writing in the 1930s declared that in private conversations within his family Wyatt admitted otherwise.
This seems to be a rather unusual way for Burns to begin his account of the street fight, since the next paragraph is directly from Wyatt Earp's statement at Spicer's Hearing. Maybe he is attempting to... more
Was this Edith Kitt, the 1934 interviewer of FRANCIS J. VAUGHAN, whose comments re many of the Cochise County citizens was spoken of here earlier in the year? If so, Bob, what exactly did her position... more
Sharon, in a quick search of newspapers.com for "F.J. Vaughn" and "Frank Vaughn" I came up with literally hundreds of articles fom Tucson, Tombstone, and Bisbee papers. There seems to have been two 'F.J.... more
...and so you can see why his statements might be more acceptable regarding the situation out at Drew's. Sadly, Mrs. Kitt did not seem to have a curious nature as she did not attempt to pursue any additional... more
Hello Sharon, This is not going to add much to what has already been provided, but Edith Kitt is mentioned in two notes in Mark Dworkin's book: Edith Kitt to Burns, on Arizona Pioneer's Historical Society... more
The online bio says that Edith Kitt assumed the position of secretary of the Arizona Historical Society and remained the secretary for the Society for 22 years and became a leading authority on Arizona... more
Bob - sorry for waiting so long in responding. I THINK, in my mess of books, I have Burns', but can't find it with a hay rake! Books stacked everywhere! Does Burns' sources state the names of the "pioneers... more
...It is interesting that Edith Kitt had an impressive Resume and was considered a leading authority on Arizona history; but when reading over Frank Vaughn's memoirs recorded by Mrs. Kitt, I am disappointed... more
Hi, Jerry, Joyce and Bob... Thanks for your input on Mrs. Kitt. After learning her given name, I finally found her online and saw her ages-long contribution to AZ history. Joyce, I agree with you about... more
...an introduction to speculation; in this case a favoured view toward Wyatt Earp's testimony. I suspicion that much of the town spent endless hours in the local saloons exchanging viewpoints on what was... more