The life and times of...

 Ike Clanton

  Ike is born...


Newman and Mariah Clanton have their third son Joseph Isaac "IKE" Clanton in Callaway County, Missouri.


Ike Clanton and his two brothers are left with their mother while Newman Haynes "Old Man" Clanton goes to California in search of gold. He stays less than one year.


The Clanton family moves to Adams County, Illinois.

December 22, 1851

Ike Clantons sister Mary Elsie Clanton is born in Adams County, Illinois.


The Clanton family moves to Texas.

June 6, 1854

Ike’s sister Ester Ann "Hettie" Clanton is born in Dallas, Texas.


Ike Clantons brother Alonzo Peter Clanton is born in Dallas, Texas. It is believed that Alonzo died shortly after birth.


Ike’s little brother William Harrison "Billy" is born in Hamilton County, Texas.


The wars ends and the Clanton family moves to Fort Bowie, Arizona Territory.


The Clanton family moves to San Buena Ventura, California. Somewhere along the way Ike’s mother Mariah Kelso Clanton dies leaving Newman with four boys and two daughters to care for.


Newman Haynes moves his family to what is known today as Port Hueneme, California. Ike Clanton was listed as a day laborer at this time. While living here Ike had a heated and threatening dispute over a land agreement.


Newman Haynes Clanton had a plan to start his own farming community, so he moved the entire family back to Arizona. The family settled in Gila Valley near Camp Goodwin. For four years the Clantons farmed the land trying to show other settlers the place to live and farm was Clantonville!


The Clantons throw in the towel on Clantonville! John Wesley moved his family back to California, while the rest of the family moved down on the San Pedro river, up river from Charleston.


Ike Clanton helps his family build a large adobe house in Lewis Springs, about five miles south of Charleston. This would later be known as the Clanton Ranch.


Edward Schieffelin discovers rich veins of silver in Goose Flats, about 12 miles north of Charleston. Later this boom town would be renamed Tombstone.

Eat at Ike's place...

December 12, 1878

A notice in the Arizona Weekly Star Newspaper read:

"Tombstone mill site is now the scene of activity. Houses, shanties and jacals are going up rapidly and several families are now on the ground. A restaurant has been opened by Mr. Ike Clanton."

December 22, 1878

‘Ike" is now thirty one years old. Ike wrote the following hand written letter describing his first order for his restaurant. This clearly shows ‘Ike" was a wheeler dealer and a business man.

Tombstone A.T.

 December 22, 1878

Mejs. L.M. Jacobs & Co.

Tucson Gentlemen

I send you by Wm. Howard $185 one hundred eighty five dollars

$30 thirty dollars to be credited to J.E. Bailey and the balance to my own wishing to buy a bill of grocries <sic> to the amount of a bout <sic> $350 and will pay for the balance due on the goods the first of February Mr, Bailey will be shurety <sic> for me I will pay only in green backs and wish you to sell to me at green back price On the other side is bill

Yours Very Respectfully

<signed> Isaac Clanton

 ("Ikes" restaurant order with many different goods followed)

 No "Ike" in the 1880 census...

 June 16, 1880

Inhabitants in the village of Charleston, in the county of Pima, State of Arizona enumerated by me on the 16th day of June, 1880. Signed P.M. Hurmand.

N.H. Clanton age:64 Occupation: Keeping dairy

Phineas Canton age:35 Occupation: Freighter

Wm. Clanton age:18 Occupation: Keeping dairy

(note: Ike is not listed. He was probably in New Mexico)

August 6, 1880

The Tombstone Daily Epitaph Newspaper had an interesting article which read:


‘From Mr. I. Clanton, who arrived in Tombstone yesterday from New Mexico, we learn that emigrants from Colorado, Texas, and Kansas are rapidly coming into the territory. The mines in the Victorio District are looking exceedingly well. A short time since a new camp, known as San Simon, was opened and from present indications, will soon eclipse any other in the territory. The leads are large, averaging 125 ounces to the ton. The camp is located about eighty miles east of Tombstone. While at Fort Bowie, Mr. Clanton was informed, on what he considered reliable authority, that a portion of Victorio’s band had returned to new Mexico and were at present in the Black Range. He brought through with him fifty head of cattle for the Tombstone market, being five days on the road from San Simon."

Trouble in Tombstone...

October 27, 1880

Tombstone Marshall Fred White is accidentally shot by William "Curly Bill" Brocius. After the shooting, Wyatt Earp pistol whipped "Curly Bill" to the ground and arrested him along with Pony Diehl, Frank Patterson, Tom & Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton. This was the first real confrontation with the Earps, however  Ike Clanton WAS NOT THERE as some Hollywood movies have portrayed.

 Ike and Ringo buy property in New Mexico...

November 26, 1880

Ike Clanton and John Ringo filed a land location notice in Grant County, New Mexico. The notice was for 320 acres of grazing and farming land in Animas Valley, about 28 miles north of Guadalupe Canyon. The notice stated that the 320 acres would be called "Alfalfa or Cienega Ranch. Later this ranch was called San Simon Cienega and is often referred to as Joe Hills Ranch.

 Murder on the stage...

March 15, 1881

A robbery attempt takes place against the Kinnear & Co. Stage at Drew station. Driver Bud Philpot and a passenger named Peter Roerig were murdered in the failed attempt. A posse was quickly formed and that same night a man named Luther king was captured at a near by ranch and admitted his involvement. He named his accomplices as Bill Leonard, Harry Head and Jim Crane. After Luther King was arrested, he was brought to back to Tombstone, but quickly escaped into thin air. By this time, the news was sweeping the town that Doc Holliday had been one of the murderers.

 Doc’s confession to Ike...

March 1881

A few days after Bud Philpot was killed, Ike Clanton ran into Doc Holliday in Tombstone. When Holliday asked Ike if he had seen "Will" Leonard and his party, Ike told him he had. Holliday then began describing in detail what took place when Philpot was killed. Holliday knew that Ike had already heard Bill Leonard’s version of the attack. Doc told Ike that he shot Bud Philpot through the heart. Before Holliday was finished with his description, Ike told him not to take him in confidence, that he didn’t want to hear anymore about it

Tempers begin to flare...

April 13, 1881

Doc Holliday is arrested in Tombstone. The charges are for making threats against someone’s life. It sure seems Hollidays temper was starting to get the best of him over these murder accusations.

May 30, 1881

Doc Holliday is indicted by a grand jury for participating in a shooting affray. It seems Doc was really losing himself over these murder accusation. At this time, it was still only talk or rumors, still nobody could prove Hollidays involvement in the stagecoach murders.

 Wyatt Earps deal with Ike...

June 1, 1881

Ike Clanton met with Wyatt Earp in the Eagle Brewery Saloon on the corner of Allen and fifth Street in Tombstone. Wyatt offers Ike $6000 in reward money to help him capture or kill the men involved in the attempted stage hold-up and murders. Ike thinks about it, but declines a couple of days later.

June 9, 1881

Daily Epitaph Newspaper Article:

"What came very near being a serious shooting affray was prevented yesterday morning by the coolness and intrepidity of Virgil Earp, acting City Marshal. Ike Clanton, well-known in the San Simon and San Pedro valleys, and "Denny" McCann, a sporting man, had a difficulty in an Allen street saloon, when the latter slapped the face of the former. Clanton went out and heeled himself, and "Denny" did the same. They met in front of Wells, Fargo's office about 9 o'clock and both drew their guns about the same time, when Earp stepped between them and spoiled a good local item. They are both determined men, and but for the interferance of the officer, there would doubtless have been a funeral, perhaps two."

 Ike Clanton Studio photo
This Camillus Fly Studio shot, is the only known photo of the legendary Ike Clanton. Note the three piece suit he is wearing! Fact is, when a man came to town in the 1880's, he dressed in his best dudes. This true image of Ike Clanton is sure different from the dirty old, I need a bath, character Hollywood has always made him out to be!

June 23, 1881

The Arizona Daily Star of Tucson reports that Bill Leonard and Harry Head, two of the alleged stagecoach murderers have been killed in Eureka, N.M. by the Haslett brothers.

Doc’s girl blows his cover...

Doc Hollidays live in girlfriend known as Big Nose Kate, signs an affidavit implicating Doc in the stagecoach murders.

 Arrested for murder...

July 5, 1881

A warrant was issued and Doc Holliday was arrested and charged with complicity in the murder of Bud Philpot and the attempted stage robbery near contention on March 15, 1881. Wyatt Earp and a local Tombstone saloon keeper quickly posted the $5000 bail.

"Doc" Gets away with murder...

July 10, 1881

On or around this date, Doc Hollidays murder hearing took place. His alibi was that he had ridden to Charleston for a poker game, when the stagecoach murders took place. His alibi must have been believed because he was acquitted and released.

 Ike keeps the heat on...

After Doc Holliday gets away with murder, Ike Clanton begins his own search for justice! Ike knows the truth about Hollidays involvement in the stagecoach murders and begins expressing his opinions publicly. Plain and simple, this was making Doc Holliday really mad and also very nervous.

August 1, 1881

A mule train of Mexicans carrying $4000 in coins and bullion was ambushed and killed in Skeleton Canyon. Rumors have it, that several cattle workers of "Old Man" Clanton’s were involved in the killings.

 Ike’s father "Old Man" Clanton is murdered...

August 13, 1881

Newman Haynes "Old Man" Clanton was gunned down in an ambush by Mexicans and killed in Guadalupe Canyon, Animas valley, New Mexico. Also killed was William Lang, Dixie Lee Gray, Charley Snow and Jim Crane. Billey Byers and Harry Ernshaw both survived the attack. Was this ambush revenge for the murders of the Mexicans 12 days prior in Skeleton Canyon?

 Really important fact...

August 13, 1881

Jim Crane, the last surviving man accused of the stagecoach murders was also killed with "Old Man" Clanton in Guadalupe Canyon. Really important fact!! This means their were no more accomplices that could testify as eye witnesses against Doc Holliday’s involvement in the stagecoach murders!

Oct 3, 1881

Ike and Billy Clanton are depositing large amounts of money into their bank accounts?  Watch the video below from the Haunted Saloon "Live" webcast.

Ike is making large depsoits of money into the Tombstone Agency Bank?

Doc threatens Ike...

October 26, 1881

At around 1 a.m. Ike Clanton was having a sandwich in a lunch house in Tombstone, when Doc Holiday came in an dared Ike to go for his gun. Ike was un-armed. Both Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers threatened Ike with this statement, "The next time we see you Ike, you better be armed, cause were gonna kill you." Later this same morning Ike played poker with Virgil Earp.

October 26, 1881

In the morning, Ike Clanton armed himself in self defense only to be arrested by Virgil and Morgan Earp for carrying weapons in city limits. Ike paid a fine of $27.50 and was released.

 Bullets fly behind the OK Corral...

2:30 p.m. October 26, 1881

The most famous gunfight of wild west history takes place on a vacant lot officially known as lot #2, block 17, in Tombstone, Arizona. Nineteen year old Billy Clanton and Tom & Frank McLaury are murdered. Virgil and Morgan Earp are seriously wounded. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday escape without injuries. As soon as the smoke cleared, Ike Clanton wanted the Earps and Holliday arrested for the murders. Billy Clantons last words were: "Drive the crowd away." This famous gunfight is commonly known today as the Gunfight at the OK Corral.

 Ike’s little brother Billy is laid to rest...

October 28, 1881

The largest funeral in Tombstone history takes place. Over 2000 people show up to show their last respects for Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury. The three murder victims are laid to rest in Boothill Graveyard in Tombstone, Arizona.

 Wyatt and Doc arrested for murder...

October 29, 1881

Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday were arrested for the murders of Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers. Morgan and Virgil Earp were not arrested because they were confined to their beds with very serious gun shot wounds.

October 1881

An interesting fact: This month Ike Clanton made $3200 in bank transactions at the Pima County Agency bank, in Tombstone. This was a heck of a lot of money in 1881!

November 9-12, 1881

Ike Clanton testifies at the murder trial of the Earps and Doc Holliday.

November 26, 1881

Exactly one month to the day after the gunfight, Ike Clanton registers to vote.

Charges are dropped against the Earps and Holliday...

November 29, 1881

The pre-trial was concluded and Judge Wells Spicer made his decision to not hold the Earps or Doc Holliday for a murder trial. The following statement was the judges conclusions:

"In view of all the facts and circumstances of the case; considering the threats made the character and position of the parties, and the tragical results accomplished, in manner and form as they were, with all the surrounding influences bearing upon the result of the affair, I cannot resist the conclusion that the defendants were fully justified in committing these homicides that it was a necessary act done in the discharge of official duty."

Cowboy Revenge...

December 15, 1881

The Benson stage is attacked at Malcomb’s Water Station, 4 miles from Tombstone on Contention Rd. This was an alleged attempt on the life of Earp family friend John P. Clum.

 Ike and Phin Clanton accused of shooting Virgil Earp...

December 28, 1881

Tombstone Chief of Police Virgil Earp was ambushed while crossing Fifth Street in Tombstone. He would survive the attack, but was crippled for life in his left arm. Ike and Phin Clanton were arrested for the ambush, but released because witnesses confirmed they were in Charleston, when the attack occurred.

  Wyatt and doc are arrested, again...

February 9, 1882

Despite the first release of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday on murder charges, Ike Clanton again filed a second murder charge against them, this time in Contention City, a few miles from Tombstone. Wyatt and Doc were again taken into custody. Virgil and Morgan Earp were still confined to their beds due to the injuries they sustained in the gunfight.

February 11, 1882

The defendants (Earps and Holliday) filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus petition, stating that: Judge Smith in Contention City had no right to hold them after the grand jury and Judge Spicer had released the murder charges on November 29, 1881 in Tombstone. Judge J.H. Lucas ruled that Judge Smith did have the authority to incarcerate them. They would have to appear before Judge Smith.

February 14, 1882

Ike writes a letter to his friend Billy Byers to tell him that he's got the Earps back in jail.   In the early 1990's a copy of this original letter was give to Terry Ike Clanton by the Byers family. Shorty after receiving this original letter Terry discovered that a fraudulent letter was being distributed by the Arizona Historial Society.  Watch the video below from a "Live" Haunted Saloon video webcast for the complete story.

Letter from Ike Clanton to Billy Byers

 Charges against the Earps and Holliday are dropped, again...

February 15, 1882

Judge Smith adjourned the trial to Tombstone and a second Writ of Habeas Corpus petition was filed by the Earps and Doc Holliday. Immediately this same day Ike Clanton filed yet a third murder charge, this time in Judge Lucas’s court, but the Writ of Habeas Corpus was granted and the Earps and Doc Holliday were discharged form custody. The following is what Judge Lucas stated:

"Unless new evidence or circumstances occur subsequent to the first examination, it would only duplicate the first hearing."

Bullets fly again...

March 18, 1882

Morgan Earp is murdered while playing pool in the Campbell and Hatch Saloon in Tombstone.

 Wyatt’s Murderous Rampage...

March 20, 1882

Frank Stilwell is murdered by Wyatt Earp at the Tucson train station. Ike Clanton and Pete Spencer are said to have been with Stilwell.

March 22, 1882

Wyatt Earp murders Florentino Cruz at Pete Spencers wood camp, located at South Pass in the Dragoon mountains. Cruz was also called Indian Charlie.

March 24, 1882

Wyatt Earp kills "Curly Bill" Brocius in Mescal Springs, in the Whetstone mountains, also known as Iron Springs, Arizona. Johnny Barnes will also die from gunshot wounds form this gunfight.

 Ringo found dead...

July 13, 1882

One of Ike Clanton’s best friends and business associates John Peter Ringo is found dead on Turkey Creek, Sulphur Springs Valley, Arizona of apparent suicide.

Late 1882

Ike and Phin Clanton move two hundred miles north of Tombstone to Apache County, Arizona. Both acquired one hundred and sixty acres in an area known as Cienega Amarilla. There little sister Mary Elsie lived nearby in Springerville with her husband Ebin Stanley. Ebin would begin working in the cattle business with Ike and Phin.

Ike takes a bullet helping the sheriff...

April 1884

Ike Clanton was helping the Apache County Sheriff arrest a bunch of stage robbers up in the mountains, when he was shot through the shoulder inflicting a nasty flesh wound.

Ike and Phin are falsely accused and arrested on robbery charges...

December 27, 1885

During the night, the entire Apache County Treasurer’s safe was broken into and it’s entire contents stolen. Deputy Treasurer Francisco Baca claimed that the masked robbers came to his house, took him down to the Treasurer’s office and forced him to open the safe. He claimed he knew the robbers, they were Phin and Ike Clanton, Ebin Stanley and Lee Renfro of Springerville, and Mr. Buck Henderson of St. Johns. The men were taken into custody, immediately placed bonds and it went quickly to trial. The court found that Francisco Baca himself concocted this story, and he was ultimately found guilty of embezzling $11,166.54.

Ike arrested after an alleged shootout...

May 19, 1886

Rumors surfaced in Springerville that Ike Clanton was involved in a gunfight over a card game with a man named Pablo Romero. Allegedly Romero was shot through the left hip and Ike was slightly wounded in one of his legs.

Charges are dropped against Ike...

May 23, 1886

Ike Clanton and his accusers appeared before Justice Hogue. Their was insufficient evidence to recommend a trial and the judge ordered the charges to be dropped and Ike Clanton was released.

End of a legend...

June 1, 1887

Ike Clanton is murdered by Jonas V. Brighton, near Springerville, Arizona. He was 40 years old. Ike Clanton was buried where he fell in an un-marked grave along Eagle Creek. Ike was not a wanted man when J.V. Brighton gunned him down. Brighton was arrested for the murder, but the charges were later dropped. Some people believe Brighton was hired by a local cattle association to rid the area of rustlers, while others believe Brighton was a hired killer..

Did Wyatt Earp hire Ike’s killer?

We will never know the truth, but it seems likely that someone was trying to put Ike Clanton away for good, even before he was murdered. Was J.V. Brighton hired by Wyatt Earp to murder Ike Clanton? We do know that Wyatt himself killed Frank Stilwell, Indian Charlie and Curly Bill Brocius. Was Ike Clanton’s murder the last chapter in Wyatt Earps Tombstone vendetta?

Ike Clanton’s long lost grave is found...

June 26, 1996

Terry "Ike" Clanton and several Tombstone historians, searched and discovered Ike Clanton’s long lost grave in Northern Arizona, near Springerville . Plans on in effect to have the body exhumed and brought back to Tombstone to be buried next to his father and little brother. See a related story in the news section of this web site.

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