RINGO'S BODY MOVED TO CALIFORNIA?
Hello Mr. Clanton -
I have been interested in old west history since I was a boy and hold a BA degree in historical studies from the University of Houston, CLC. Not that I am very knowledgeable on Ringo and the Tombstone area and it's history, but I do understand research. I say this so I will not be quickly dismissed. I also understand folklore and it's part in historical research. It at times is based on some germ of fact and is a first lead at times.
I have fallen on a John Peters Ringo relative who claims that "a sister to Ringo had the body moved to California." I realize it was/is on private property, but when it was moved it was not fenced. It was moved by men employed to do so by this Ringo sister. No more information on the move was known by my informant.
The reason she knew the story is as a child of about 13 her father stopped the car at a cemetery in CA and visited some family graves. This was in about 1940 and they were traveling from their home in Long Beach, CA, or back to Long Beach, she could not remember as they often went for some days as he was a salesman and he took his wife and daughter with him for a vacation, mixed with business. This was in the summer when school was out. They did this a number of times between about 1938 and WWII when gas became a problem.
She could not name the town or name of the cemetery, or it's distance from Long Beach, but she remembered seeing a small stone like a foot stone lettered "J. P. R." and the story told by her father. Since she knew the family name Ringo and was related to Ringo's that name is clear and the story about the body of the young man moved (just bones) and the name John, along with the circumstances of his death. The grave was near others related to the family and her father was an old west history fan and this was his reason for stopping actually as the graves were his wife's relatives and she did not get out of the car and joked about her husband having to stop there again.
Great piece of oral history/folklore and nothing to base anything on, but interesting to me. I have no doubt this lady visited a grave, nor about the Ringo family connection as she has done her line. I do know that the story could be about another family member, or was one believed in error by the father, etc.
I have looked for several years for a written reference, or the grave itself. I may be missing it in Oak Hill, San Jose, or the small stone has been covered, or lost as happens with these type stones. No luck in Oak Hill, but I did find a written reference in SILVER, SEX and SIX GUNS, by Douglas D. Martin, published in 1962 by the Tombstone Epitaph, pg. 41 of "a second story declares his sister had his remains exhumed and shipped west."
Finally, I remember that my father (born 1908) a bartender and in Arizona Ter. before Admission told that "he knew a gentleman who was often employed years before in such enterprises and had moved bodies out of Boot Hill and around Tombstone." He in fact displayed a rusty revolver to my father taken from such a grave. Ringo, though was not mentioned.
My 91 year old father-in-law was also employed at 14, along with his father to find and help move a body in Boot Hill, Tascosa, Texas about 1929. It was one of the people killed in the "Big Fight" and I have run all that to earth. It though was not known by the museum in Tascosa, Boy's Ranch itself, the Pan Handle Plains Museum, or mentioned in the 1946 MAVERICK TOWN by McCarty.
Again, I do not believe that John Ringo was moved on the information I have, but I do consider it slightly possible.
I enjoyed your site. Oh yes, I noted another picture which is said "to be Ringo" on a site called "Find A Grave" listed at his net grave site. I add this in case you haven't seen this picture. Again, I do not know if it is Ringo, and in fact doubt it greatly, but you might take a look at that site.
I in fact enjoyed your site greatly.
Alan S, Richmond
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