Where Is Wyatt Earp Buried?

Thanks to television, motion pictures, and a heaping double scoop of self-hype in the largely fictional biography Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal, the hero of Tombstone and gunfighter from the O.K. Corral is probably the most famous lawman in the history of the Old West. He spent his life beating the odds (sometimes literally; he was most famous at the time of his death for probably rigging a boxing match) and ended it the same way, dying at age 80 of a UTI instead of catching a bullet the way most people who get in gunfights for a living do.

And where did this legend of the frontier wind up once the life had left his body? Like so much of American history, the answer is complicated, and ever so slightly steeped in antisemitism.

Journey to the center of the Earp

Obviously, there's a lot to unpack when it comes to the life of Wyatt Earp, but here are the bare bones facts you need to know for this to make sense: Around the time that the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place, Wyatt met a woman named Josephine Marcus. The two became fast friends, which probably didn't sit well with Earp's wife, Mattie, who was summarily sent to California by Earp and told that he'd come get her "pretty soon." He never did, and totally shacked up with Josephine instead, the dirty rascal.

Wyatt and Josephine's relationship would last until Wyatt's death, but the details are murky. Both Wyatt and Josephine spent a considerable amount of time retconning their own life stories, downplaying things like Wyatt's arrests and the aforementioned ghosting of his previous lady. That said, it's not one hundred percent clear whether or not he was onboard with being buried in the Jewish cemetery in Colma, California. While he never converted himself, Wyatt was at least accepting of his common law wife's Jewish faith, possibly having parted ways with his close friend Doc Holliday after the latter made some characteristically gross remarks on the subject of her heritage. What is known is that Josephine kept the location of Wyatt's remains close to the vest, with the whereabouts only coming to light in the 1950s. Josephine was buried alongside him, and their final resting place is the most visited plot in the graveyard.