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Old West Kansas

John Henry HOLLIDAY Family History

4th Cousin, once removed of John Wesley "Wes" Hardin

                    Mark HARDIN 

Henry HARDIN                               Alice (Alis) HARDIN 

William Everett HARDIN                     Joseph CLOUD 

Swan HARDIN                                Jane CLOUD 

Benjamin Watson HARDIN                     Alice Jane McKEY 

James Gibson HARDIN                        John Henry "Doc" HOLLIDAY 

John Wesley "Wes" HARDIN                    

John Henry "Doc" HOLLIDAY                         

is the 4th cousin, once removed of

John Wesley "Wes" HARDIN   

 3 Jun 2001                   Family Group Sheet

        Husband: Henry Burroughs HOLLIDAY  died at age: 37 
           Born: 11-Mar-1819          in LaurensCo, SC  
           Died: AFT 1857             in Valdosta, LowndesCo, GA  
     Occupation:                      Major  
Henry HOLLIDAY served in the quartermasters corps of the 27th
regiment of Georgia.

           Wife: Alice Jane McKEY  died at age: 37 
        Married:  8-Jan-1849          in HenryCo, GA    his age: 29  her age: 19 
           Born: 21-Apr-1829          in South Carolina  
           Died: 16-Sep-1866          in Valdosta, LowndesCo, GA  
         Father: William Land McKEY 
         Mother: Jane CLOUD 
Alice McKey died from tuberculosis (consumption).

      F Child 1: Martha Eleanora HOLLIDAY  died at age: 0 
           Born:  3-Dec-1849          in SpaldingCo, GA  
           Died: 12-Jun-1850          in SpaldingCo, GA  
      M Child 2: John Henry "Doc" HOLLIDAY  died at age: 36 
           Born: 14-Aug-1851          in Griffin, SpaldingCo, GA  
       Baptized: 21-Mar-1852          in Griffin, SpaldingCo, GA  1
           Died:  8-Nov-1887          in Glenwood Springs, CO  
         Buried:                      in Linwood Cemetery, Glenwood Springs, CO  
     Occupation:                      dentist, gunfighter, gambler  
         Spouse: Kate ELDER  
      M Child 3: Francisco HIDALGO  
           Died: AFT 1866             in   
A Mexican boy who had been orphaned by the Mexican War.
Francisco Hidalgo died from tuberculosis (consumption).
(1) Infant baptismal record at the First Presbyterian Church in Griffin, Georgia. 

The Kansas Heritage Server would like to thank Joe Lynn for providing some of this information.

14 Aug 1851 John Henry Holliday was born in Griffin, SpaldingCo, Georgia.

1857 His father, Major Henry B. Holliday, was given some land down in Valdosta, LowndesCo, Georgia when John was about five, and that is where he was raised.

1872 Doc attended school at the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery [a school founded by Doc's cousin, Robert Holliday]. Doc graduated in 1872.

1 Jan 1875 Doc went to Dallas, Texas. It was there that he had his first scrape with the law. Doc Holliday and Mr. Austin, a saloon keeper, took a couple shots at each other. They were both arrested. Source: Dallas Weekly Herald 2 Jan 1875.

1877 Doc went to Dodge City, Kansas where Wyatt S. Earp was an assistant marshal.

Summer 1879 Doc went to Tombstone, Arizona.

26 Oct 1881 Gunfight at the OK Corral, Tombstone, Arizona

ABT 1881 Doc Holliday caught the train to the end of the tracks in Buena Vista, CO and then took the stage to Leadville, CO.

May 1887 Doc holiday went to Glenwood Springs, CO for health reasons. He lived at the TB sanitarium until he died.

8-Nov-1887 Doc Holliday (age 36) died at Glenwood Springs, CO from tuberculosis and alcoholism. Doc Holliday did look older than his years due to his having TB and being a longtime alcoholic.

Doc Holliday's final resting place is an unmarked grave in the cemetery on a hill overlooking Glenwood Springs, CO in the mountain valley below.

[...in fact doc is not buried there. he died in the winter, November. the cemetery is on a steep hill, the road to the cemetery was all ice. they could not get doc's body to the top so they buried him at the bottom of the hill with the intention of moving his body when the ice thawed, but they never did, much much much later a housing development was built on the site. doc is probably buried in someone's back yard. Source: Bell, Bob Boze. "The Frontier World of Doc Holliday."]

The Kansas Heritage Server would like to thank Brent Olgers for providing this information. Source: "Doc Holliday" by John Myers.

Doc Holliday lived in Lowndes County and in the city of Valdosta, Georgia, approximately during the years of 1864-1872. It is assumed that he was born in the latter part of 1851 or early part of 1852. The earliest known authentic document concerning Doc is the infant baptismal record on March 21, 1852, which is on file at the First Presbyterian Church in Griffin, Georgia.

Doc's father was Henry Burroughs Holliday and his mother was Alice Jane Mckey. After a short tour in the Confederate Army, Major Henry Holliday moved his family from Griffin, Georgia to Valdosta, Georgia near to a section which is known as Bemiss south of Moody Air Force Base. Doc finished grade school at the Valdosta Institute where he had some Greek, much Latin, and considerable French. During his first two years, his favorite study was advanced English called rhetoric.

Major Holliday (Doc's dad) served as mayor of Valdosta, Georgia for two terms, and he also served in the Cherokee Indian War, Mexican War, and Civil War. After the Mexican War, he brought back a Mexican boy who had been orphaned by the war. He married Alice Jane Mckey January 8, 1849. The Mexican boy's name was Francisco Hidalgo. Major Holliday and his wife had a little girl that died in infancy, and later they had a second child who was a boy-John Holliday was the name given to him. Mrs. Holliday died of tuberculosis (consumption as it was called back then) in 1866. Doc was only 12 years old and that is where it is believed he caught the disease. Also, the Mexican boy who was Doc's adopted brother, later died of tuberculosis also. So as you can see, Doc must have caught it from one of the two or both.

For many years it was believed that he went to school in Baltimore, Maryland to learn Dentistry. However, the three main dental schools in Baltimore had no record of a J. H. Holliday ever attending school there. But good news came soon enough, through the efforts of Dr. L.C. Holtzendorff (Valdosta, Georgia), Dr. Donald Washburn (American Dental Association Librarian Services, Chicago, Illinois), and Mr. John Whittock (Librarian, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), it has been verified that John H. Holliday graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in 1872.

As to why Doc left Georgia and went out west, the rumors are numerous. One rumor that has been the biggest one is that he killed some Negroes that were swimming in the white's favorite swimming hole. But according to Susan Mckey's uncle, who was with Doc, no such thing happened. Yes, they were swimming in the hole and Doc was outraged. He went and got his pistol and started shooting in the air over their heads. One of the Negroes got a gun and shot back but no one was killed. The west's dry climate was better suited for his health so that is why he ventured out toward the west.

Out west Doc was a most unusual character of his time. He was an extremely educated man in a place where education was not that important. He was fluent in Latin and played the piano (his mother taught piano for many years). He loved being a dentist and desperately tried to make a living out of it, but because his patients didn't like their dentist coughing in their face, it was hard for him to keep customers. That's when he discovered that he had a real talent for playing cards; it was a lot more fun too. Doc established himself as quite a good gambler and was well respected around town. But he was a miserable man dying from an awful disease. He was moody, drank a lot, and always wanted to die. That's what made him so fearless; he wanted to die. That's why he was always so quick to get involved in the battles with the Earps. Doc liked to dress fancy and acted in a very sophisticated way, and as some people have said about him he was quite a funny gentleman with a good sense of humor.

Wyatt Earp came to like Holliday's style, and after they met in Shanessy's saloon in Fort Griffin, they became instant friends. Wyatt has said that Holliday was, "the nerviest, speediest man with a six-shooter he ever knew" and was, "probably the most dangerous man in Tombstone, [Arizona]." When they made their way to the OK Corral, it is said by witnesses that the three Earp brothers were all dressed in black with firm, mean grimaces on their faces while Doc was nattily clad in grey and was whistling.

Doc went to Dodge City in 1877 and this is how he got there: He became involved in a gambling episode with Ed Bailey in Fort Griffin, which resulted in Doc's leaving there. Bailey drew a gun and Doc let him have it with a knife. Bailey collapsed and died. (if you have ever seen Tombstone this is the opening scene with Doc in it) Even though according to law Doc was in the right, he was arrested and incarcerated in a local hotel room, there being no jail in the city. It was evident that Bailey was a popular man among the townspeople, and it seemed that Doc's fate was doomed in spite of the circumstances. Kate came to Doc's rescue by setting fire to the back of the hotel, thereby creating a diversionary action in attracting the citizens' attention to the fire. Kate, armed with a pistol, proceeded to the hotel room, "got the drop" on the deputy town marshall who had been left in charge of the prisoner, and set Doc free. Kate and Doc hid out during the night. When morning came, they mounted their horses and headed to Dodge City. Once in Dodge, Doc renewed his friendship with Wyatt. This was around 1877.

Doc had a falling out with another terminus outlaw named Mike Gordon in late August 1879. Inviting Gordon out into the street, Doc then shot him dead. Doc had to skip town real fast because of plan to arrest him. It led back to Dodge City, to which Doc was glad to return. He arrived back in Dodge to find that Wyatt had resigned his job on Dodge City's force of marshals and had headed toward Tombstone. Doc then headed toward Tombstone to meet up with his friend. According to "Doc Holliday" by John Myers, "Doc had travelled in haste--would have entailed driving the wagons up some awkward grades. Leaving Trail City in the number two rig of the Earp caravan, Wyatt heard hoof-beats in pursuit. 'where are you going, Wyatt?' the rider who caught up with him asked. 'Tombstone' Earp said. 'That's what they told me in Dodge,' Doc replied. 'Guess I'll go with you.'"

May 1887 "Doc Holliday," by John Myers: "By then the consumption so racked him that he could hardly keep on his feet. As a realist, Doc was not one to believe in miraculous cures, but as a man of action he refused to stop in his tracks while there was a chance of going on. The sulphur vapors at Glenwood Springs, CO were ballyhooed as being medicine's final answer to the evil challenge of tuberculosis. On the off-chance that this was true, Doc went out to the health resort to play his last chip.

It is important to understand that tuberculosis killed Doc and not so much the alcohol. In fact, he didn't drink as much as everyone says he did. Yes, he did drink a lot because it relieved his pain but if he really drank as much as some people said he did, especially in one days period, then he wouldn't of been able to stand on his feet. He did however have remarkable stamina with drinking. He could out drink some of the biggest, toughest, burliest men there was without even getting a buzz.

Doc Holliday died in Glenwood Springs, Colorado at a Sanatorium for the sick. It was November 8, 1887 and he is buried in Linwood Cemetery. It is said that the last couple of months of his life that he got out of bed maybe twice. Witnesses by his bedside say that just before he died he asked for a glass of whiskey, sipped it down and smiled, then he looked at his bare feet and said, "this is funny." He always figured he would be killed someday with his boots on.

Also see: "Doc" Holliday Biography
or "Big Nose" Kate Elder

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