Colorado Then & Now: Chapter VI. Leadville & Vicinity

Several early pioneers camp below Mount Princeton and Mount Antero. Photo by Joseph Collier, circa 1880.

Note: The following is an excerpt from the book, Colorado Then & Now by Grant Collier and his grandfather Joseph Collier.

“This mountain was named after the miners, after D. C. Collier, one of the editors and proprietors of the Register, in consideration of his eminent success as a prospector. The view is from the Perue Fork of the Snake River, which runs down through the willows in the foreground. It is from the direct front, looking down through one of the beautiful, sunny, grassy, parks, which constantly recur, and which, in their season, are covered with gorgeous foliage so peculiar to the western slope of the continent.” – Joseph Collier on an image of Collier Mountain

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The Fading of a Legend: Doc Holliday in Leadville

By Charles F. Price

On July 17, 1882, nine days after a visit to Salida – described in the April and May 2009 issues of Colorado Central – John H. (“Doc”) Holliday pulled into the town’s division yards on a DR&G train from Pueblo, headed for the silver camp of Leadville. This time he didn’t get off.

Perhaps on his previous sojourn the Arkansas River burg just hadn’t offered the right inducements. The notorious gambler and gunman was a high roller and Leadville, even if past the apogee of its boom, still boasted the kinds of fast-paced action Holliday preferred. Later that day when he stepped off the train at Leadville’s four-gabled brick depot, Doc was at the summit of his fame, or infamy, seemingly in the pink of health and no doubt looking forward to fattening his bankroll at the camp’s several classy gambling parlors such as the Monarch, the Board of Trade, the Texas House and Mannie Hyman’s Saloon.

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Doc Holliday In Salida: Sightseeing Or Bloody Business? (Part Two of Two)

by Charles F. Price

Editor’s note: In part one of this piece, which ran in the Feb. 2010 issue, the author documents a visit by the notorious gunman to Salida and attempts to determine whether it served as stopping off point for a secret trip to Arizona to “dispose” of John Peters Ringo.

In Denver during the extradition wrangle, a goofy con-man named Perry Mallon, pretending to be sheriff of Los Angeles County, California, briefly got the authorities to detain Doc on a trumped-up murder charge, but was soon discredited. While Doc was embroiled with Mallon, Bat Masterson, then marshal of Trinidad and a friend of Wyatt’s, slyly filed a bogus larceny complaint against Doc, hoping that case would give him legal dibs on Holliday over Mallon (this was a favor to Earp since Masterson actually despised Doc). The larceny case was slated for a hearing in Pueblo on July 11 — thus Doc’s trip through Salida.

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Doc Holliday In Salida: Sightseeing Or Bloody Business? (Part One of Two)

by Charles F. Price

Was Salida the jumping-off point for the last killing in the West’s most famous vendetta, the one spawned by the so-called Gunfight at the OK Corral?

At least one recognized historian thinks so. Karen Holliday Tanner, whose collateral ancestor was the Georgia-born gambler/gunman/failed dentist Dr. John H. (“Doc”) Holliday, writes in a 1998 biography of her famed forebear that when he stepped off the train in Salida in the summer of 1882 he quickly met with Wyatt Earp and others west of town and in a roundabout trek by horseback and train slipped secretly into southeastern Arizona to slay John Peters Ringo, one of the last remaining members of the cowboy gang they had battled in Tombstone earlier that year.

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