One of the most candidly understated descriptions of a funeral in the history of the Old West was written by Arizona historian Opie Rundle Burgess in her 1967 book Bisbee, Not So Long Ago, when she recorded her mother's memories of her first day in the booming town of Tombstone, Arizona Territory, on March 20, 1882.
Florence Robinson Rundle and her mother (Opie's grandmother) had just arrived in Tombstone by stage, and Florence's father, who had been mining in the area, rented a buggy to drive them to their boarding house. When they heard horses coming up behind them, her father pulled their carriage off to the side of the street, explaining that he was giving way to a funeral procession taking Morgan Earp's body to Contention to be placed on a train. James Earp would accompany his brother's remains to their father's home in Colton, Calif.
Silently the Robinsons waited until the funeral procession passed. Four men rode in front with sawed-off shotguns across their laps; then came a wagon bearing the casket. Following it came a buggy with two women dressed in deep mourning. Back of their carriage rode two more men with guns across their laps. The men nodded as they passed the Robinsons.
[Mr. Robinson said:] 'Morgan Earp was a fine man. He was murdered by a sympathizer of the Clanton gang.'
[Mrs. Robinson replied:] 'Yes, I know. The driver of the stagecoach told us about the shooting. I never before saw guns take the place of flowers at a funeral.'
Morgan Earp was the most luckless of the six Earp brothers. He had almost died after being shot through the shoulders during the shootout near the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881, allegedly by rustler Tom McLaury. Then, on the night of March 18-19 (Wyatt turned 33 on the 19th), Morgan was killed by a shot in the back while playing pool.
Wild West magazine 9/5/06