Wyatt on the Phone: “Can You Hear Me Now?”

Illustration by Bob Boze Bell

In 1926, Wyatt Earp wrote his autobiography with a friend, John Flood. In it Earp recalled using a telephone in Tombstone (taking a call from Benson), on March 15, 1881. Although a phone system was being discussed for Tombstone in April of 1881, by the end of the year the lines only connected the major mines around Tombstone and a few locations in town like the Tombstone Stock Exchange. In spite of this, it’s interesting that Wyatt would remember using a telephone in Tombstone. It totally jars our sense of that time and place.

What do you think?

Bob Boze Bell

In 1999, Bob Boze Bell and partners bought True West magazine (published since 1953) and moved the editorial offices to Cave Creek, Arizona. Bell has published and illustrated books on Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, as well as Classic Gunfights, an Old West gunfight book series. His latest books are The 66 Kid and True West Moments.