Daniel G. Tipton

(1844 - 1898)

Peter Brand
© 2006

Dan Tipton is arguably the least known of Wyatt Earp's Vendetta riders. With no known surviving family members, researching Tipton's life has presented plenty of challenges for Jean Smith and myself. Despite the difficulties, our persistence was rewarded in 2000 when I was able to locate the only known photos of Tipton. These were published for the first time in an article written for the National Outlaw Lawman Association, titled Daniel G. Tipton and the Earp Vendetta Posse: © 2000. The following introduction is extracted from that article-

In late March 1882, Wyatt Earp and his federal posse had arrived at Henry Clay Hooker's Sierra Bonita Ranch. Earp and his men had travelled to Graham County seeking shelter and a safe haven to rest their horses, before resuming their infamous "Vendetta" ride. Here, they also waited for news and funds to be delivered from their friends in Tombstone.

The man trusted to deliver the much needed money and information was a tough miner named Daniel Tipton. His shadowy role and reputation led the Epitaph to speculate wildly regarding his character and ultimate fate. The truth however, regarding his past and his unfortunate death, is more compelling, and provides insight concerning the many and varied types of men who made Tombstone their home.

Daniel Gordon Tipton claimed to have been born in 1844, in New York state. He also stated that he had served as a Union seaman, aboard the USS Malvern towards the end of the Civil War. The 1890 Veteran's Census for El Paso states that he enlisted July 15, 1864 and was discharged April 15, 1865.

Details of his movements and life during the period 1865 to 1881 are also hard to come by. Like a lot of veterans, he appears to have headed west after the war to seek a new life. Tipton eventually found himself in the middle of the Cochise County War in Arizona, allied with Wyatt Earp and his brothers.

During his Tombstone days, Dan Tipton was a friend and an associate of the town's “law and order” faction, which included among others, the Earps, Robert Hatch and George Parsons. He may also have been friendly with fellow Earp supporter and business partner Lou Rickabaugh, as the two men appear together again in El Paso after the Earp-Clanton feud.



For a complete copy of the above article Tipton article, please see -
Daniel G. Tipton and the Earp Vendetta Posse

By Peter Brand © 2000
Quarterly of the National Association for Outlaw and Lawman History: Vol. XXIV No.4 (October - December 2000).

Information about Tipton is also contained in the following magazine-

True West, December 2001, Doc Holliday Collector's Edition Friends and Enemies: Dan Tipton and Johnny Tyler, page 54.

Dan Tipton and the Earp Vendetta Posse by Peter Brand.

Doc's Nemesis: Johnny Tyler by Roger Jay.

For a good discussion of Lou Rickabaugh and his gambling interests in Tombstone see -

The Gambler's War in Tombstone: Fact or Artifact?

By Roger Jay Western Outlaw Lawman History Association Journal, Vol. XIV, No.1 Spring 2005.


Peter Brand continues to research the life of Dan Tipton and any readers with questions or information regarding Tipton are encouraged to contact him. See the "Contact Us" section of this website for further details.