Craig Duling’s The Pocket Watch Virgil Walter Earp owned.

On July 18, 1843 in Hartford, Kentucky, Virgil Walter Earp was born. Virgil enlisted in the army when he was 18 at the start of the Civil War. Leaving behind his wife and daughter, Virgil went off to fight in the war. When he was discharged, he returned home to find his wife and daughter were gone. Unfortunately Virgil’s wife had received incorrect information that her husband had been killed in the war.


Virgil later followed his other family members to California and often worked along side his brother, Wyatt. Virgil worked many jobs over the years; he worked as a farmer, assisted his father with opening a grocery store, railroad construction and more often as a lawman.


In his free time, Virgil thoroughly enjoyed gambling and was particularly skilled at Pharo. In fact, he was considered an expert and was given the nickname “Pharo.” Because of this, the fob attached to the pocket watch that he always carried, has an intricate design that is based around the letter “P.”


Virgil was eventually appointed the position of city marshal of the town of Tombstone in Arizona. Virgil had deputized his two brothers and Doc Holiday. Shortly after, the most famous gunfight in the Old West, known as the Gunfight at the O.K. Coral, took place. In this gunfight, Frank and Tom McLaury and Billy Canton were killed. The gun fight resulted in the arrest of everyone involved until the details behind the deaths of the cowboys were thoroughly investigated.


Before leaving Tombstone, Arizona after being cleared of the murder charges, Virgil sold his beloved pocket watch with the “P” fob. According the the pawn broker who purchased the pocket watch, Virgil had the watch on him when the O.K. Coral gunfight took place. Today, the pocket watch has yet to be cleaned and remains in its original condition with its current owner.