Tombstone, Arizona

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Tombstone is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin in what was then the Arizona Territory. Formerly a silver-mining boomtown and county seat, the town is most famous as the former home of a number of western gunfighters, and as the site of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Its economy today is based on tourism. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 1,569.[1]




In the summer of 1877 prospector Ed Schieffelin was working the hills east of the San Pedro River in the southeast portion of the Arizona Territory, when he came across a vein of very rich silver ore in a high plateau called Goose Flats. When Schieffelin filed his mining claim he named it "The Tombstone", after a warning given him by a passing soldier. While telling the soldier about his rock collecting experiences, the soldier told him that the only rock he was likely to collect among the waterless hills and warring Apaches of the area would be his own tombstone.

The town of Tombstone was founded in 1879, taking its name from the mining claim, and soon became a boomtown. Fueled by mineral wealth, Tombstone was a city of 1,000 by early 1881, and within another year Tombstone had become the seat of a new county (Cochise County) with a population between 5,000 and 15,000, and boasting services including refrigeration (with ice cream and later even ice skating), running water, telegraph and limited telephone service, and a newspaper aptly named the Tombstone Epitaph.[3] Capitalists and businessmen moved in from the eastern U.S. Mining was carried out by immigrants from Europe, chiefly Cornwall, Ireland and Germany.[4] An extensive service industry (laundry, construction, restaurants, hotels, etc.) was provided by mainly Chinese, and few other immigrants.

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