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                                                             McLaury T.McLaury
                                                                            Tom and Frank McLaury

Tom and Frank McLaury were members of the infamous 'cow boy' gang in Arizona, around the Tombstone area. Tom and Frank were also ranchers, even though they dealt in stolen cattle. Their ranch was 15 miles outside of Tombstone on Babacomari River. They are neither the smelly ignorant villains that they are portrayed as in movies, nor where they innocent sheep murdered by bullies. Like real life, they were real men who had good and bad points.

Tom was an affable and well liked man in the area. To many people in the neighborhood he and Frank were respectable ranchers. But the evidence seems pretty conclusive that they were involved in fencing stolen cattle for the backcountry rustlers.

Memoirs like these begin to shed a little light on how Tombstone got split into factions when Tom and his brother Frank met their death at the hands of the Earps and Doc Holliday. There were plenty of Democrats in Tombstone who resented the Republican Earps and the way they handled their lawing - interfering in things that the citizens didn't see as any of their business. Lots of people were happy to turn a blind eye to the activities of the rustlers as long as it didn't hurt them. Mostly the rustlers were making raids into Mexico. But it didn't stop there. There were stage coach robberies and murder. Cow boys would terrorize towns when they rode in all liquored up. Tom and Frank were not implicated in such events but did deal in stolen goods. The Mclaury were not law-abiding citizens and the associations they
held serve to prove this.Prior to the O.K. Corral shoot-out, Tom and Wyatt
Earp argued and Wyatt hit Tom over the head with his six-shooter. Wyatt then challenged Tom to fight on the spot. Tom declined.It was a fine line they walked and eventually their friendship with rustlers like the Clantons led to their death.