OK Corral History

The History of the OK Corral


OK Corral

Now everyone knows the famous OK Corral for the legendary gunfight between the Earps, Clantons and McLaureys, but do you know the history of the OK Corral deeper than that?

How the OK Corral Got its Name

(Text taken from the historic display in the OK Corral Museum)

"The term O.K., used to name Tombstone, Arizona's historic O.K. Corral, had its origins in the Pennsylvannia Dutch country of New York State. During the 1836 presidential campaign, canditate Martin Van Buren was supported by a political club in his hometown of Kinderhook originally called the 'Oll Korrect' club. The name was later changed to 'Old Kinderhook' and then was shortened to 'O.K.'; Van Buren was an OK club member...The term eventually came into general use and was thus chosen by John Montgomery to describe his OK Corral, livery and feed stable which he founded in Tombstone, AZ in Febuary of 1879"

The corral is currently owned by the Love family. The OK Corral was built in the 1880's when corrals were used as transportation hubs throughout cities. It was founded by John Montgomery and Edward Benson, but John bought out Benson in 1882.




On Jul 1, 1897 William Greene, a prominent mining man and rancher, shot and killed Jim Burnett in the O.K. Corral office. Burnett and Greene had neighboring ranches, and Burnett had blown up a dam Greene built on the San Pedro River. Without knowing that the water levels had risen, Greene’s two daughters went swimming and drowned. Greene was tried, but found not guilty.

Thanks to Donald Taylor for the look into the past.


Other Information

Thanks goes out to the OK Corral Museum and Donald Taylor from the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce for this valuable information. Without it we would not know as much as we do today.