Bank Check
8 inches by 3 3/8 inches (20.3cm x 8.7cm)

Pima County Bank
Tombstone, Arizona Territory,  United States
November 12, 1880


More fragments of the Old West – a Pima County Bank Check/Draft from Tombstone, Arizona dated November 12, 1880 payable to the law practice of Hereford & Zabriskie. It is
endorsed on the reverse by law firm partner James Albert Zabriskie. The check was drawn at Tombstone, Arizona Territory on November 21, 1880, a little less than a year before what
would become the most infamous gunfight in the Old West – the Gunfight at the OK Corral. It is signed by P.W. Smith, Manager.


The second Pima County Bank Check/Draft (shown below) from Tombstone, Arizona dated September 6, 1881, payable to a member of the Fesenfeld family of Anaheim Township which
was then part of Los Angeles County, California. It is endorsed on the reverse by S. J. Fesenfeld and countersigned by banker B. F. Seibert (Benjamin F. Seibert) also of Anaheim.  The
check was drawn at Tombstone a little less two months before the so-called the Gunfight at the OK Corral. It is also signed by P.W. Smith, Manager.


P. W. Smith (Phillip William Smith, 1828-1901) was a key and colorful figure in early Tombstone history. He was a Republican, and considered a member of Wyatt Earp’s political
faction. It is a little-known fact that the friction between Wyatt Earp and his brothers Virgil and Morgan along with John “Doc” Holliday and the Clantons was as much political as it was
legal. The Earps and many of their adherents were members of the Republican Party while Clanton’s and their allies such as Cochise County Sheriff John Behan were all Democrats.
Wyatt Earp would run against – and lose to – John Behan for the office of Cochise County Sheriff.

Smith owned and operated “P. W. Smith’s,” a popular general merchandise store in Tombstone. He also owned “P. W. Smith’s Corral,” on the corner of Third Street where Wyatt and
Doc Holliday sometimes stabled their horses. Smith and partners B. Solomon and J. B. Fried supplied Tombstone with gas for street lights and homes. Smith was also one of the partners
in the newspaper
Tombstone Epitaph along with mayor John Clum, Charles Reppy, E. B. Gage (also members or sympathizers of the Earp Faction), and several others. He sold his
interest in the paper when Milt Joyce and other Democratic investors took control and brought in Sam Purdy as the new editor.

In 1879, brothers Barron and Lionel Jacobs partnered with Smith to open the Pima County Bank, the first formal financial institution in Tucson. The two brothers were established
merchants and suppliers in the Tucson and Tombstone areas, having expanded the family’s business from San Bernardino, California eastward into southeastern Arizona.

The following year, in 1880, the trio opened the “Agency Pima County Bank” in Tombstone, where it operated out of Smith’s mercantile building. In 1882 it became the Cochise County
Bank, with Smith as President, but it would shut down in 1890 because of Tombstone’s depressed economy following the closure of many of the silver mines in the area.

Many of Tombstone’s legendary lawmen and outlaws regularly did business with Smith; the day before the shootout at the OK Corral on Oct. 26, 1881, “Cow-Boys” Ike Clanton and
Tom McLaury made deposits with Smith at the Pima County Bank, located in Smith’s mercantile building.

Allegedly, a day or so before the gunfight occurred, Wyatt Earp took delivery of a special frock coat from P. W. Smith’s mercantile store: supposedly a mackinaw with lined pockets and
made in dark blue heavy jean or canvas. The pockets were supposed to be lined with stiff leather, doubling as holsters to hide Earp’s pistols. It was reported that Earp was wearing this
coat during the famous gunfight.

On the day of the shooting, one of Smith’s employees, J. H. Batcher, was coming back to the mercantile store, following a few feet behind Wyatt Earp, who was walking in the same
direction. He witnessed the famous confrontation between Tom McLaury and Wyatt, which ended when Earp slapped McLaury and then smacked him on the head with the butt of his
pistol. This incident, along with Doc Holliday’s earlier confrontation with Ike Clanton, would touch off the gunfight a few hours later. Batcher would later be called to testify in court as to
what he had seen that day.

Philip William Smith, merchant, banker, publisher and entrepreneur knew and associated with pretty much every major figure involved in Tombstone’s early days, and the gunfight at the
OK Corral.
Bank Check
8 inches by 3 3/8 inches (20.3cm x 8.7cm)

Pima County Bank
Tombstone, Arizona Territory,  United States
S
eptember 1, 1881