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Wyatt Earp Park ~ Lamar, Missouri Downtown Square

All legends have their beginnings, and Wyatt Earp is no exception. A man of mystery, his larger-than-life story continues to fascinate people 175 years after he was born. Many know the events in his life that secured his place in history and immortalized him on the big and small screen, but some may not know his beginnings, which possibly shaped the legend he became.

Wyatt Earp Photo

Wyatt Earp was born March 19, 1848, in Monmouth, IL, little is known about his early years. Wyatt came to join his family, already established here, in the summer of 1869, when he was around 21 years old. He was appointed Lamar's Constable on November 26, 1869, following his father's (Nicholas Earp's) resignation.

Being only a few years from the end of the Civil War, Lamar was full of opportunities with over 1,000 residents. Lamar and Barton County took a brutal hit, during the Civil War, being constantly raided by both sides, most of the residents left and by the end only 5 or 6 families where still here and one building remained standing. 1

During Wyatt Earp's short time here Lamar was growing rapidly; the first church was being built, the prospect of one if not two railroads criss crossing Barton County, City of Lamar was incorporated in March of 1870 and elected the towns first constable a young Wyatt Earp, which was stated "This is a good appointment, and when our City dads get the machine in grinding order, lawbreakers had better look out. We have some hopes of seeing our public square put and kept in order" 2

Wyatt Earp - Lamar Missouri - Town Constable 1870

Wyatt married Urilla Sutherland on January 10, 1870. Unfortunately, within the year, Urilla passed, without a death certificate or an obituary in the paper, Urilla faded into history. Some speculate that her death was due to childbirth or typhoid. Stories passed on by locals claim a baby was placed with her. As years passed, no gravestone marked her end until 1994, until one was placed at Howell Cemetery south of Milford, MO, although many believe she could be buried in the East Cemetery in Lamar. With the death of his wife and unborn child, Wyatt headed west to begin his journey and become one of America's frontier legends.

The Wyatt Earp Park was built to honor his "Legendary Beginnings" right here in Lamar, Missouri. The Wyatt Earp Park features a statue of Wyatt and his wife, Urilla (Sutherland) Earp, a music pavilion for outdoor concerts and community gatherings on the beautiful Lamar Square.

The Wyatt Earp Park was finished in 2023 and is located on the Northeast corner of the Lamar Downtown Square, directly across the street from the former location of the Exchange Hotel, which Urilla's parents owned, and some say is where they were married. The Exchange Hotel is the current location of the Lamar Bank & Trust building.

 

1 (Barton County Historical Society  & The Lamar Republican (Lamar, Missouri) · Thu, Nov 24, 1932 · Page 6)
2 (The Southwest Missouri (The Lamar Republican) March 3, 1870)

If you would like more information about the park, or would like to donate under our
Barton County Chamber Foundation Inc. 501c3.

Contact the Barton County Chamber at 417-682-3595 or email at marketing@bartoncounty.com

Thank-You

The successful completion of the park could not have happened without many of our local organizations & businesses’ generous donations, support, expertise, and talent they shared during the process

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