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38. Photo James Cooksey EARP2,33,38,39,40,41 was born on 28 Jun 1841 in Hartford, Ohio County, Kentucky.42 He served in the military between 1861 and 1863 in private in 17th Ill Infantry, Co. F; discharged for disability.. The oldest of the Earp brothers was born in Kentucky, in 1841, before the family moved to Monmouth, Illinois.

In 1861 he enlisted in the 17th Illinois Infantry, and soon found himself in Missouri. Earp was with the 17th Illinois when it descended on Jeff Thompson's troops at Fredericktown on October 21, 1861. Wounded at Fredericktown, Earp was discharged from the army, and was disabled by his wound for the rest of his life.
A gambler, and saloon owner in Tombstone when his brothers made their mark on history, James died in San Bernardino, California, in 1926. He died on 25 Jan 1926 in Los Angeles County, California.42 Medical: Wounded during the Civil War, unable to use his left arm due to a wound in the left shoulder. Drew a disability pension.

James Cooksey Earp was buried in Mountain View Cemetery, San Bernardino, Calif.
He served during the Civil War in Company F, 17th IL Inf and according to "I Married Wyatt Earp," p. 57, "his pension record shows he was wounded 3 Oct. 1861 at Fredericktown, Missouri [sic] and discharged for the disability on March 22, 1863. He drew a disability pension the rest of his life. His pension record shows him back at Pella, Iowa, on March 2, 1863, perhaps on convalescent furlough awaiting discharge. " (I do not have copies of his Civil War pension/military files).

Earp Family Genealogy notes that he was a private in the 17th Ill. Infantry, Co. F. from May 25, 1861 until discharged for disability, March 22, 1863, and that in an application for increase of his pension on May 27, 1912, he stated "after discharge went to Marion County, Iowa in spring 1863-Montana. in 1870 went to Pineswell [sic], Mo., then to Wichita, Kansas., then to Arizona, then to California in 1890." He was in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas on 18 June 1878 when he wrote for the increase.

James Cooksey EARP and Nellie "Bessie" BARTLETT were married on 18 Apr 1873 in Illinois.43 It is doubtful that Jim and Nellie were legally married. No marriage record has been found for them in Illinois or elsewhere. Photo Nellie "Bessie" BARTLETT2,42 was born about 1844 in Missouri. She died in 1887 in San Bernardino County, California.42 She was also known as Nellie Bartlett. "The Earp Family Genealogy" lists Nellie as Nellie Bartlett; in "I Married Wyatt Earp," p. 57 (Note 6 -- Notes to Chapter 3) it gives her name as Nellie Bartlett Ketchum and says that they (James Earp and Nellie Bartlett) were married April 18, 1873, in Illinois. However, no sources are cited for this information.

The 1880 Arizona census for Tombstone shows James C. Earp's wife as "Bessie" and Hattie B. Catchin as his stepdaughter. Alvira "Allie" (Sullivan) Earp (wife of Virgil Walter Earp) refers to her brother-in-law as "Jim" and his wife "Bessie" throughout "The Earp Brothers of Tombstone: The Story of Mrs. Virgil Earp," by Frank Waters.

It appears that Nellie Bartlett and Bessie Earp are the same person. Possibly she was married before to a man named Ketchum or Catchin, or that was the name of the father of her daughter, Hattie.