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Johnny Ringo
Original name: John Peter Ringgold
Birth: May 3, 1850
Greens Fork
Wayne County
Indiana, USA
Death: Jul. 13, 1882
Cochise County
Arizona, USA

Gunfighter, Outlaw. Johnny Ringo was rather an ordinary western outlaw until writers and Hollywood created a fiction character, at best a facsimile, barely resembling the actual lawbreaker who wandered the southwest. The subject of many books, some even considered non-fiction, his actual exploits pale compared to his after-death journey where he became a legendary cowboy whom writers romanticized to the point that he was considered one of the deadliest and fastest guns of the old west. Some true facts; his renown resulted mainly from his confrontations with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. He was their chief antagonist accusing them of killing his friends then seeking revenge. A television show "Johnny Ringo" based on Ringo's life aired in 1959 featuring Don Durant where he portrayed Ringo as an ex gunfighter now the sheriff of a small western town and his attempts to keep the peace dubbing him the "Fastest gun that ever lived." He was born John Peters Ringgold in Greenford, Wayne County, Indiana the eldest of a family consisting of two boys and three girls. The family moved to Gallatin, Missouri when he was six where he received his meager schooling which amounted to an elementary school education. Martin Ringgold fighting tuberculous decided to move his family to San Jose, California in his desire for a dryer climate. A perilous five month nightmarish trip that had devastating effects on fourteen year old John while defining his life. He sustained a serious foot injury, the family wagon was attacked by Indians and then the youngster witnessed the murder of a man, a member of the wagon train. An accidental shotgun misfiring took the life of his father forcing the family to bury him by the side of the trail. Upon arrival in San Jose, Mary and the family stayed at the ranch of her sister for a time before moving into the village. At nineteen, John already with a taste for alcohol, leaves home turning up in Mason County, Texas and promptly becomes a member of the Scott Cooley gang involved in the Mason County or Hoodoo War, a conflict over cattle ownership between German settlers and American born men. It was during this time, he shortened his surname and began to spell it "Ringo." His Texas history...from his activities during the Range War came many charges and he was arrested and lodged in jail, only to be set free by area ranchers. He was caught again and re arrested by Texas Rangers and local lawmen and this time incarcerated in the state prison at Austin. Two years later with all charges dismissed, he was elected Constable of Llano County. After only a year, he pulled up stakes and moved to the Arizona Territory, where for the rest of his life, rustled cattle, committed robbery, participated in murders and attempted murders of Morgan, Virgil and other Earp sympathizers. When Wyatt and Doc Holliday of Tombstone fame began their odyssey of vengeance with him number one on the list, John fled to Mexico. After weeks of heavy drinking upon his return to Arizona, his body was found a few days after his death in West Turkey Creek Canyon located near Tombstone. He was sitting at the base of a tree at age 32 with a self inflicted gun shot wound to the side of his head. The coroner declared the act a suicide and ordered him quickly buried a few feet from the spot of the deed. Today...The actual tree is still there only much larger and the grave is graced by a nearby Arizona Historic Marker. The site near Wilcox, Arizona is spectacular, located along West Turkey Creek on private property which is part of the Coronado National Forest. After his death, his family would disown him and never acknowledge nor dispute the stories which grew up around his name. In a bit of trivia; Lorne Greene star of the television series "Bonanza" did a spoken-word recording "Ringo" about a sheriff who saved the life of gunman Johnny Ringo which had a number one chart rating for a time on Billboard's Hottest Hits. (bio by: Donald Greyfield) 
Family links: 
  Martin Ringo (1819 - 1864)
  Mary Ann Peters Ringo (1826 - 1876)
  Johnny Ringo (1850 - 1882)
  Mary Enna Ringo (1860 - 1941)*
  Mattie Bell Ringo Cushing (1862 - 1942)*
*Calculated relationship
Johnny Ringo State Historical Landmark
Cochise County
Arizona, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 03, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 4284
Johnny Ringo
Added by: GraveGirl
Johnny Ringo
Added by: Jim Vasaldua
Johnny Ringo
Added by: Jim Tipton
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 Added: May. 3, 2017
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- David Wend
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