Mary Katherine <I>Horony</I> Cummings

Mary Katherine Horony Cummings

Death 2 Nov 1940 (aged 89)
Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona, USA
Burial Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona, USA
Plot Row II Grave 4
Memorial ID 8191 · View Source
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Western Folk Figure. She is best remembered as "Big Nose Kate," the girlfriend and common law wife of fabled gunfighter and old Wild West icon, Doc Holliday. Born in Pest, Hungary, she was the eldest daughter of a wealthy physician named Dr. Michael Horony. She and her siblings were educated as aristocrat's children. Each of Doctor Horony's children were literate, and Mary Katherine spoke several languages. In 1862, her family moved to Davenport, Iowa. After the death of both of her parents in 1865, Mary ran away and began to travel through several cow towns as a dance hall girl and eventual prostitute. While working for Bessie Earp, wife of Wyatt Earp's brother, James, Kate met and began traveling with Holliday in 1875. The two separated four years later in 1879, with Holliday joining the Earps in Tombstone and Kate opening a miner's boarding house in Globe, Arizona. Kate reunited with Holliday on many occasions and was interviewed for her witnessing the OK Corral shootout. Kate parted ways with Holliday and headed for Colorado to reunite with her other family members in the late 1880's. She is said to have been with Holliday when he died. Kate married George Cummings in 1890, returned to Arizona, then left Cummings in 1900 and began to work in Cochise, Arizona and finally in Dos Cabezas, Arizona. In 1930, Kate applied for the Arizona Pioneer Home in Prescott after her employer, John Jessie Howard, died. Kate died in 1940 as one of the first women in Arizona to be admitted to the Pioneer Home. There are no records in existence that prove Kate was a prostitute in Arizona. Her former husband, George Cummings, committed suicide in Courtland, Arizona, in 1915 due to "head cancer" and a shotgun blast. She is buried in Prescott, Arizona, in the Pioneer Cemetery under a very modest stone.

Bio by: Angel M. Brant

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 16 Jan 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8191
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Katherine Horony Cummings (7 Nov 1850–2 Nov 1940), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8191, citing Arizona Pioneers Home Cemetery, Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .