Western Folk Figure. She is best remembered as "Big Nose Kate," the girlfriend of fabled gunfighter and old Wild West icon, Doc Holliday. Born in Pest, Hungary, she was the eldest daughter of physician, Dr. Michael Horony. 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 Aspen, CO in 1890, returned to Arizona to work as a cook in mining camps and after years of abuse left Cummings in 1900. She 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 by than, Arizona Governor George Hunt to the Arizona Pioneer Home. There are no records in existence that prove Kate was a prostitute in Arizona. She is buried in Prescott, Arizona, in the Pioneer Cemetery under a very modest stone. Sadly, the recent bronze stone contains erroneous info about her identity.
Bio by: Angel M. Brant