The story of noted western figure John Henry “Doc” Holliday finds its beginning in Griffin, Georgia. Considered by some as just another gambler and gunslinger, his life was, to put it simply, complicated.
The Hollidays lived in Griffin the first 13 years of Doc’s life. They headed to Valdosta in 1864 in efforts to escape Sherman’s March to the Sea. Following his graduation from Dental School, Doc returned to Griffin and established a dental practice downtown. However, his return did not last long as he soon headed west to Texas.
In speaking of his adventures out west, fable has overshadowed fact.
1) Despite being considered a fighter, he is only documented protecting himself, his friends, or a woman.
2) Despite being considered a gunslinger, he never killed anyone in cold blood. (People fight, and fights just happened to be settled with guns sometimes in the Old West. He wouldn’t start it, but he would finish it.)
3) Despite being considered a gambler (Never mind. There is no denying that the man was very good at cards.)
Even his exact reason for heading west is unknown. Often times, this move is attributed to his battle with consumption (akin to tuberculosis). It is known that, despite his reported adventures, it would be this disease that claimed the life of John Henry “Doc” Holliday in 1887 at the age of 35.
While fact and fiction have blurred with time, we still proudly recognize Griffin’s noble, native son. We invite you to celebrate John Henry “Doc” Holliday with us this September!