After her father left for the Civil War in May 1861, Allie's large family moved the six miles downriver to what was then the new settlement of Omaha. Soon after the move, her mother died. With no way to reach their father, the children were divided up among other early Omaha settlers. According to Allie's memoirs, she then had to live with the McGath family. After working for the family as little more than a servant, young Allie would run away, subsequently living with various families, such as those which had adopted her other siblings.
In 1865, at the age of sixteen, Allie moved across the river to the newer settlement of Council Bluffs, Iowa, where she would work odd jobs while living with various families. While waiting tables in the early 1870s, she met a young man named Virgil Walter Earp. Working as a stage driver, Virgil would visit Allie every time he was in town. After several of these visits, the young couple were married and settled down in Council Bluffs. While no record of their marriage exists, in later years Allie herself always insisted that they were, in fact, legally married. It was Allie's first husband but Virgil's third wife.
By the beginning of 1877 the family reached Kansas, where records show that Virgil visited his brother Wyatt in Dodge City where he was a deputy marshal. Not much is known about Virgil's stay there, though it is rumored that he may have served on the police force in some capacity for a brief period. In any case, after wintering at Dodge City, the wagon train was ready once again to move westward. Stopping through the tiny desert city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the budding hamlet of Albuquerque, they soon reached the Arizona Territory, where they planned to settle in Prescott.
Their plans were delayed when they ran out of money and Virgil accepted a job as a mail carrier at a small post a few days north of Prescott. According to her (purported) memoirs, Allie helped another woman in childbirth at this time, which was one of the principal reasons the job was offered the Earps. The arrangement did not last long, however, as the family the Earps had been living with moved with their children back to Missouri. Virgil and Allie then drifted south into Prescott proper, living in a log cabin where Virgil ran a timber claim.
When Allie's father left for the Civil War, Allie and the rest of her family moved somewhere safe. Unfortunately, during the move, Allie's mother died. Allie Earp wished her father never left. When Allie was older, though, she moved to Iowa. There, she met Virgil who already had two wives in the past. Virgil was Allie's first husband, but Allie was Virgil's third wife.
It is unclear how much Alvira knew of the events leading up to what became known as the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. However, she clearly supported her husband's career as a lawman. According to Tombstone historians, Mr. And Mrs. Virgil Earp lived on the southwest corner of First and Fremont streets,. This is the house Virgil was brought to after the infamous gunfight with the Clantons and the McLaurys, having suffered a bullet wound to his calf. It burned down on June 6, 1998, much to the sadness of the current townspeople, as it was the last remaining structure definitively known to have been occupied by the Earps. A replica was built and now stands on the Western end of Allen Street, near the city cemetery.