Some key elements of Wyatt Earp's life include the gunfight at the OK Corral, his ascent to constable of Lamar, Missouri, and the death of his wife and unborn child. Earp's life built up to the gunfight but the pain he felt from the death of his wife and his subsequent career change to become a constable, taking over the position from his father, affected his life journey.
When he was 13, Earp attempted twice to join the Union Army, but he was never allowed to get close enough to the battlefield to take part. Following the war, he spent time learning how to box and gamble while working for the Union Pacific Railroad. He eventually moved to Lamar, Missouri, to be closer to his family. When his father, who was the constable, retired, Earp took over for him 1869.
In 1870, he married his love, Urilla Sutherland. However, she died soon after their wedding from typhoid fever, taking with her their unborn child. Earp, devastated by this tragedy, turned to a life of crime and eventually made his way out west to Tombstone, Arizona, to be closer to his brothers. There he returned to law enforcement and joined his brothers and Doc Holliday in a gunfight against Ike Clanton and some cowboy thieves in 1881.