Stuart N. Lake

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Stuart Nathaniel Lake
Born (1889-09-23)September 23, 1889
Rome, New York, USA
Died January 27, 1964(1964-01-27) (aged 74)
San Diego, California
Occupation Author: Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal

Stuart Nathaniel Lake (September 23, 1889, Rome, New York – January 27, 1964, San Diego, California) was a writer whose material dealt largely with the American Old West.

His 1931 biography of Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal, served as the basis for several films, including Frontier Marshal, a 1939 production starring Randolph Scott,[1] and John Ford's My Darling Clementine.[1] He also inspired the 1955-1961 ABC television series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, starring Hugh O'Brian in the title role. The biography was later found to be highly fictional. Lake was the first writer to describe Earp's use of the Colt Buntline. Later researchers have been unable to establish that Earp ever owned such a weapon.

Lake also wrote for other motion pictures including The Westerner, starring Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan,[2] Powder River with Rory Calhoun, and Winchester '73 starring James Stewart.[1]

Before becoming a writer, Lake had been a professional wrestling promoter and a press aide to Theodore Roosevelt during the Bull Moose presidential campaign in 1912. During World War I, he was run over by a truck.[3]

In 1951, Lake claimed that Robert M. Wright, a member of the Kansas House of Representatives from 1875 to 1883 and a founder and later mayor of Dodge City, Kansas, had in 1878 pocketed $25,000 as a "fee" from the South Texas cattleman Mifflin Kenedy, for whom Kenedy County, Texas, is named. In a letter to the author and historian Stanley Vestal of the University of Oklahoma, Lake claimed that Kenedy paid the money to gain acquittal of Kenedy's son, James "Spike" Kenedy (1855-1884), in the inadvertent shooting death of the popular dance hall singer Dora Hand. Young Kenedy and James H. "Dog" Kelley, another early Dodge City mayor, were both suitors of Dora. Kenedy thought that he was shooting Kelley, rather than Dora.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Stuart N. Lake at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ The Westerner at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ "Josephine Earp, Wyatt Earp’s Jewish Widow, Admits Her Destitution to Earp’s Biographer". Shapell Manuscript Collection. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Susan Leiser Silva and Lee A. Silva, "The Killing of Dora Hand", October 1, 2009". historynet.com; originally in Wild West Magazine. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 

External links[edit]