In pursuit of the grave of the real John Henry “Doc” Holliday
My real name is Jeff “Doc” Holliday. I’m related to the real John Henry “Doc” Holliday of Old West fame, albeit in a very distant way. My family visited what popular culture would have you believe is Doc’s grave. I’ve been there, but don’t believe John Henry is really buried there and I’m not the only one who does.
Let’s start at the beginning (or is it the end?). This is John Henry “Doc” Holliday’s gravestone in Glenwood Springs, Colorado when my family visited in the summer of 2015.
I first learned of my family’s connection to the real Doc through a phone call from an author who was writing a book about his life back to the mid-1990s. If I remember correctly, she wanted to talk to my dad who wasn’t home, so I was the go-between. She asked about our family tree and told her what I knew, then more or less forgot about it. It wasn’t until a year or two ago that my wife did the ancestry research and found that we were very distant several times, but still related to John Henry “Doc” Holliday.
I share all of this to say that. I’ve heard stories that say Doc’s popular grave in Glenwood Springs is not his real grave. Even the Colorado Cemetery admits it doesn’t know exactly where John Henry is buried. They just say “somewhere in the graveyard”. Right.
And then there’s this vague reference to “somewhere”.
One of my favorite YouTube channels “Faces of the Forgotten” is now on the trail of Doc Holliday’s real grave in Griffin, Georgia, where he was born.
I will summarize. He was told (perhaps by some of the same people in the know that I have heard of) that Doc’s father had his body brought from Glenwood Springs and secretly buried it in Griffin Cemetery, Georgia. Word is that only 5 people attended the midnight funeral and only Doc’s father knew exactly where. The only thing we can be certain of is that it’s not near the other members of the Holliday family who are buried at Griffin. The most accurate location I have heard is that it is an unmarked grave in the Stonewall Jackson Confederate Cemetery.
There’s only one other clue I’ve heard: “The gentle trees under which he lay have long since disappeared.”
If you’re interested in the real life of John Henry “Doc” Holliday, the entire Faces of the Forgotten series is more than worth watching.