Mary Katherine Horony Cummings (November 7, 1850 – November 2, 1940), known as Big Nose Kate, was a Hungarian-born prostitute and later longtime companion and common-law wife of Doc Holliday in the American Old West.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Mary Katherine Horony Cummings
Profile Bio Text
Mary Katherine Horony Cummings (November 7, 1850 – November 2, 1940), known as Big Nose Kate, was the Hungarian-born long-time companion and common-law wife of fabled gambler and gunfighter Doc Holliday in the American Old West. Despite numerous adventures, she lived a long life.
Immigration to the United States of America
Kate Harony (seated at left) and younger sister named Wilhemina in about 1865, at the time they were orphaned. Kate is about 15-years-old.Mary Katherine Horony was born on November 7, 1850, in Pest, Hungary, the second-oldest daughter of a Hungarian physician, Dr. Michael Horony. In 1860, Dr. Horony, his second wife Katharina, and his children left Hungary for the United States, ultimately reaching New York on board the ship Bremen in September 1860. Although no conclusive evidence or records exist, Dr. Horony was to accept a position as personal physician to Austrian-born Emperor, Maximilian I of Mexico. Many authors have stated, without proof, that Horony left Mexico in 1863 with his family long before Maximilian's rule crumbled. The family settled in a predominantly German area of Davenport, Iowa, in 1862. Horony and his wife died in 1865 within a month of one another. Mary Katherine and her younger siblings were placed in the home of her brother-in-law, Gustav Susemihl, and in 1870, they were left in the care of attorney Otto Smith. The 1870 United States Census records for Davenport, Iowa, show Kate's younger sister, Wilhemina (Wilma), living with and working as a domestic for Austrian-born David Palter and his Hungarian wife Betty when Wilhemina was 15 years old.
 St. Louis and Dodge CityAt the age of 16, Kate ran away from her foster home and is reported to have stowed away on a riverboat bound for St. Louis, Missouri. While in St. Louis, Kate claimed she married a dentist named "Silas Melvin" and that the two had a son. Subsequently, husband and son were said to have died of yellow fever. No record currently proves the marriage, birth of a child, or the deaths of either Melvin or the child. What is known through United States Census records is that a Silas Melvin lived in St. Louis in the mid-1860s but was married to a steamship captain's daughter named Mary Bust. The census further shows Melvin's occupation to be an employee of a St. Louis asylum. Since it is during the early 1870s that Kate met Doc Holliday, there is speculation that she may have confused the two and their occupations when recalling the facts later in her life.
By 1874, Kate had left St. Louis and made her way to Dodge City, Kansas. It is alleged that she and Bessie Earp were fined for working as "sporting women" in a sporting house run by Bessie Earp, wife of James Earp. Through the years, a number of historians and biographers have labeled Kate as a prostitute. To date, there is no (conclusive) proof that this was ever the case.
 Doc Holliday and the O.K. Corral
Big Nose Kate's Saloon in Tombstone. It was originally called the "Grand Hotel" and was built in 1880. Ike Clanton and two Mclaury brothers stayed there the night before the famous OK Corral gunfight.In 1876, Kate moved to Fort Griffin, Texas, where she met Wyatt Earp and began her long-time involvement with Doc Holliday. Doc said at one point that he considered Kate his intellectual equal. There are unproven reports that Kate owned and operated a bordello in Tombstone. (Amongst amateur historians, Big Nose Kate has often been confused with a Tombstone sporting woman who went by the name "Rowdy Kate".) She did own a miner's boarding house in Globe, Arizona, along Broad Street.
By her own account, Kate and Doc went to Trinidad, Colorado, and then to Las Vegas, New Mexico, where Holliday was briefly a barkeeper at a saloon on Center Street. Doc and Kate met up again with Wyatt Earp and his brothers on their way to the Arizona Territory. Virgil Earp had already been in Prescott before Wyatt persuaded his brothers to move to Tombstone. Holliday and Kate parted ways when Kate left for Globe, Arizona. Holliday, like his friend Wyatt, was always looking for an opportunity to make money and joined the Earps in Tombstone during the fall of 1880.
After the March 15, 1881 robbery and murder of stagecoach driver Eli "Bud" Philpot and a passenger between Tombstone and Benson, Arizona, Cowboy Bill Leonard was one of three men implicated in the robbery. Holliday had become friends with Bill Leonard. When Kate and Holliday had a fight, County Sheriff Johnny Behan and Milt Joyce, a county supervisor and owner of the Oriental Saloon, decided to exploit the situation.
Behan and Joyce plied Big Nose Kate with alcohol and suggested to her a way to get even with Holliday. She signed an affidavit implicating Holliday in the murders and attempted robbery. Judge Wells Spicer issued an arrest warrant for Holliday. The Earps found witnesses who could attest to Holl
Cause of Death
Acute Myocardial Insufficiency
Prostitute Dance hall girl Boarding house owner Baker
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