Wild West History Association Dedicated to the history and lore of the American West
Wild West History Association Dedicated to the history and lore of the American West
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Mary "Big Nose" Kate Cummings

 

(November 7, 1850 - November 2, 1940)

 

Born Mary Katherine Harony in Budapest, Hungary, Kate was fifteen when her parents died in Davenport, Iowa. She ran away from her appointed guardian, changed her name to Kate Fisher and lived with a person named Silas Melvin. In 1874 Kate worked for the Earp women in Wichita, KS as a "soiled dove" and pursued a similar occupation in Dodge City under the name Kate Elder. In 1877 she was in Fort Griffin, Texas. It was here Kate met John Henry Holliday while he was gambling and she was working at a saloon. Kate followed Doc Holliday in his travels to Dodge City, Las Vegas, New Mexico and finally to Arizona. In Arizona, Kate did not want to be near the Earps and lived in Globe, Arizona while Doc lived in Tombstone.

 

Kate helped Doc in his waining days in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. She was at his bedside using her small savings to sustain them during the two month period Doc was bedridden. When Doc Holliday died, Kate gathered Doc's possessions and shipped them to the family in Georgia.

 

In Colorado, Kate met George Cummings. They married in Aspen, Colorado eventually traveling to Arizona. Kate began to use her birth name of Mary and worked as a cook for mining camps and other jobs of toil. The marriage lasted until 1899 when Mary left her alcoholic husband.

 

Mary worked as a housekeeper in Dos Cabezas, Arizona until 1931 when she entered the Arizona State Pioneers home. She lived here until her death on November 2, 1940.

 

Mary Katherine Cummings is buried in the Arizona Pioneers Cemetery in Prescott, Arizona.

 

 

Gravesite Map

 

Information compiled by Steve Grimm

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© Wild West History Association - a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation

http://www.WildWestHistory.org