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Highlighting the local history of John Henry "Doc" Holliday

Highlighting the historic story of John Henry "Doc" Holliday
Highlighting the historic story of John Henry "Doc" Holliday
Posted at 7:30 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 15:56:57-04

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) - If there's one person who knows about John Henry "Doc" Holliday, it's Lynn Thomas.

Thomas is Holliday's third cousin, and he still remembers the day he found out they're kin.

Born in 1851 in Griffin, Georgia, Holliday and his family moved to Valdosta 1864. It's a story Donald Davis, Executive Director of the Lowndes County Historical Society and Museum knows well.

Doc Holliday spent a handful of his younger years in Valdosta, even attending the now torn down Valdosta Institute, a primary school for young boys, but it's what Holliday went on to do after leaving Valdosta that made him so infamous.

In 1870, Holliday moved to Philadelphia to attend the university of Pennsylvania Dental School. He came back to the south to practice dentistry for awhile, but then, at the age of 23, moved to Dallas, Texas.

That's because in 1873, Holliday found out he had tuberculosis.

Historical experts believe he moved to Texas because he thought he'd live longer and fare better in the drier air.

Soon, dentistry took a backseat to gambling, drinking, and fighting staples of life in the old west.

Holliday also played a major role in the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Doc finally succumbed to his TB 1887, but his gun slinging ways have remained a fascination for many cementing his legend in wild west lore.

A connection forever keeping Doc Holliday's, and Valdosta's history alive.