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Doc Holliday Shotgun Auctioned

May 8, 1999 GMT

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (AP) _ A 10-gauge shotgun that Doc Holliday used at the O.K. Corral is expected to bring a bid of $50,000 when it goes on sale Sunday at an auction of the tools of various Wild West figures.

The auction got under way Friday, with some items going for as little as a couple hundred dollars. But a 45-caliber single-action pistol that belonged to Al Seiber, chief of the Apache scouts, went for $18,500.

The bulk of the auction items came from collector David Hall, an Illinois man whose prize possessions include the double-barrel sawed-off shotgun Doc Holliday used in the famous gunbattle at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Ariz.

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The personal effects of other Old West icons such as Wyatt Earp, Sitting Bull, Tom Horn, Geronimo and Buck Garrett are also among the 1,500 collectibles on the auction block through Sunday.

Hall, a 72-year-old home builder, says he spent 62 years gathering frontier-era weapons, paintings, photographs, law enforcement badges and other trinkets.

``I was 10 years old and started collecting Indian arrowheads and then coins and silver dollars, and I just kept going,″ said Hall, who called Pflugerville auctioneer Tom Keilman four months ago to arrange the sale.

Hall said he bought his first collectible gun, a rifle belonging to Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, 30 years ago from a doctor in Illinois.

Friday, a few minutes before cellular-phone-wielding men wearing cowboy hats began bidding on his life’s work, Hall said he is comfortable with his decision to part with his collection.

``My kids say they don’t have the slightest idea what this stuff is or what to do with it,″ Hall told the Austin American-Statesman.

Collectors consider Hall’s Old West collection the best ever assembled, said Tom Burks, a Johnson City resident and former curator of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame in Waco.

``The photography collection he put together is one of the most significant Western collections of photographs there ever was,″ Burks said.

Of the hundreds of photographs in the collection, perhaps the most important is one taken of a horse named Comanche, which was the only member of Gen. George Custer’s command to survive the Battle of Little Bighorn, Burks said.

Several museums are expected to take part in the bidding, Keilman said, adding that representatives from the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth plan to make a run at a Smith & Wesson pistol owned by markswoman Annie Oakley.

Other interesting items being auctioned include a noose belonging to Arkansas ``Hanging Judge″ Isaac Parker and hangman George Maledon, an autograph from Sitting Bull and a pistol used in the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys.

Henry Schroeder, a 59-year-old retiree from Las Cruces, N.M., said he made the trek to Pflugerville to get a piece of history from a less complicated era in early America.

``It’s a simpler time _ laid-back and easygoing,″ Schroeder said. ``Progress is great, but I sat bumper-to-bumper on I-35 for 30 minutes this morning.″

One particular item on the display tables that lined the Pflugerville Lions Hall drew Schroeder’s eye more than the others.

``I do like the Virgil Earp Winchester. It’s very nice,″ Schroeder said. ``You can’t go to Wal-Mart and find this stuff, that’s for sure.″