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John Behan

John Harris Behan (October 23, 1844 – June 7, 1912) was, for 21 months of a two-year term (February 1881 to November 1882), the sheriff of Cochise County in the Arizona Territory.

What do you know about Johnny Behan? Try this US Old West History Made Easy Quiz. "Check Your Answers" at the end of the page.

Trivia powered by Prof. Walter1) Behan is born in what is now Kansas City, Missouri, the third of nine children of a carpenter named Peter Behan and his wife Sarah.

  • True or False?

2) Behan comes to the Arizona Territory from in 1863, arriving first in Prescott, the territorial seat. Where does he come from?

  • New York City
  • Chicago
  • Dodge City
  • San Francisco

3) In 1869 he marries Victoria Zaff of California. The couple have two children; a daughter (dies in childhood) and a son named Albert Price, born July 7, 1872. Behan and his wife divorce in 1875 and in 1881 he marries Josephine Marcus.

  • True or False?

4) Behan moves to Tombstone in September 1880, perhaps with knowledge that the area was about to be split off from Pima County as Cochise County, with Tombstone as the county seat. Behan works for a short time as bartender in a local hotel (a favorite of the cow-boys). What is the name of the hotel?

  • Longbranch Hotel
  • Carlton Hotel
  • Best Western Hotel
  • Grand Hotel

5) Who picks Johnny Behan to serve as Tombstone area undersheriff while it was part of Pima County.

  • Pima sheriff Charles Shibell
  • Pima sheriff John Ringo
  • Pima sheriff Morgan Earp
  • Pima sheriff Russell Morgan

6) Tombstone is split off into the new Cochise County in early 1881, undersheriff Behan is appointed first Sheriff of Cochise County, and confirmed by the upper house of the Territorial Legislature, on February 10, 1881. Who appoints Behan as Cochise County Sheriff?

  • Governor Ward Bond
  • Governor Howard Arnold
  • Governor John C. Fremont
  • Governor Clyde Ware

7) Popular understanding of the times portrays Behan, a county lawman, as a friend of Ike Clanton, William B. Brocious, Johnny Ringo, and a group of Mexican cattle importers, dealers, rustlers and fencers. What are they known colloquially as?

  • Marshalls
  • Drovers
  • Cowboys
  • Public enemies

8) Behan is a witness to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. When is the gunfight?

  • September 26, 1881
  • October 26, 1881
  • November 26, 1881
  • December 26, 1881

9) What is the penitentiary that Behan served as the Deputy Superintendent (deputy warden)?

  • Florence Penitentiary
  • Yuma Penitentiary
  • Papago Penitentiary
  • Black Canyon Penitentiary

10) Behan dies at St. Mary's Catholic Hospital in Tucson, Arizona on June 7, 1912. While some sources state that Behan dies of Bright's disease (immune-related renal failure), his death certificate states Behan died primarily of arterial sclerosis. The secondary cause listed on the same death certificate states Behan also has syphilis, which he has contracted thirty years earlier (during his time in Tombstone).

  • True or False?

11) Where is Behan buried?

  • Holy Hope Cemetery & Mausoleum, Tucson, AZ
  • Pima County Cemetery, Tucson, AZ
  • Bisbee Cemetery, Bisbee, AZ

John Behan
[Answers]

  1. True
  2. San Francisco
  3. False. He never remarries. Josephine Marcus uses his name; however, no evidence shows a marriage license.
  4. Grand Hotel
  5. Pima sheriff Charles Shibell
  6. Governor John C. Fremont
  7. Cowboys
  8. October 26, 1881
  9. Yuma Penitentiary
  10. True
  11. Holy Hope Cemetery & Mausoleum, Tucson, AZ

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