Crestview dentist to unveil permanent 'Doc' Holliday exhibit

Dr. Richard Thomas

Dr. Richard Thomas displays 19th-century Wild West artifacts to be placed in his permanent exhibit dedicated to Doc Holliday.

BRIAN HUGHES/News Bulletin
Published: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM.

CRESTVIEW — Although John Henry "Doc" Holliday is renowned in American history as a Wild West gambler and gunslinger, he also was a dentist.

Fittingly, Crestview dentist Dr. Richard Thomas will host a Nov. 8 open house for a permanent exhibit featuring Doc Holliday's dental chair.

The ornate mid-19th-century dental chair, with its pedal-operated drill, is the pride of Thomas' extensive collection of Wild West antiques.

Thomas didn't reveal how much he paid for the chair, but said he got caught up in the excitement of the online auction in which he bought it.

"I've never been in an auction before," he said. "I should've cut my finger off. For some reason, I kept bidding it up and bidding it up and the next thing it said (was), 'You got it.'"

Thomas also acquired Holliday's appointment "book," a fan of ivory cards on which weekly patient appointments — some still barely legible — were written in pencil and later erased.

Gambler and gunslinger

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