Nicholas served as deputy sheriff of Warren Co., Illinois, where he established a precedent for fearless efficiency which might well have motivated his sons.
During the 1850's Nicholas went to California, not to find gold, but to find good agricultural land with ample water supply, and decided to settle in San Bernardino Co. He returned back to Iowa to move the family to California, however his daughter Martha became ill and died. Then the Civil War stated, further delaying the move.
After the war Nicholas moved his family to California. They joined a wagon train at Council Bluffs, Iowa on 12 May 1864. They reached San Bernadino, California on 19 December 1864.
In 1868 Nicholas Earp moved back east to Lamar, Missouri to sell his land in Iowa. It is unclear whether or not Nicholas owned property in both Missouri and Iowa at the time he originally moved to California. Nicholas
was born at Lincoln Co., North Carolina
, in September 1813. He was the son of Walter Earp
and Martha Early
. Nicholas served in the military in 1831. He married Abigail Storm
at Ohio Co., Kentucky
, on 22 December 1836. He married Virginia Anne Cooksey
at Hartford, Ohio Co., Kentucky
, on 30 July 1840. Nicholas was listed as the head of a family on the 1850 Census at Pella, Marion Co., Iowa
. He migrated circa 1850. Nicholas was listed as the head of a family on the 1860 Census at Marion Co., Iowa
. Nicholas was listed as the head of a family on the 1870 Census at Lamar Twp., Barton Co., Missouri
. Nicholas died on 12 November 1907 at Los Angeles Co., California
, at age 94.