September 25, 2020

Bascomb Smith: A "champion" to Miss Hall

A CHAMPION
San Francisco Chronicle
October 12, 1898

(Click image to enlarge)


 


  

ASCOMB IS A CHAMPION

 

 

  

Guess Bascomb Smith wasn't all bad. The texts of the newspaper appear below.

 

Miss Hall finds a champion.
Brother of  “ Soapy” Smith claims her as his wife.
There is another side to the pathetic story told to the police by Minnie Hall, the Vaudeville actress to jump into the bay from Howard Street Wharf on Monday afternoon. Her real name is or was, Elsie Edwards, and she came here from Seattle with Bascom Smith, a brother of “Soapy" Smith, who was killed in Skagway, Alaska, about two months ago by members of the vigilance committee.
      Smith, presenting himself as the husband of the actress, secured her release yesterday from the matron's quarters at the City Prison. She accompanied him willingly, and did not deny his statement that she is his wife. Prior to her release the distressed vaudeville artist procured a search warrant in Judge Conlan's court to secure possession of her trunk and contents, which she values at $200, from Mine. Ferlot's house, 724 California street, where she roomed. She appeared in court wearing slippers and somewhat thin attire.
      Smith says that nobody evicted the would-be suicide, but that she "got full of claret up to her chin" and wandered off to the wharf unnoticed by those in the rooming-house. Her trunk is now in the property clerk's office at police headquarters.

 
It is interesting that Elsie "Minnie Hall" Edwards came to San Francisco with Bascomb. The question that remains is whether they were actually married. I have not found her mentioned when Bascomb returned to Seattle, where in 1899 he was forced to leave once again.
     "Claret" is a red wine from Bordeaux, or wine of a similar character made elsewhere.
     Good friend and exceptional historian/researcher, Peter Brand writes, "I think I have more on them in Butte Montana. They seem to have a similar relationship to Doc Holliday and Kate. Gambler and prostitute and love/hate etc."
 
The research never ends!










Bascomb Smith
August 1, 2011
May 4, 2012
September 20, 2015

September 22, 2015

March 23, 2019
June 23, 2020











Bascomb Smith: pages 22, 41-42, 67, 75-76, 88-89, 92, 120-22, 139, 143, 162-63, 165, 167, 169, 176, 178, 182, 214, 247, 264, 273-75, 336, 340, 352, 355, 361, 363, 367, 370-77, 381-86, 391-99, 403-05, 408-09, 412, 420-23, 519, 554-55, 584, 588-89, 594. 






"Casinos and prostitutes have the same thing in common; they are both trying to screw you out of your money and send you home with a smile on you face."
—V. P. Pappy






September 24, 2020

The Death of Bascomb Smith: Soapy Smith's hot-head younger brother

BASCOMB SMITH
Ends his life with drugs
Alliance Herald
September 9, 1909

(Click image to enlarge)



 
ascomb Smith's death
Did Bascomb die a "drug fiend" in 1909?




     What ever happened to Bascomb Smith and when he died, has been a mystery in the Smith family. The last we previously heard from Bascomb was in December 1899 when he was ordered to leave Seattle, Washington after shooting and wounding a man. There is a family story that Bascomb died in the 1920s but it is not known where this information came from, nor is there any provenance. 
     Author/historian and good friend, Peter Brand responded to a post about Bascomb, trying to determine if an article he had found was about our Bascomb Smith (see top pic). It seems probable that it is.
     It is known, according to the Seattle newspapers, that Bascomb was a "hop fiend." The fact that his father and several uncles were attorney's, I can see where Bascomb might lie about being a retired "young promising lawyer." If this is our Bascomb Smith, then he died at some point previous to September 7, 1909 in Omaha, Nebraska. 

 

REST IN PEACE BASCOMB.

Only positively-known image
of Bascomb Smith

(Click image to enlarge)

 

* Special thanks go out to author/historian Peter Brand for locating this newspaper clipping!







Bascomb Smith
August 1, 2011
May 4, 2012
September 20, 2015

September 22, 2015

March 23, 2019
June 23, 2020









Bascomb Smith: pages 22, 41-42, 67, 75-76, 88-89, 92, 120-22, 139, 143, 162-63, 165, 167, 169, 176, 178, 182, 214, 247, 264, 273-75, 336, 340, 352, 355, 361, 363, 367, 370-77, 381-86, 391-99, 403-05, 408-09, 412, 420-23, 519, 554-55, 584, 588-89, 594. 





"In a bet there is a fool and a thief."
—Proverb



September 23, 2020

Artifact #69: One of Soapy's personal notebooks.

Soapy Smith's notebook
Front cover
Artifact #69
Jeff Smith Collection


(Click image to enlarge)



 
 
 
 
rtifact #69, Soapy Smith's notebook






      Soapy Smith treated his criminal career as a normal businessman might. He kept records and filed all correspondence. While on the road, Soapy used notebooks to keep financial records, tallies and personal notes, in his own handwriting. The notebook showcased here is one from my personal collection. As you view the photos take note of the last one and last page. The names listed are well-know in Soapy Smith history.

Soapy Smith's notebook
Pages 1-2 and insert
Artifact #69
Jeff Smith Collection

(Click image to enlarge)

 

 

Soapy Smith's notebook
Pages 1-2 (minus insert)
Artifact #69
Jeff Smith Collection

(Click image to enlarge)



Soapy Smith's notebook
Page 1 side-view
Artifact #69
Jeff Smith Collection

(Click image to enlarge)

 

Page 1 (shown above) has the following, as best as I could decipher them.

Frank H. Anderson
818 Market St.
San Francisco, Cal

Charles Anderson
834 Folsom

Ella Gusset
same address

In May 1887 Soapy received a letter sent from Deadwood, South Dakota from "Charles Anderson." This may be J. "Kid" Anderson. I could not find any information on Frank Anderson or Ella Gusset. It is not known how or why Soapy may have met them. This notation may date to 1884 as Soapy was in San Francisco at this time. It could also date to 1897-98 as it is believed Soapy traveled up and down the west coast. The dating in Soapy's notebooks vary. One such notebook in a cousins collection has writings from his father in the first portion of the pages, and then Soapy took possession of it, thus the dating is not easy to determine.  

Page 2 has undecipherable text. The smudging is likely due to pencil markings and moisture. The one word I can make out, appears to be "Dawson" (Klondike) which would date in 1898. There are actually two pages missing, being cut out. 

Soapy Smith's notebook
Insert-A
Artifact #69
Jeff Smith Collection

(Click image to enlarge)

 

The insert was located on page 1-2 (shown above). This was found in the notebook, but it is not one of the pages from the notebook. This may be Soapy's, but it also may be notes from his son, Jefferson Randolph Smith III.

The insert has the following on the front, in handwriting, as best as I could decipher it.

Newnan Ga.
Miss Ethel Smith
______________

Washington D.C.

Camerdish - Herald 

Riseling - Post

O. Connell - Times

Thornton - News

McKelway - Star

______________

Col Edwin B. Smith
1710 14th N.W.
Polomac 279

 

"Miss Ethel Smith" is Soapy's cousin (daughter of his uncle). "Col Edwin B. Smith" is also a cousin to Soapy. Edwin grew up with Soapy in Georgia and Texas. It was Edwin who with Soapy, witnessed the shooting death of outlaw Sam Bass in Round Rock, Texas. In later life, Edwin became the doorman in congress, so he was able to assist Soapy gain contacts in government.


Soapy Smith's notebook
Insert-B
Artifact #69
Jeff Smith Collection

(Click image to enlarge)


The other side of the insert (shown above) is a typed list of newspapers and their editors for Brooklyn and New York.

 

Soapy Smith's notebook
Pages 3-4
Artifact #69
Jeff Smith Collection

(Click image to enlarge)

 

Pages 3 and 4 are badly smeared. Nothing of any importance can be deciphered. The following two pages are blank.

 

Soapy Smith's notebook
Pages 7-8
Artifact #69
Jeff Smith Collection

(Click image to enlarge)

 

 Page 7 has a personal note in Soapy's handwriting.

Morgage [mortgage] May 19th
60 days
Note 60 days May 11th

There are several letters in my collection that deal with Soapy reminding wife Mary to pay the property mortgages. These reminders always came with the money to pay them.

Pages 8-16 are blank with no cut out/torn out page in between.

 

Soapy Smith's notebook
Pages 17-18
Artifact #69
Jeff Smith Collection

(Click image to enlarge)

 

Pages 17-18 are smeared with pencil graphite, and at least one page was torn out. It is probable that the torn out page(s) had penciled notes.

Pages 19-36 are blank with no cut out/torn out pages in between. 

 

Soapy Smith's notebook
Pages 37-38
Artifact #69
Jeff Smith Collection

(Click image to enlarge)

 

Page 37 has a financial accounting record. Page 38 appears to be a smudged "copy" of page 37. It is a collection of names and a dollar amount to each name. Were these payments, payoffs, collections, Soapy made? The names definitely indicate this was written in Denver, Colorado, by Soapy, circa late 1880s-90s.

The following is the list of names in handwriting, as best as I could decipher them.

Mart H. Watrous - 200.00

Harry - 650.00

Bob Austin - 55.00

Yaungsun - 120.00

Gaylord - 150.00

Chase - 125.00

Mulgrew - 500.00

Mob to Dricsan [?] - 300.00

Cook - 1000.00

Sydam - 50.00

Sam How - 45.00

Police - 26.00

Tim Connors - 50.00

The total figures add up to $3,271.00 which is equivalent of $95,030.89 in 2020 dollars. Below are the deciphered names and their connections to Soapy.

Mart H. Watrous: Proprietor of Murphy's Exchange saloon and gambling house in Denver. Co-owner of the Denver Exchange saloon and gambling complex in Creede, Colorado when Soapy was there. He was present at Murphy's Exchange, grabbing Jim Jordan, when gambler Cliff Sparks was shot and killed, possibly by Soapy. He wrote at least four letters to Soapy in 1895.

Harry: Could be Korry, Harry "Shotgun" Smith, who was killed by Bascomb Smith, Soapy's younger brother.

Bob Austin: Proprietor of a saloon mentioned by Soapy in 1893 as "Bob Austin's Place."

Yaungsun: Could be "Denver Sun," for a newspaper payoff. A tough one to decipher.

Gaylord: Ed Gaylord, partner of "Big Ed" Chase in the Palace Theater (saloon, gambling) business in Denver, latter 1880s

Chase: "Big Ed" Chase, Denver's underworld crime boss and gambling czar. Proprietor of the Palace Theater (saloon, gambling). Partner of Soapy in the Tivoli Club.

Mulgrew: Probably Felix B. Mulgrew, friend of Soapy's who once loaned Soapy $3,500. Could this be part of the payback?

Mob to Dricsan: I am having trouble deciphering what Soapy wrote here.

Cook: Probably George Cook, Denver police detective. Elected chairman of the Arapaho County Republican Party in 1892.

Sydam: Could be Suydam, the city assessor in Skagway, Alaska when Soapy was there. However, this list does not appear to date as far as 1897-98 when Soapy was in Skagway.

Sam How: Sam Howe, Denver police detective. Howe did know Soapy and spoke of him numerous times over the years. Funny that he is listed here as Howe has a historical reputation of being an honest cop.

Police: Perhaps Palace?

Tim Connors: Denver policeman. Partnered with John Kinneavy in buying the Jockey Club (saloon and gaming house) in Denver. Involved in election fraud. 

 


"My advice to the unborn is, don't be born with a gambling instinct unless you have a good sense of probabilities."
—Jack Dreyfus of Dreyfus Mutual Fund



 


September 20, 2020

Artifact #68 envelope to Capt. Henry Lewis Tibbals

"Capt H. L. Tibbals"
(Henry Lewis Tibbals)
"News paper clipping"
Jeff Smith Collection

(Click image to enlarge)


 
 
 
rtifact #68 Envelope in Soapy's handwriting.
addressed to Captain H. L. Tibbals in Port Townsend, Washington.

 

The envelope is part of a stationary set from the Hotel Diller in Seattle, Washington. At the top Soapy wrote "News paper clipping." It looks as though he planned to mail this, but did not complete the transaction, at least not using this particular envelope. The Diller Hotel was built in June 1890 so the undated envelope dates some time afterwards. My guesstimate is that this is circa 1895-96 when Soapy was traveling the north searching for a new home.

 

The Hotel Diller
circa 1903
Courtesy Museum of History and Industry, Seattle

(Click image to enlarge)

 

Henry Lewis Tibbals invested in Port Townsend, opening his Blue Light Saloon, complete with a trap door over the bay. He owned two other saloons, a gambling hall and a hotel that became a brothel. It is not known why Soapy saved the newspaper clipping, but as Tibbals owned several saloons and a gambling house, it can be guessed that Soapy planned to introduce himself to Tibbals, perhaps for "permission" to operate?

 

Henry Lewis Tibbals

(Click image to enlarge)

 
 
The following is from the article, Captain Henry Lewis, A Seafaring Man. 
 
     The stories about Captain H.L. Tibbals are many. He was born in Connecticut in 1829, spending most of his boyhood at sea. At ten he was a cabin boy and by twenty a master sailor. By Juan de Fuca's Strait by James McCurdy states "His later voyages involved carrying a cargo of railway iron for the pre-canal railroad crossing of the isthmus of Panama and testing the first diving bell in the United States, which led him to Mexico, where he was granted the salvage rights to the Spanish ship San Pedro by Governor General Santa Anna. The frigate had blown up in Mexican waters in 1814 with a cargo containing three million dollars in silver. Using the diving bell, Tibbals dove in one hundred feet of water and retrieved sixty-eight thousand dollars before a change in the Mexican government halted the operation. He then traveled to Panama and Acapulco, where he dove for pearls." [There were several Spanish ships that were wrecked with treasure aboard around this date] Sometime around 1853 he joined the Revenue Cutter Jefferson Davis as sailing master, which put into Port Townsend. [No record was found that listed him as ever being master on the Jeff Davis. In his diary he states "I came to Port Townsend in the Jeff Davis in 1855..." according to the U.S.C.G. records of movements the Jeff Davis arrived in Port Townsend September 28, 1854, Tibbals was not listed as being on board. Most of the information in various books comes from his April 23, 1920 Obituary, which stated the information came from his diary, I do not know the whereabouts of the diary] around this time he became a full time citizen of Port Townsend.
     In 1858 he built and operated the Pioneer Hotel. The first record for him is the 1860 census which lists his occupation as "Hotel Keeper". By this time he was married and had a one year old son, Henry L. Tibbals Jr.
     Caroline Snook and Henry Lewis Tibbals were married around 1858 or 1859 [no marriage record] their first son was born in 1859.
     In 1860 Henry was 27 and owned the Pioneer Hotel and had real estate worth $400 and personal property worth $3,000. Caroline who was 22, had been born in Germany. [Although on later census she gives OH as her birthplace]. At the time they lived at the Pioneer hotel. The Pioneer was located on the eastern corner of Adams and Water Street. It was later renamed the Cosmopolitan. Across the street on the NE corner was the Silver Safe Saloon, which Henry also owned. By 1867 Henry was part owner of Union Wharf which had been built by the Union Dock Company. The wharf extended 342 feet into the harbor, and when a ship rounded Point Wilson, the muzzle-loading cannon on the tip of the wharf was fired as a welcome. There were three saloons and various merchandise companies renting space on the dock.
     About 1860 Henry & Caroline built a house at the corner of Fillmore & Clay. Built in the Greek Revival Style, it was a simple rectangle with a flat-roofed portico supported by square full-bodied Doric columns, extending out from the gable end. Later extensions were added to the left of the main house. The house is still standing, known as the Captain Tibbals House.
     Three children were born in the 1860s, Louisa in 1862, Ellen in 1865 and Nelly born in 1867. Henry was 40, owned a farm with a value of $3,000 and had personal property of $1,000. Caroline also lists real estate worth $4,000 and personal property worth $500. In 1863 Tibbals was elected to the territorial legislature, and was Jefferson County sheriff, and for fifteen years was a county commissioner. He also served on the city council and held the position of postmaster.
     Four more children joined the family during this decade, Eddie born in 1869, Carl in 1872, Blanche in 1877 and Wolcott in 1879.
     In 1880 Henry's occupation was a "commission merchant", He was 50 years old and Caroline was forty, their eldest son Henry Lewis Tibbals Jr. had married on March 8, 1880 Nannette Maria Sutherland of Portland Oregon. After completing his education, Harry [as he was commonly known] went to work for his father and the Union Dock Company.
      The Tibbals marriage was in trouble for a long time before their divorce in 1887.
      Henry Tibbals Sr. had been having an intimate affair with a much younger woman for about seven or eight years prior to this. Whether Caroline knew it's hard to tell. The young woman lived in Victoria where Henry leased a house for her; he furnished her with money, jewelry and other gifts, visiting her when he could get away.
      In May of 1887 Caroline & Henry divorced. Henry brought suit as plaintiff but could not prove his allegations against her, Caroline did prove abandonment and received in the decree the lovely Tibbals home and custody of their minor children. Besides the house she received the NE Lot of Block 41 Original Town site in Port Townsend. This property housed the Silver Safe Saloon which was a very profitable business for her, of course she always had a man who managed the saloon and probably never set foot in it, but that's just a guess.

The article stopped, with a "to be continued" heading, but unfortunately the author did not write part 2 of the article.

 

SOURCES:
1) The Leader, Captain Henry Lewis Tibbals, A Seafaring Man, January 23, 2011.
https://www.ptleader.com/stories/captain-henry-lewis-tibbals-a-seafaring-man,53232





"One day, a few years later, just as 'Soapy' had predicted, I took up a newspaper and there was an account of his death in Alaska. He died just as he prophesized—with his boots on. The other fellow drew first. I remember all that day I was pensive and sorrowful on account of the premature and untimely end of my friend 'Soapy.' In an Alaskan town on the board sidewalk there is a cross of brass nails marking the spot where 'Soapy' fell."
—Saunders Norvell, Forty Years of Hardware, 1924

 





September 15, 2020

Artifact #67 envelope addressed to "Capt. Jeff. R. Smith" July 14, 1898


Capt. Jeff. R. Smith
Artifact #67

Envelope - front
Jeff Smith Collection
(Click image to enlarge)






apt Jeff. R. Smith
Skaguay, Alaska





Artifact #67 is an envelope sans the content letter, addressed to "Capt. Jeff. R. Smith, Skaguay, Alaska." The stamp and the front postmark are present, reading, "San Francisco Cala, Jul 14 - 6 a.m.," meaning that it left San Francisco at that hour. 

Soapy went by "captain," his rank in his personal militia, the Skaguay Military Company, created for use in the Spanish-American War of 1898. 

Capt. Jeff. R. Smith
Artifact #67
Envelope - back
Jeff Smith Collection
(Click image to enlarge)

The back of the envelope has the postmark, showing that it arrived in Skagway, Alaska on July 24, 1898. Note that postmark reads "Skagway" while the address on the front of the envelope reads "Skaguay."  The original spelling was "Skaguay" with a "u." In 1898 the postmaster in town decided that it should be spelled "Skagway" with a "w." Many towns people did not appreciate the change of spelling to THEIR town, and the spelling varied between the two spellings into the 1900s. Also take note of the wax sealer.





"I asked him [Soapy Smith] to let me see his guns, and I noticed that they were Colt 38-calibre with the heavy stock of the 45. He said he liked the heavy stock because it was steadier in the hand."
—Saunders Norvell, Forty Years of Hardware, 1924








September 4, 2020

The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Soapy Smith's connections

2nd floor under construction
Circa summer 1880
(Click image to enlarge)








he Cosmopolitan Hotel
Soapy stayed there. Why?

The first-class Cosmopolitan Hotel opened at 409 Allen Street, on the north side of the street, between Fourth and Fifth Streets in the summer of 1879, in a tent, and by the end of the year, a one-story frame structure was erected. In the summer of 1880, a second floor was added, the first two-story building in Tombstone. Suites and rooms were furnished with black walnut and rosewood bed-sets and spring mattresses. The hotel included a ladies’ parlor, sitting rooms, and a veranda with orange trees. The hotel had a restaurant, a cigar store business, and the Cosmopolitan Saloon, run by “Buckskin” Frank Leslie and William Knapp in the summer of 1880. By 1881 the saloon was under management of Archer and Pryke.

Cosmopolitan Hotel
2nd floor under construction
Circa summer 1880
Courtesy Mike Mihaljevich
 (Click image to enlarge)

The front steps of the Cosmopolitan is the location of the shooting death of Mike Killeen on June 22, 1880. Mike’s estranged wife, May Killeen, was seeing “Buckskin” Frank Leslie and the two were ending a dance date when husband Mike came on the scene. Gunfire erupted and Mike died from his wounds five days later. Less than two months later Leslie and Killeen were married at the hotel.

Location of Cosmopolitan Hotel 
Tombstone, Arizona
 shaded yellow
 Courtesy Google Maps
 (Click image to enlarge)


Location of Cosmopolitan Hotel 
Tombstone, Arizona
(Click image to enlarge)


Jeff Smith as Soapy
standing at site of Cosmopolitan Hotel
 (Click image to enlarge)

The Cosmopolitan advertised itself as the headquarters for all stage companies, which might explain why Soapy picked that particular hotel to stay in. It is also very possible that he was there to aid the Earps in their fortification inside the hotel. Following the Earp, Clanton and McLaury gunfight on October 26, 1881, brothers Virgil and Morgan spent their recovery time at the hotel. As tension between the Earp’s and the “cow-boys” mounted, the Earp’s fortified themselves and their families inside the Cosmopolitan.

Jeff R. Smith, Pueblo
The Daily Epitaph
January 26, 1882

The exact date of Soapy's arrival in Tombstone is unknown, but he first signed the Cosmopolitan Hotel register on January 26, 1882. It is probable that this is the time that Soapy met the Earp's and future gang members, John "Texas Jack" Vermillion (later known as "Shoot-Your-Eye-Out Jack") and "Big Ed" Burns (Byrnes). This would indicate that Soapy, at the very least, met everyone at the hotel. The questions of how and why remain unanswered. 

On December 28, 1881 Virgil Earp was shot and wounded by unknown assailants while walking to his room at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Peter Brand, author and historian, wrote an article for Wild West magazine (March 2007) entitled, "Wyatt Earp’s Vendetta Posse" in which he writes,

"By mid-January 1882, Virgil's condition had improved slightly, and Wyatt decided to headquarter the Earp families with Virgil at the Cosmopolitan Hotel for safekeeping. Tombstone was a powder keg, and Wyatt knew there was safety in numbers."

Jeff R. Smith and lady, Fort Worth
The Daily Epitaph
January 31, 1882

Soapy left and returned to Tombstone and the Cosmopolitan Hotel at least three times between January 26 and February 16, 1882, signing it and listing three different cities (Pueblo and Leadville, Colorado and Fort Woth, Texas) It was not at all uncommon that Soapy and other confidence men did this, to protect against local lawmen seeking information from their place of origin. Interesting that “a lady” accompanied two of those hotel registrations.

Could Soapy have possibly known, or became part of, the Earp's plan for “safety in numbers” as Peter Brand eludes to? Or is it merely a coincidence? Why would he want to be a part of the violence? What was in it for Soapy? It certainly would not be the first time Soapy jumped at the chance to fight for those behind the badge whom he sought an alliance with so that he could operate his chosen profession unmolested. Was he assisting the local lawmen, from more attacks by the “cowboys,” in exchange for the privilege to operate his games in Tombstone, with minimal interference?

Jeff R. Smith and lady, Leadville
The Daily Epitaph 
February 16, 1882


Was Soapy perhaps helping new friend, “Big Ed” Burns, who was likely fighting to retain power and control of his operations in the area. It would be interesting, but not surprising, to know if Burns also help the Earp family in their time of need while bunking down at the Cosmopolitan.

The Earp’s vacated the Cosmopolitan on March 27, 1882. Two months later, on May 26, The Cosmopolitan, along with most of the business district, was razed by fire. The Cosmopolitan Hotel did not return but Soapy did!

I have xerox copies of one of Soapy's personal notebooks. Soapy returned to Tombstone and sold his prize package soap beginning on December 17, 1883. In his own handwriting, he wrote up a week's tally.
Sales in Tombstone.
A.T. Dec. 1883
Dec 17th Mon. .......$65.00
Dec 18th T [Tue] ....$58.00
Dec 19th W [Wed] ..$53.00
Dec 20th T [Thur] ...$57.00
Dec 21st F [Fri] .......$23.00
Dec 22nd Sat ...........$58.50
_______________________
................................$314.50
$314.50 is the equivalent of  $8,808.09 in 2020 dollars, for five days of work! Not a bad haul for selling soap!

SOURCE:
  • “Best Thing of the Kind I Ever Saw,” by Rita Ackerman, Tombstone Times, Sept 2020.
  • "Wyatt Earp’s Vendetta Posse," by Peter Brand, Wild West Magazine, March 2007. 












March 23, 2009
September 25, 2009
November 13, 2009
August 19, 2010
December 26, 2010
April 24, 2017





Then, with tears in his eyes, “Soapy” said that he knew very well that he could not always be on his guard—that someday somebody would get him. He referred to the James boys of Missouri, also to the Younger brothers. “You see,” said “Soapy,” “somebody always gets them in the end. Now,” said he, “some day, notwithstanding my gentle and affectionate nature, you will pick up a newspaper and you will read of my being killed with my boots on, because you know a feller can't always get his finger on the trigger first. It's sure to come.”
—Saunders Norvell, Forty Years of Hardware, 1924







August 26, 2020

Soapy Smith souvenir spoon


Soapy Smith Spoon
American Historical Spoons: The American Story in Spoons
Page 273
1971
(Click image to enlarge)





oapy Smith souvenir spoon









In the late 1990s someone mailed me a xeroxed page from the book, American Historical Spoons: The American Story in Spoons, 1971. At the time, the photo was very poor and too dark to see, and the book title was not correct, so for the next 30 years I blindly sought that spoon and the book, finding neither, until recently.


In looking at the spoon and the description, I am left to beg the question, why is it called the "Soapy Smith" spoon?




"No one hates trouble more than I do. I would walk a block at any time to keep out of trouble."
—Soapy Smith
Forty Years of Hardware, 1924