October 8, 2008

Soapy had no children...not

Believe it or not historian, author Glen Boyer does not believe Soapy Smith had children.

In the process of researching and editing Alias Soapy Smith, I had the opportunity to contact historian Glen G. Boyer, author of I Married Wyatt Earp, about several accounts in the book that indicate Soapy Smith and Wyatt Earp knew one another. Mr. Boyer did not footnote the information so I could only hope he might have more about the accounts in his files.

Mr. Boyer is a hard man to contact. A number of years ago he was caught intentionally forging historical information and since then is not willing to communicate with people he does not know personally. Needless to say this places the information in his book about Soapy under suspicion which is why I wanted so badly to talk with him.

Not too long ago a friend of mine mentioned Boyer’s name and that they often emailed one another. My friend offered to forward an email to Mr. Boyer. Finally I had found a way to communicate with Mr. Boyer. I wrote a polite letter with my email address and gave it to my friend to forward. I did not know what to expect but I was hoping for the best.

I may never forget the first message Mr. Boyer sent to my friend. It reads that Mr. Boyer does not believe I am a descendant of Soapy Smith. And why does he believe this? Mr. Boyer claims Soapy and his wife never had any children!

It’s no joke. The man believes my family is lost as far as genealogy goes. Further more he refuses to talk to me unless I can prove my heritage. Understand that we are talking about a well known old west historian and author here. He wrote about Soapy Smith so one would figure that he must have researched a little on Soapy. I do not recall this claim of “no children” from any other source.

Although our family has plenty of proof in the way of original letters, documents and birth records Mr. Boyer is obviously not worth talking to. It may be surmised that he guessed what questions I was prepared to ask him, namely where he obtained his information. It may be safe to assume he had made up the accounts in his book and went on the defensive with me in order to keep from being exposed for yet another fraud.

Jeff Smith


  1. Boyer is hard to trust and to understand. For over a decade (so far as I can tell) he refuses even to talk about the source material of the "I Married Wyatt Earp" book (i.e., the Clum manuscript, except to be coy about it). I suspect it contains reality, but who can tell where? (Perhaps not even Boyer now.) As for his denial that Jeff R. Smith II had children, let Boyer read Jeff's well-documented biography and still deny their existence. If he does, it will be clear he just wants to be, or cannot help being, contrary. Art Petersen

  2. Reminds me of the old joke where the guy applies for a driver's license, is asked for proof of birth and says "Lady, I'm standing right here!"

    Jeff, I believe in you, existentially and as a scholar.


  3. Thank you for your trust and support gentlemen. I am thinking about showing the family lineage on a tree.

    Jeff Smith

  4. Well, coming from Boyer this doesn't surprise me. Sadly, he has lost whatever credibility he had with serious historians.


Thank you for leaving your comment and/or question on my blog. I always read, and will answer all questions left here. Please know that they are greatly appreciated. -Jeff Smith