Started in on your Chapter 13. My gracious--commander of an army to invade Cuba and then coming out the good guy after being beaten by 2 (or 4) cops in St. Louis. I tell you, Jeff, people are going to call your book "a helluva read." It's one incredible thing after another.
November 30, 2008
November 29, 2008
November 26, 2008
The ship captain & crew with some
passengers pose near the ships pilot house.
Frank Robertson and Beth Kay Harris, authors of, Soapy Smith King of the Frontier Con Men, describe the event.
On another trip, aboard the City of Seattle, Soapy’s quick wit rescued another steamer captain from an embarrassing situation. The City of Seattle was one of the typical hell ships engaged in plying the Alaska route—over-crowded, poor quarters, stinking food, improper facilities for cleanliness—and all the passengers were on edge. One of them, fooling around the ropes, caused a heavy lamp to fall on his head, killing him instantly. The passengers held a meeting to discuss the possibility of suing the captain.
While they were confabbing, Soapy bent over the victim and pretended to search him, coming up with a wallet which he loudly proclaimed the dead man had stolen from him. Holding his “evidence” aloft, Soapy called the dead man a stowaway, a cheat, and a bum. “Now,” he said, “are you willing to throw this ship in turmoil for such a bum?”
City of Seattle docked at Moore's Wharf,
Skagway, Alaska, 1899.
- Yukon Archives Images Database (photographs of the City of Seattle).
- Robertson, Frank C. and Beth Kay Harris. Soapy Smith: King of the Frontier Con Men. NY: Hastings House Publishers, 1961.
November 22, 2008
In my family files I came across a map that marked his grave located at the Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, 4201 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, Ca. Being only 40 miles from me I decided to take a day trip with my son and take a few nice photographs. In order to make it more fun for him (age 12) I thought we would also take in the Natural History museum having to only add an additional 5 miles to the trip.
The map I had was "X'd" where the grave site was so I treated it like a treasure hunt for him. I have to admit we did have fun trying to locate it. My son wanted to continue hunting for it...even if it meant reading every marker in the rather large cemetery. I suggested we go to the main office on the grounds and find out if they could help us. They were indeed very helpful, still having all the records. They confirmed no marker was ever put in place. Strike 1!
Not only was I disappointed in not being able to find a marker to photograph, but even more so at the thought that his children (my father and his siblings) did not erect one. I wondered for the rest of the day what the reasons were?
I still had the rest of the day to spend with my son, Jefferson and I was looking very much forward to taking him to the museum. Unfortunately, when we arrived we found that the entire parking lot for the museum, and every lot within miles, was taken up for a USC pre-game fair. The museum was open but no parking had been set aside for patrons. Strike 2!
What was planned as a nice family outing went bust. Perhaps I was meant to see that no marker was in place. Perhaps when the economy returns to normal the family can rally together and properly another Jefferson Randolph Smith III.
...To be continued.
November 21, 2008
The metal cage was placed over the marker after a number of years of vandalism, most likely by Martin Itjen, the owner of Jeff Smith's Parlor museum and the Skagway Streetcar Tour.
November 19, 2008
November 18, 2008
November 12, 2008
November 10, 2008
November 9, 2008
In his own home he was Mr. Jefferson Smith, a gentleman above reproach, and to his wife and children the dearly beloved who guarded them from all harm and bountifully provided for their every want, ministering to their happiness in every possible manner. Woe to the man, woman or child who dared bring sorrow to them or allude in any way to a life other than the one they knew.
November 7, 2008
My aunt nursed Frank Lowe years age. Frank Lowe was the Skagway Fire Marshall and apparently part of the vigilante group that was after Soapy Smith. I am researching Frank's background, apparently he was a store owner. I have Frank's Fire Chief badge and ribbons as well as his badge. If you are interested I can send a photo of Frank's artifacts. I'd appreciate any information you may have regarding Frank Lowe.
Cheers, Doug Campbell.
Lowe was also the first Chief of the Fire Department of the incorporated city, having been appointed in that capacity sometime the previous winter.
In the 1899 wet /dry petition, an “F. Lowe” is listed. It indicates that he is from Bradford, is a furniture builder or dealer, and that he arrived in Skagway in January 1898.
Click to enlarge
Lowe's Fire Chief ribbon (circa 1901).
In the 1899 Skagway business directory (page 135), we have (under the furniture category), Frank Lowe & Company (Frank Lowe & Martin Sickenger), 621 Broadway.
In the 1901 city directory he's listed as: "Lowe, Frank, (Lowe & Sickenger)
Skagway, City Marshal & Fire Chief, Broadway" (page 853). Lowe
& Sickenger are also listed under Second Hand Goods heading (page 867).
If anyone out there has more information on Frank Lowe, especially his role as a vigilante in Skagway please contact us. Thank you.
November 5, 2008
The photo is thought to have been taken circa 1940-1950. On the wall of the building on the right side of the street, you can see that it reads, "SOAPY PLACE." Looking closer it appears to have a very small "'s," making it "SOAPY'S PLACE." Soapy's saloon in Creede burnt to the ground on June 5, 1892 and was never rebuilt. It is only my guess that this was a merchant or bar.
November 4, 2008
Note the last line has, "Soapy lives!" When Bob wrote the poem the name of the Soapy Smith play in Skagway was, Soapy Lives. Now it is combined with the Days of 98 Show.
With the latest information on Soapy's death now published, I would like to take a little artistic license and add a line to the poem,
The story of Soapy's death is at best Murky,
Be it known the killer was really Jesse Murphy.
Thank you Bob!
November 3, 2008
If anyone has any other information about this particular item please add your comments.