April 19, 2009

George Omer: Soap Gang member?

Another possible Soapy Smith gang member popped up, which makes two in one week. This one was found in the Omaha Daily Bee, 1898.


George Omer Held by the Police as a
Suspicious Character and
Bad Man.

George Omer, alias Elliott and Sumers, said to be one of the famous "Soapy" Smith gang of sure-thing men and grifters, is being detained at the Central station while the police are investigating his record in other cities.

Omer was one of Smith's lieuteanants at Skagway, Alaska and aided Smith, who was elected mayor of the city, is conducting the town for the benefit of the gamblers and adventurers. Smith left Skagway last March and went to Seattle, but only remained a week there. When he left the Omaha police were notified to be on the lookout for him by the chief of police of Seattle.

Yesterday Omer was located in a room on South Thirteenth street. He had reached the city but a few days ago, accompanied by a woman known as Josie Bowers, a variety performer, who he says is his wife. In his room were found, the police allege, marked playing cards, hold out devices for cheating at cards, a faro layout and an opium layout. A large number of letters were found, the contents of which prove, the police say, that Omer is a criminal, or the associate of criminals. One letter was found written by Dick Sullivan, "Denver Dick," a notorious burglar who is badly wanted in Chicago for robbery, and on whose head a price is set.
Omaha Daily Bee, June 12, 1898

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