August 12, 2009

Soap Gang member John "Fatty Gray" Morris?

John Morris and Harry Fink were arrested yesterday by Officer Cornell. They were found locked in a box car at Fortieth and Market streets. They are wanted in Pueblo on the charge of drugging and robbing a man of $17.
Rocky Mountain News, 1893

It is probable that this is John "Fatty Gray" Morris of Soap Gang fame that Soapy Smith had first met in Fort Worth, Texas.

John Morris, well known in Deadwood and a well liked gambler in Fort Worth, is probably best known for his altercation with "Longhair" Jim Courtright. In 1880 Morris was on trial for murder when he left Fort Worth, very possibly with Soapy. Details, along with the only known photograph of Morris, together with famed gang member John "Reverend" Bowers are in Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel.

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