May 25, 2010

Soapy Smith thrashes 3 detectives, 1891

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19th century police corruption

In October 1891 Denver city reformers and religious organizations joined together in an attempt to rid Denver of its saloons and gambling dens. Calling themselves the Law and Order League they hired ex-city deputy, William Glasson of the Glasson Detective Agency to find dirt on certain saloon proprietors including Soapy. Glasson made the mistake of underestimating Soapy and started spreading a fictional story that he had beat him up at their first encounter. Taking offense at this lie Soapy grabbed gang members, John "Reverend" Bowers, Felix Friend and "Cap" William Light to pay a little visit to the Glasson office. The following newspaper article gives a hint as to the outcome which is fully detailed in my book, Alias Soapy Smith.

The Salt Lake Herald
October 4, 1891.


"Soapy" Smith Licks Three "Glasseye" Detectives.

DENVER, COLO., Oct. 3, —[Special telegram to the Herald.] —Private detective business received a set back in Denver this morning. "Glasseye’s Detective Agency," on their word, is a sight in the King block. To-day word reached the ears of Jeff Smith, better known as "Soapy," that Glasseye, the proprietor of the place, had been advertising that he had given "Soapy" a whipping. Mr. Smith went to Glasseye’s agency, but the proprietor was out. Three of the employees were in, and one of them made an impudent remark to the inquiries "Soapy" make and struck him beside the nose with a heavy revolver. Smith used his fist on his assailant, knocking him senseless. He then whipped the other two detectives and smashed every article of furniture in the room. Expecting further trouble, he has gotten a crowd of toughs about him to-night and is waiting for an attack. The so-called detectives were badly beaten and Mr. Smith wears their badges and carries their guns.

Law & Order League
: p. 184, 186-87, 192, 234.
William Glasson: p. 83, 186, 192.


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