May 31, 2011

The Bond family in Denver and Dawson.

(photo courtesy of Richard Bond and Helen Abbott)

The photograph above shows Marshall and Louis Bond's cabin in Dawson City. Jack's [London] tent was pitched next to this cabin during his short stay there. The Bond's dog Jack, who became "Buck" of "Call of the Wild" is at the left.

On Facebook, I met Richard Bond who wrote,
I understand my grandfather occasionally encountered your great grandfather [Jefferson Randolph Smith II] around Denver where we owned a ranch from 1872 to 1891 but they were not close.
After reading that the Bond's were also in Dawson I wonder if they ran into Soapy on there way into and out of Dawson as well?

You can read more about the Bond's family, Marshall and Louis' adventures in Dawson HERE

* Richard, thank you very much for sharing this story with us.

1889: Johnstown, Penn. flood: Soapy donated funds towards the victims.

Jeff Smith


May 30, 2011

Memorial Day: We remember.

There are numerous members of our family who have served in nearly every war. We remember and honor them, as well as all those who served their country, on this day.

May 20, 2011

1865: Memorial Day begins as Decoration Day first recorded this year by freed black men to honor the Union soldiers fallen. 

1883: Soapy purchases a street vendors license in Washington City Iowa.

Jeff Smith


May 29, 2011

Soap Gangster, Henry Edwards, alias "Yank V. Fewclothes."

(Click image to enlarge)

One of my favorite members of the Soap Gang is Henry Edwards, alias "Yank V. Fewclothes," also known as the "Poet Laureate of Seventeenth Street."

(The following is from Alias Soapy Smith)

Henry Edwards, born 1848, was a dealer in honey and beeswax when Jeff brought him into the Soap Gang as a steerer (booster, capper, shill). Edwards’ business card lists the names of Yank V. Fewclothes and Guy Rich, “Dealers in pure honey and beeswax.” The address is the Windsor hotel and gives a telephone number as “Main 182.” On the back of the card in pencil is what appears to be a reference from Jeff: “Yank is a great fellow. Jeff.” This is believed to have been written by Jeff when he left Denver for the last time in 1895. No account of “Guy Rich” has been found. With the pun-like names on the business card, “Fewclothes and Rich,” possibly “Rich” was a fictitious partner. Edwards signed all of his correspondence to Jeff “Yank Fewclothes.”

According to a 1931 newspaper article, Edwards’ alias aptly described his dress.

He never wore a coat; A homespun vest, nondescript pants, a dark heavy cotton shirt with a cravat tied under the collar, made up his wearing apparel, but he was always genial, soft spoken, and easy to meet.… He could be as coy and secretive as a school girl, when it suited his purpose; but he insisted that he was a straight shooter under all circumstances.

Edward's job was to give "insider tips" to an intended victim on how to win at the particular game the victim was trying to buck. He and his wife Hi-Ki became close friends with Soapy and his wife Mary. When the Smith's were not in Denver the Edward's lived in the Smith home.

In my collection are several original letters, as well as copies of others from Edwards, like the following, published here for the very first time.

Ingersol Club
1653 Larimer Street
Denver, Colo.
Nov. 3rd, 1895
Friend Jeff:

Yours of Oct. 30th at hand, and was pleased to hear from you. Have just returned from a visit to Ba’s [Bascomb]. His case came up at west side court yesterday, but was postponed until next Saturday, the 9th inst. He does not wish to be tried for this case till his present term has been served. Has employed Messrs. Hilton & Walker as counsel, and they think they will be able to have it put off, if they are not successful in having this case quashed altogether. He is looking well, and weighs 159 lbs., but is very anxious to regain his liberty. Received a letter from Bowers, who promised to send him fifty dollars, but the money had not come. He must have money in order to have the lawyers work for him. I hope you will use good horse sense and judgment, and not get into the same box he is in. Things are in a worse shape than when you were here. It is no use trying to live here, unless you have money as people are talking about what is due them, and say they must have it. Hard times is the cry. There does not seem to be any money in this election. Plenty of double crossing going on. Baker says that some people will not be able to square their accounts, and will stay closed. He told me that he had written you. Watrous said he would write you, and hopes you will make some money before you come back. With kind regards and best wishes, as ever


In honor of his boss Edwards supposedly wrote the following poem.

How Are You Fixed for Soap?

A handsome gent steps out to talk,
His voice can be heard away a block;
These words we hear as he hollers his wares
At the crossing of the thoroughfares:

"How are you fixed for soap? boys,
How are you fixed for soap?
Move on up to the box, boys,
How are you fixed for soap?

"Take your choice among the lot,
Invest a five for a hundred spot;
Fat’s a-fryin’, come on the lope
And pick out your cube of lucky soap!

"Be a sport there! Show the bunch
You ain’t a-scairt to play a hunch!
Any poor rube with an eye that’s quick,
Can grab a winner and turn the trick.

"Don’t shy away from soap, boys,
Don’t shy away from soap;
Use your brains and snatch the gains;
Don’t shy away from soap!

When Jeff had police officers under his pay, he could be notified in advance that trouble was on the way. Sometimes no advance warning system was available, so Jeff would send a member of the gang into police headquarters to file a fake report in order to spy any complaints being made against Jeff. As reported in the Denver Evening Post, one day this practice backfired on Jeff when gang member Henry “Yank Fewclothes” Edwards went to police headquarters “to inquire about his pet dog,” which really had been lost. The cause of what happened next was that Yank “was known as a friend of Smith’s….”

The lieutenant in charge of the office at the time immediately concluded that “Yank” was there for the purpose of finding out if someone who had just been buncoed had complained, and that he had not lost the dog at all. So the lieutenant sent for “Soapy,” had him arrested on the charge of “suspicion,” and held him for two hours, waiting for someone to come in and complain about him. No one came and “Soapy” was released.

I have in my personal collection one of his business cards (artifact #47) in which Soapy wrote on the back, as a business reference, "Yank is a great fellow."

His loyalty to Soapy remained strong long after Soapy had cashed in his chips. Fifteen years after his boss was dead Edward's still spoke kindly of him to newspaper reporters. In a 1914 interview, he spoke candidly about his friendship with Jeff.

I never talk much about Jeff Smith. He was the warmest hearted man I ever knew and writers … always get things mixed and paint up the bad side of his career. He never threw down a pal. I never talk about him except to warn young persons from gambling. Never gamble, if you would respect yourself. It makes you treacherous and spoils friendships. If you will let vice alone and put your energies in other directions you cannot fail.

He died with many good deeds to his credit, as well as the other kind, but it is always the bad things he did which people remember. He loved his wife Mollie … and his family. He was never cruel and used to give back money lots of times when he had worked on somebody who really needed it badly. There wasn’t a stingy bone in his body….

Smith’s personal bravery was never questioned. He feared neither police departments nor things of the mining frontier. For twenty years he was the prize bunco steerer of the West and his bunco games were masterpieces of their kind….

Smith had a bright sense of humor. Although a desperado, his deeds of kindness would have done credit to any man. A man in want was never turned down by Jeff…. He often risked being thrown in jail to help a pal out of trouble.

Smith was not strong physically or of commanding appearance but he was always a leading personality in a mining camp and many a man breathed easier when the word came that ‘Soapy’ Smith died here with his boots on and a cigar in his mouth.

April 11, 2010

Henry Edwards: pages 50, 52-53, 80, 92, 111-12, 172, 232, 243, 258, 386, 388-89, 395-96, 422, 582, 589, 592, 595.

1892: Bob Ford opens a dance hall in Creede, Colorado. The hall is destroyed by fire 7 days later and Ford is murdered 10 days later. Not a good month for Bob.
1898: Mattie Silks claims she hears Soapy, Bill Tener and the U.S. deputy marshal dividing up money taken from Ella Wilson, the murdered prostitute, and discussing doing the same to Silks.

Jeff Smith


May 28, 2011

Soapy Smith's grave: 1950s.

The above postcard shows the fourth grave marker known to have graced Soapy Smith's grave. The date is currently not known when this specific marker was erected. The postcard appears to date from the 1950s. This marker was replaced in 1997 by Jim Richards at my direction, with a replica of the second marker. At the time it was believed the second marker was the first one. You can read about the history of the markers on the main website page, Soapy's grave markers.

May 21, 2011
September 11, 2010
September 3, 2009
June 20, 2009
November 21, 2008

1898: Ella D. Wilson, a prostitute, was murdered in her Holly Street cabin.

Jeff Smith


May 27, 2011

Summons for Soapy Smith, 1894: Artifact #35

(Click image to enlarge)

Artifact #35 is a summons for Soapy, James Bush, and Henry C. Ballsinger to appear before Justice of the Peace, J. E. Harper at his office, regarding a complaint by Frank Betz and Company and their co-partner, Roland Minott for an unknown legal matter. An educated guess would be that James F. Betz and/or Roland Minott came to Denver on business or pleasure and fell victim to one of Soapy's traps, and now he and his partners were seeking justice without going to court and dragging the company name into the newspapers. Those of you who read my book will recognize this all too familiar chain of events. This item is one of the few that did not receive recognition in my book due to a lack of information.

The Players

  • Soapy Smith: Needs no introduction.
  • James Bush: According to the Rocky Mountain News James S. Bush managed The Midway saloon at 1703 Larimer, located in the Chever Block. His name is mention in Soapy's published poem, Billy Larimer.
  • Henry C. Ballsinger: Currently an unknown gang member who may borrowed the Ballsinger name posing as the Colorado politician of the same name. It is not out of the realm of possibility that the real Henry C. Ballsinger (spelled Balsinger) was in on the transaction what ever it may have been. The real Henry C. Balsinger
"is and has been for many years an influential man in the councils of the Democratic Party in Colorado. He was a member of the sixth general assembly of the state, having been chosen to represent Gilpin County in the legislature, and for the past eight years he has ably served his party and constituents in the senate. He was elected to that honorable body in 1890, and again in 1894. He has probably been interested in the development of more mines in the Nevadaville District than any other man, and few are better posted in the mineral geology of this county than he.

Born in Colesburg, Iowa, Sept. 12, 1858, H. C. Bolsinger is a son of Maxwell D. Bolsinger, whose history is given in the biography of Frederick S. Bolsinger, which precedes this sketch. The early years of our subject passed uneventfully in the town of Chatfield, Minn., much of his time being devoted to mastering the elementary branches of learning up to 1873. At that time he came to Nevadaville with his father, and assisted actively in the development of the Hubert mine. Later he was engaged in operating one after another of the important mines of this district, until he has been connected with nearly all of them. Among these were the Shafts, the American Flag, Fourth of July, California, Gardner, Centennial, Clayton, Price and extension of the Hubert.

(Click image to enlarge)

In 1885 he, in company with his father, Thomas J. Burke and William Bush, of Denver, bought the old Hubert mill property. The mill, built in 1860, was the first stamp mill put up in this county, and was operated steadily from that year until 1896. The gentlemen mentioned operated the mill and the mines as the Hubert Milling Company about eleven years, after which they organized the Vendome Mining and Milling Company, now in an active and successful condition. In addition to being a director in that corporation, Mr. Bolsinger owns an interest in and and [sic] is a member of the board of directors of the Colorado Trading and Investment Company, and is now developing the Parole vein, one of the most promising mines he has heretofore worked.

In the Centennial year occurred the marriage of Mr. Bolsinger and Miss Mary Stirling. She was born in Wisconsin, in the pretty town of Mineral Point, and is a daughter of the sturdy pioneer, Samuel Stirling, who came to this state in 1865. The three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bolsinger are: Hubert, Henry C. Jr., and Gladys.

In the various fraternities Mr. Bolsinger has for years taken a high place. He is a member of the Masonic order, being connected with Nevada."   -The Bolsinger Family website.

  • Frank S. Betz and Company: I found two links to their sales brochures in Chicago, Illinois and in Hammond, Indiana. Obviously a successful firm that interesting dealt in pharmaceutical cannabis manufacturing in the early 1900s. I never knew such a thing existed that early. I could not find anything specifically on James F. Betz or Roland Minott. 
  •  J. E. Harper: I found nothing on the justice of the peace except that his office was #401 in the Ernest Cranmer Building at 17th and Curtis (see photo below).

    (Click image to enlarge)

    1892: Soapy begins advertising McGinty in Denver.
    1898: The White Pass & Yukon Railway Company arrives in force to begin building.

    Jeff Smith


    May 25, 2011

    More selections from Tara Kane, part 5.

    The approximate spot where Soapy Smith died.

    In this selection from Tara Kane, authors George Markstein and Jacqui Lyons use Soapy's partner, John Clancy as a Judas character that secretly goes to the opposition, in this case the White Pass & Yukon Railway, and agrees to spy on Soapy. Once again, the authors had no idea of the facts about Clancy,  Soapy's partner in Jeff Smith's Parlor and other saloons in Skagway who was exonerated by the vigilantes after Soapy's death, as not knowing anything about Soapy's crooked side. Needless to say this is absolutely ridiculous as Soapy would not have gone into business with someone  who would not back his sort of enterprises. My family has suspected for decades that Clancy made some sort of deal with the opposition in order to remain free of harm or jail.

    In Tara Kane, Tara witnesses John Clancy meeting with the railroad men and reports it to Soapy.

    “You know the hotel’s full of railmen? Well, I saw Clancy there.”
    Suddenly Smith was very alert.

    “He seems to have gone up in the world,” she went on. “He’s got new clothes. He was smoking a fat cigar. And he had a meeting with Tancrede, after I left. He seemed pretty much at home.”

    “Well!” He examined the tip of his cheroot. He was almost talking to himself. “That explains a lot. It sort of looks as if our friend Clancy has been bought. I wondered why he’s been avoiding me. Now it figures.”

    He stood up and went to the window, staring out in silence.

    “Jeff,” Tara said quietly.

    He said nothing.

    “You can’t fight the railroad. You can’t blackmail them either. They’re too big.”

    He swung around. “Nobody’s too big for Jeff Smith in Skagway. I mean to have myself a piece of that railroad, any way I can.”

    “They won’t have you, Jeff. They won’t let you get a look-in.”

    “You’d be surprised what can go wrong when you build a railroad. Accidents. Landslides. Explosions.” He smiled. “Believe me, Tara, a few armed men and a load of dynamite, they might find it cheaper my way.”

    Tara recalled the cold, calculated eyes of Tancrede. “Jeff, if you try to stop themthey’ll kill you. They’ll hire somebody, and”

    More to come

    May 18, 2011
    May 3, 2011 
    April 29, 2011 
    April 28, 2011

    Jeff Smith


    May 23, 2011

    More on Ellen S. Peniston's dueling admirers of 1820

    Jan 10, 2024

    On May 22, 2011 I posted a story on Ellen Stimpson Peniston and her dueling admirers in 1820. With a little more online work I came across some very interesting information, including the names of combatants and the date they died, which happens to also be the date of the duel (no surprise considering they killed one another).

    From the Boisseau Homestead site I learned that the names of the two young men were James Bowe Boisseau and Robert C. Adams. That James was only 18-years old. The duel took place on  Wednesday August 9, 1820 therefore Ellen Stimpson Peniston was also 18-years old. I could not locate anything on Robert C. Adams. The above information comes from the Norfolk and Portsmouth Herald, August 14, 1820.

    On the Family Tree Maker site for Anne Stiller I found the following email from AS Boisseau to Anne Stiller (January 1999)

    This James B. Boisseau was killed in the duel at Blanford Cemetery, and was reported in newspapers across the state ( I have copies from 10 or 11 different papers).

    The story runs that about the year 1820, Ellen Peniston, of Petersburg, Va., engaged herself to two young men at the same time, in a spirit of harmless coquetry, but the two gentlemen took the matter seriously enough to fight a duel over it. They were named Adams and Boisseau, and the fatal encounter took place just back of the old Blandford church, in a pine grove now marked by the graves of the Hamilton family. The two former friends fell dead at the first shot, and the vain and thoughtless girl lived to mourn their hot-headed deed the rest of her life, which continued to a ripe age. (Annals of the Fowler Family Author: Glenn D.F. Arthur Call Number: CS71.F681x, p. 149)Killed in a duel at Old Blandford Church, Petersburg, VA where he fought a man named Adams for the affections of Miss Pennister [sic], a celebrated beauty. Both men, young college students, died almost simultaneously.

    Not to sure I appreciate the "vain and thoughtless girl" part but we have to remember this was written from the other side of the fence and that's just the way they may have seen her. They might be correct if their statement is true that Ellen "engaged herself to two young men at the same time ..." By "engaged" do they mean "engaged" to be married or "engaged" in conversations with two men at once. Our family history states that Ellen accepted a drink from one of the young men, which enraged the other, and the duel was challenged. I am told by a female historian that Regency era etiquette at a party scene as was the case when the challenge was made, is that it is expected that all party guests mingle with everyone, even if dating or promised to one man or woman. Ellen had no control or voice in the matter once the dueling challenge  was made. With all that said, if a woman is the core reason for a duel, the women is blamed by society. 

    Karen Rae Mehaffey wrote the following on the history of dueling.

    The practice of dueling dates back to the Middle Ages as a method of settling a point of honor between two men or families. Dueling in the United States fell out of favor by the 1880s but remains a popular and romanticized act of American culture. It arrived in the United States with the first settlers, and the earliest recorded duel in the colonies took place in Plymouth in 1621. Dueling was never very popular in the North and lost favor and legal status there after the American Revolution. In the South, the aristocracy that developed within the planter class embraced dueling as a method of settling disputes of honor. Duels in the South continued through the Civil War, with recorded duels as late as 1901.

    Life in the Deep South was isolated and rural, with definitive class and racial distinctions. The solitary life demanded a code of conduct that centered on one's personal honor, as well as family honor, in order to protect the female members of the family. The southern man was raised to defend his community, his state, and his honor, with his life. Early settlers brought the act of dueling from England, Ireland, and Scotland, and American dueling rules were based on English and Irish codes of conduct. Dueling and honor in some parts of the Deep South were influenced by French and Spanish culture as well. Various geographic regions spurred their own codes, and the most popular printed codes were those of South Carolina, New Orleans, and the English code.

    For a man to have grounds for challenging an opponent to a duel, he would have to have incurred some form of insult. The code of honor among Southerners strictly prohibited questioning a man's word. To charge him with "giving a lie" was to question his reputation. Without truth in his word, a man had nothing in society and could not be trusted as a business partner or friend. Calling a man a liar was the most common way to bring on a dueling challenge. Other grounds included disputes over gambling, debts, or drunkenness. Contrary to common belief, women were rarely the cause of duels.

    After the challenge, the process of dueling required each opponent to choose a second, normally a relative or close friend, and all arrangements for the duel were handled by the seconds. The man challenged had the choice of weapons, normally pistols. Once the arrangements were made, the opponents met on an arranged dueling ground, where the rules were reviewed and the weapons provided. The duel took place at ten to thirty paces, and if no one was hurt on the first shot, the seconds would meet and decide if an additional shot would be taken. Unlike Europeans, Americans gradually developed a preference for dueling to the death as opposed to simply satisfying honor.

    A number of duels are known to history, most famously that of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton in 1804. Others include Andrew Jackson and Charles Dickinson in 1817 and John Randolph and Henry Clay in 1826. Though most states had laws against dueling by 1820, the practice continued, usually late at night or at dawn, in open spaces such as fields, racetracks, or small islands near shore. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other political icons supported laws prohibiting dueling, but the practice would not die until the planter class of the antebellum South passed into history at the turn of the twentieth century.

    • Greenberg, Kenneth S. Honor and Slavery. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996.
    • Stowe, Steven M. Intimacy and Power in the Old South: Ritual in the Lives of the Planters. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.
    • Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. Honor and Violence in the Old South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

    May 22, 2011
    April 16, 2010 

    Ellen Stimpson Peniston: pages 19-21.
    The duel: pages: 20-21.

    Jeff Smith


    Follow Soapy Smith's Blog!

    I have a mere 56 followers who are signed up as "Followers." Quality IS better than quantity but I'm certain (I hope) that I have more people interested and reading this blog on a regular basis. If you are one of these and you have not officially become a "Follower" I ask you to do so. It's not time consuming, difficult or costly, in fact, it's free! It is private so there is no spam or emails sent to your email address. You can sign up using your Google, Yahoo, or Twitter account or make a new one. It's easy but I have made a page with step-by-step instructions for those that wish it. Scroll down the side-bar on your right for the "Follow this blog" link.

    Why follow this blog? Because I said so! And, I'd like to see Soapy Smith's official blog have more fans and followers than 56. I want the historical and academic community to take note of Soapy Smith as someone worthy of further study. Please, won't you "follow" this blog?

    Jeff Smith


    Soapy Smith's Pioneer Restaurant

    (Click image to enlarge)

    When in Fairbanks, Alaska all loyal Soapy Smith fans must eat at Soapy Smith's Pioneer Restaurant. I understand the food is actually pretty good, but I can't swear to it as I've never been to Fairbanks.

    Click image to enlarge

    Jeff Smith


    May 22, 2011

    Ellen Peniston's deadly duelist's of 1820

    Ellen Stimpson Peniston
    March 4, 1802 - October 23, 1860
    (Click image to enlarge)

    The last time I posted about the duel fought over Ellen Stimpson Peniston, Soapy Smith's grandmother was in 2007 on a different site and before my book was published. There is no new information on it but a family member recently learned that her great-great-great grandmother had a duel fought "in her honor" so I thought I would talk about it.

    The year was 1820 and 16 year-old Ellen Stimpson Peniston (Soapy’s grandmother) must have been giddy that two young men were fighting for her attention. The happiness soon turned to horror as the fighting took a deadly turn, one in which both gentlemen were killed. They agreed to fight a duel in a secluded church lot. Both being apparent good pistoliers, shot and killed one another. It has been said that Ellen never completely got over the fact that she had been partly responsible for the deaths. The attending physician at the fight was Ira Ellis Smith who within seventeen months would take Ellen as his bride.

    The following is post from my book, Alias Soapy Smith, minus footnotes.
    Ira Ellis Smith’s wife Ellen, in a letter from her sister to a niece, is described as the “Belle of Virginia” and “the Flower of Georgia.” Another family letter in 1932 boldly states that she was the most educated lady in Georgia. Another letter by Ellen’s brother John Gilbert Peniston tells of a duel fought in September 1820 over the sixteen-year-old Ellen. It took place in St. Petersburg, Virginia, between R. C. Adams and James B. Boisseau. She was “Educated in Baltimore,” and

    her accomplishments equalled her personal charm, so it was no wonder that she should have many lovers. Admiring friends gave her a party in her honor. During the evening one man showed her such marked attention that her escort became jealous and challenged his rival to fight a duel. The next day the word came to Ellen that both men had been killed. A sad shock to her, though she loved neither of them. … In old Blandford churchyard both men, Adams and Boisseau, were buried.

    As the account goes, Adams offered Ellen a cold drink, thus offending Boisseau, who then challenged Adams to the pistol duel. Their combat took place in a secluded yard behind the Old Blandford church and cemetery. Both men were apparently adequate shots as each was killed by the other. Some blamed Ellen for the deaths, causing her great distress, and she never escaped feeling responsible. It is said that Dr. Ira Smith was the physician present when the duel took place. On December 6 (or 26), 1821, approximately a year after the duel, Ira married Ellen.

    Adams and Boisseau were from prominent families. The church, cemetery, and one of the dueling pistols used in the duel may be seen at the Old Blandford Church museum on US routes 301-460 Crater Road, St. Petersburg, VA. Unfortunately, the museum will not allow anyone to post the pistol online so I cannot show  it here.

    April 16, 2010

    Ellen Stimpson Peniston: page 19-21.
    The duel: 20-21

    Jeff Smith


    May 21, 2011

    Identifying members of the family in a photograph

    (Click image to enlarge)

    Now this is what I'm talking about. My family, coming through.

    On September 4, 2010 I had posted the above photograph from the Mike Moriarty collection. At that time I only could positively recognize Mary Eva (Smith) Little, the widow of Soapy Smith, and her second husband, John P. Little. I asked family members for help in identifying the other eight people in the photo.

    A few days later family member, Nancy Moriarty, emailed me and on September 10, 2010 I was able to post additional names to the photograph. Those of Mary Eva (Smith) Moriarty (Soapy and Mary's daughter) and her husband, Michael H. "Maurice" Moriarty. Nancy guessed correctly that the children were no doubt those of Michael and Mary's but would not guess.

    Today's post is based on information received from family member, Katie Rowe. Katie write,

    Hey Jeff this is Katie Rowe your somewhat removed cousin. I can clear up the identities of the children for you. The boy is Maurice Gregory eldest child of Mary Eva and Michael, he passed just two weeks ago. Daughter is child number two Geraldine, she took vows and became a nun, she also had very lg thin feet a trait my sister inherited. The baby in white is my grandfather John Jefferson Moriarty. I have baby pics of him and swear I saw this or a similar one growing up. My grandfather papa John saw his fourth generation born, could I get a copy of this? Together this would give me two photos holding six generations for my son with papa as the over lap. He looks about the age my son was when I got the four generations.

    ... For further verification the infant is clearly under a year and the photo us dated April 1921. My papa john Jefferson was born June 1920 and was the third child and second boy.

    Thank you Nancy and Katie!

    Please note: The little boy, Maurice Gregory Moriarty if the family member gentleman who recently passed on.

    Jeff Smith


    Skagway, Alaska 1949: video

    Marlene McCluskey at Soapy's grave

    Marlene McCluskey of the Skagway Historical Society sent me a link to the Explore North Blog which has the Youtube video below, shot "from a 16mm film shot in 1949 by a woman on an Alaska trip." It is 4:12 minutes long and at 1:08, for a mere second, literally, there is a shot of Soapy's second grave marker on display at the Harriet Pullen House (Hotel).

    1885: Soapy and one of his boosters get into a street fight with a victim of the prize package soap racket.

    Jeff Smith