April 3, 2013

Soapy Smith arrested in Boise, Idaho 1895

Fantasy rendition of Soapy Smith waking up in jail
(Click image to enlarge)

irst, I would like to apologize for the lack of posts. It is certainly not for lack of content as I am surrounded by literally thousands of stories waiting to be told, most never having been published before. My problem is simple procrastination mixed with a big load of overwhelmingness. The good news is that I have a drive growing within me to get my life together, especially my paper life and by that I mean filing and putting everything where it belongs. I guess you could call it spring cleaning.

Today's post involves a "Jeff Smith" arrested in Boise, Idaho for being drunk and carrying a concealed weapon. There is no certainty that this is our Jeff Smith but the time table is correct. In June 1895 Soapy was traveling around the country, staying on the move, waiting and hoping to hear from his attorney in Denver that a case against him for attempted murder was to be dropped down to a lesser charge. In late June Soapy took on the fists of two St. Louis detectives and came out pretty bruised up. On July 1 he returned to Denver for a court date only to get a needed one week delay and once again he was on the road (Alias Soapy Smith, p. 383). Texas, Mexico, St. Louis and back to other parts of Colorado were on Soapy's agenda, never staying in one location for more than a few days at most. It is known that he traveled to Spokane Falls at least once in 1895 so he could have very well stopped off in Boise, Idaho. Until such a time that there is better provenance the following newspaper article may or may not be talking about our Jeff, but will be filed under the realm of possibility.


Police Magistrate Randall had Jeff Smith before him yesterday on a charge of being drunk and disorderly, using vulgar and obscene language in the presence of women and children and carrying a concealed weapon. Smith was arrested Monday, and when confronted with the multitudinous charges pleaded not guilty. Yesterday he withdrew that plea and substituted a plea of guilty. In view of Smith's inebriation and other considerations, the court touched him up for a very light fine-$28.
Idaho Statesman, July 3, 1895  

"Hi Jeff! Just got my April 2013 edition of 'Wild West' magazine, and I immediately sat down and read your article, 'Soapy Smith's Showdown with the Vigilantes,' from beginning to end. As always when I read your work, I'm totally impressed with your research and just excellent writing. Thank you, and it was fun to revisit the historic tale about your great granddaddy's shootout."
— Roscoe Tarwater Beaumont


1513: Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon lands in what would later be named as the state of Florida.
1776: George Washington receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard College.
1817: Famed Texas Ranger William “Big Foot” Wallace is born. In 1842 Wallace was one of 159 prisoners ordered shot by General Santa Anna. The officer held a raffle of sorts by putting 144 white beans and 16 black ones into a gourd and shot only those who drew a black bean. Wallace survived, dying at age 82 in 1899.
1829: James Carrington patents the coffee mill.
1860: The first Pony Express rider leaves St. Joseph, Missouri towards Sacramento, California. The riders were paid $125 a month and were expected to ride 30 to 70 miles a day with the total ride taking nine days. Despite numerous dangers from Indians and robbers only one mail rider was killed (by Indians) during the Express's 19 months existence.
1861: Cadet George Custer receives three demerits for throwing snowballs near the West Point barracks, New York.
1865: Union forces occupy the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
1866: Rudolph Eickemeyer and G. Osterheld patent a blocking and shaping machine for hats.
1868: A wood chopping party is attacked by Indians in Rock Creek, Wyoming. One woodcutter is killed.
1882: Outlaw Jesse James, age 34, is shot in the back of the head and killed in his home in St. Joseph, Missouri by Robert Ford for a $5,000 reward.
1885: 2.75 million acres of land in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Dakota Territory are opened for settlement.
1898: An avalanche at Sheep Camp on the Chilkoot Pass, Alaska, kills approximately 70 men.
1910: Mt. McKinley in Alaska, the highest mountain in North America, is successfully climbed.

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Thank you for leaving your comment and/or question on my blog. I always read, and will answer all questions left here. Please know that they are greatly appreciated. -Jeff Smith