March 25, 2019

Joe Simmons funeral in the Creede Candle

Jeff and Joe
Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons
The Illustrated Police News
April 9, 1892
(Click image to enlarge)

oe Simmons
was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons also dealt faro for Soapy in Creede. Simmons and Soapy had worked together in Denver from Soapy's earliest times there, and they were the best of friends.

When a friend of Soapy's died, a proper send off was provided. The closer the friend, the more lavish the send off. So when pneumonia, the scourge of the camps, fell upon Joe and he died of it on March 18, 1892, Soapy took it hard, openly displaying his emotion. Only a hint of that emotion made the pages of the Creede Candle, March 25, 1892.

Buried by friends
Joe Simmons, an old–time friend of Jeff Smith, died Friday night. On Sunday afternoon he was buried in Sunnyside Cemetery.

At 3 o’clock the funeral procession of twelve carriages, containing friends, old and new, formed, and in a heavy snowstorm proceeded to the burial place. There, by the open grave, Jeff Smith poured out a tender, touching and manly tribute over the remains of his old friend, two bottles of champagne were drunk to the memory of the dead and the grave closed up.

It was such a burial as only strong men can give, and all who were there felt the scene and words said bravened them for the day when in the last bite they shall be the vanquished and death the Victor.

Original article
Creede Candle
March 25, 1892
(Click image to enlarge)


My father stated that this was (l to R) Joe Palmer and Joe Simmons
possibly taken in Denver or Creede
 (Click image to enlarge)

Heading up the steep, snowy hill to Sunnyside Cemetery, Simmons’ granddaughter, Beth Jackson, claimed that Joe’s casket slid out of the wagon and had to be lifted back in. Then half way up the hill, the horses could no longer pull their loads through the accumulated snow, so the mourners walked the rest of the way, carrying Joe’s casket and a case of Pomeroy champagne.

October 17, 2008
April 20, 2010
April 7, 2011
April 21, 2011
August 23, 2013
December 22, 2015 

Joe Simmons: pages 33, 89, 131, 210, 214, 225-29, 273, 594.

"Card sharping has been reduced to a science. It is no longer a haphazard affair, involving merely primitive manipulations, but it has developed into a profession in which there is as much to learn as in most occupations."
—John Maskelyne, 1894


1634: Lord Baltimore creates the Catholic colony of Maryland.
1655: Catholic forces win a military victory over the colony of Maryland. The Puritans jail their Governor Stone.
1668: The first recorded horse race in America takes place.
1774: English Parliament passes the Boston Port Bill.
1776: The Continental Congress authorizes a medal for General George Washington.
1813: The frigate USS Essex flies the first U.S. flag in battle in the Pacific.
1856: A. E. Burnside patents the Burnside carbine.
1857: Frederick Laggenheim takes the first photo of a solar eclipse.
1865: The steamship General Lyon catches fire and sinks at Cape Hatteras, killing 400 people.
1865: Confederate forces capture Fort Stedman in Virginia, during the American Civil War.
1877: John Slaughter, a Cheyenne and Black Hills stagecoach driver, is shot and killed by Robert McKimie, of the outlaw Sam Bass Gang as they rob the stage outside of Deadwood, South Dakota. Also there is Sam Bass, Joel Collins, James “Frank” Towle, and either Bill Potts or James Berry. This is the first robbery of the Bass Gang. 17 months later bad man Soapy Smith would later witness the shootout that ended the life of Sam Bass in Round Rock, Texas.
1879: New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace orders the arrest of John Slaughter on suspicion of cattle rustling.
1879: Royal Gorge War in Canon City, Colorado, which had started in the court room, now begins physical violence between the rival railroads of the Rio Grande of Colorado and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe of Kansas. The fight was over ownership and use of the Royal Gorge pass. Bat Masterson was hired to defend the Kansas line, and he did so with 33 armed men, which included Ben Thompson and Doc Holiday. There were a few skirmishes but no causalities in March.
1879: The Army captures Cheyenne Indian Chief Little Wolf and 113 followers at Box Elder Creek, Montana Territory.
1882: Two men raid a mining office in Arizona Territory, killing a mining engineer, but leaving empty-handed. Less than a day later, Deputy Sheriff Billy Breakenridge and three deputies tracked them to a ranch where a gun battle kills one deputy and the two others wounded.
1886: Apache Indian Chief Geronimo meets with General Crook at Canon de los Embudos, Mexico to agree on terms of surrender.
1894: Jacob Coxey and his Army of the Commonweal begin their famous march to Washington. It is bad man Soapy Smith’s poem that is believed to be the suggestion idea for the march.
1898: The Intercollegiate Trapshooting Association is formed in New York City.
1900: The American Socialist Party is formed in Indianapolis.
1901: Cuba discloses a fear of annexation by the U.S.
1902: Irving W. Colburn patents the sheet glass drawing machine.
1905: Confederate battle flags captured during the American Civil War are returned to the Southern states where they came from.
2014: A question involving Soapy Smith appears on the TV game show Jeopardy. The category was “con men.” No one got the correct answer about where he hid a little ball--under a shell.

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