September 25, 2020

Bascomb Smith: A "champion" to Miss Hall

San Francisco Chronicle
October 12, 1898

(Click image to enlarge)







Guess Bascomb Smith wasn't all bad. The texts of the newspaper appear below.


Miss Hall finds a champion.
Brother of  “ Soapy” Smith claims her as his wife.
There is another side to the pathetic story told to the police by Minnie Hall, the Vaudeville actress to jump into the bay from Howard Street Wharf on Monday afternoon. Her real name is or was, Elsie Edwards, and she came here from Seattle with Bascom Smith, a brother of “Soapy" Smith, who was killed in Skagway, Alaska, about two months ago by members of the vigilance committee.
      Smith, presenting himself as the husband of the actress, secured her release yesterday from the matron's quarters at the City Prison. She accompanied him willingly, and did not deny his statement that she is his wife. Prior to her release the distressed vaudeville artist procured a search warrant in Judge Conlan's court to secure possession of her trunk and contents, which she values at $200, from Mine. Ferlot's house, 724 California street, where she roomed. She appeared in court wearing slippers and somewhat thin attire.
      Smith says that nobody evicted the would-be suicide, but that she "got full of claret up to her chin" and wandered off to the wharf unnoticed by those in the rooming-house. Her trunk is now in the property clerk's office at police headquarters.

It is interesting that Elsie "Minnie Hall" Edwards came to San Francisco with Bascomb. The question that remains is whether they were actually married. I have not found her mentioned when Bascomb returned to Seattle, where in 1899 he was forced to leave once again.
     "Claret" is a red wine from Bordeaux, or wine of a similar character made elsewhere.
     Good friend and exceptional historian/researcher, Peter Brand writes, "I think I have more on them in Butte Montana. They seem to have a similar relationship to Doc Holliday and Kate. Gambler and prostitute and love/hate etc."
The research never ends!

Bascomb Smith
August 1, 2011
May 4, 2012
September 20, 2015

September 22, 2015

March 23, 2019
June 23, 2020

Bascomb Smith: pages 22, 41-42, 67, 75-76, 88-89, 92, 120-22, 139, 143, 162-63, 165, 167, 169, 176, 178, 182, 214, 247, 264, 273-75, 336, 340, 352, 355, 361, 363, 367, 370-77, 381-86, 391-99, 403-05, 408-09, 412, 420-23, 519, 554-55, 584, 588-89, 594. 

"Casinos and prostitutes have the same thing in common; they are both trying to screw you out of your money and send you home with a smile on you face."
—V. P. Pappy

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