March 12, 2023

Possible victim of the Soapy Smith gang, Denver, 1884.

Omaha Daily Bee
June 25, 1884

(Click image to enlarge)





Omaha Daily Bee
June 25, 1884


Col. Fletcher, a tourist from Boston, was roped-in by the bunko men of Denver and relieved of $1,000.

The story of Soapy Smith can be had in the book, Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel.


  1. $1,000.00 in 1884 is the equivalent of $33,472.95 in 2023. 
  2. According to the Rocky Mountain News there were at least two, possibly three bunko gangs operating in Denver at this time. For certain "Doc" Charles Baggs and Jeff R. Smith were operating in Denver at this time. 
  3. Jeff R. Smith was not known as "Soapy" Smith until May 1885, neither was the gang known as the soap gang.



"In many cases the bunko sharp is compelled to return a portion of the money to avoid such trouble, and sometimes comes to grief at the hands of the law. In such cases the matter is compromised with the man, his money is returned and he is induced to leave, so that when the case comes up for trial the sharp escapes for lack of prosecution."
Evening Post (San Francisco)
May 6, 1876

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