September 30, 2009

Soapy Smith in Nebraska City, 1883

(Click image to enlarge)
Soapy's Nebraska City vendors license, 1883
Jefferson Randolph "Little Randy" Smith collection

In late May 1883 Soapy passed through Nebraska City, Nebraska. It is not certain when he arrived and on what day he left but on May 26 he applied and received the one day license pictured above for the purpose of "Selling Prize Soap." The fee to operate for one day was $2.50. The license is signed by what appears to be "D. J. Goff," the City Clerk, and H. F. Cady, the Mayor. The contemporary newspapers I viewed listed the mayor but not the city clerk.


(Click image to enlarge)
Nebraska City, Nebraska


I
t is currently unknown why Soapy went through Nebraska City. The newspapers showed no fairs, circuses or other events taking place in which potential victims would converge. Being the license was for one day it might be assumed that he was just simply passing through.


(Click image to enlarge)
Back side of the license
Jefferson Randolph "Little Randy" Smith collection


O
n the back of license Soapy made some handwritten notes. It appears that he had learned about two other events taking place in Minnesota that he might attend and wrote them down on the only paper available, the back side of the license. The deciphering of some of the wording is uncertain. Please feel free to reply with your own opinions as to what some of the spellings might be. The following is what I came up with.

Old settlers picnic of Tiarraban [or Tiarrabanet] & Northfield at Union Lakes June 26. Red Rock Camp meeting June 20 to July 3rd."


(Click image to enlarge)
Negative of the notes on the back of the license


T
here is a good probability that "Northfield at Union Lakes" is Northfield, Minnesota as there was and still is a Union Lake there.

The "Red Rock Camp meeting" is very possibly the annual Methodist get together, also in Minnesota. The Annual Report of the Board of Managers of the Women’s Home Missionary, 1882 states that the Red Rock Camp Meeting took place “in June.”

Red Rock, about 7 miles south of St. Paul, is the spot of "a sacred granite boulder painted with red stripes and worshiped for generations by the Indians [Sioux]. ... Pastor Benjamin Kavanaugh built a two story log cabin. The first floor became a school for children of 'half-breeds' and whites, the upper floor the pastor’s home." Both the Red Rock and the restored cabin, the oldest Methodist building in Minnesota, can be seen on the grounds of the Newport United Methodist Church. Red Rock Camp Meetings were held near this site for many years.

Directions: Follow Highway 494 to Highway 61 going east. Turn left on Glen Road to Newport United Methodist Church.


Sources:
* Jefferson Randolph "Little Randy" Smith collection.
* Annual Report of the Board of Managers of the Women’s Home Missionary, 1882
* Red Rock, Frontier Methodist Camp Meeting by Merrill E. Jarchow.
Minnesota History, Vol. 31, No. 2 (Jun., 1950), pp. 79-92
Published by: Minnesota Historical Society Press



(Click image to enlarge)
Nebraska City, 1868
courtesy of History-Map.com




.

September 29, 2009

Judge James Wickersham on Soapy Smith.

(Click image to enlarge)
Battleship U.S.S. Maine
Sank in Havana Harbor

The following passage comes from Old Yukon: Tales — Trails — and Trials by Judge James Wickersham, 1938. Wickersham was a U.S. District Judge in Alaska between 1900-1908 and later a delegate to Congress for 14 years. His credentials are good but his stories about Soapy are mostly fiction with added filler to help sell books.

The War with Spain then engaged the attention of the country and the people were filled with patriotism. With that cunning impudence which characterized him, Smith wrote a letter to President McKinley offering to raise a company of Alaska rough riders. Smith received from the President's secretary a courteous letter of acknowledgment that gave no authority to act as an enlisting officer. This letter served Smith's purpose, however, for it was promptly framed and displayed in "Jeff's Place," where it was accepted by the ignorant public as proof that Soapy was a patriotic citizen in direct communication with the White House. Quite a crowd of men appeared and offered to enlist. His "lambs," as Soapy called the sneak thieves and highwaymen that composed his town gang, picked clean the pockets of the volunteers when they left their clothing in the disrobing room preparatory to submitting to a pretended medical examination in another apartment.

Soapy also boldly took over the 4th of July celebration. His gangsters controlled in true ward-heeler style the public meeting held to organize the parade, and elected Soapy grand marshal. He led the parade on a spirited gray horse followed by a brass band of dance hall musicians, then by a special body guard of "tigers" and such citizens as marched in loyalty to their country's flag notwithstanding the character of their leader.






.

September 28, 2009

Soapy Smith in Gonzales, Texas, 1883.

(Click image to enlarge)
Gonzales county occupation tax, 1883
Jeff Smith collection

The above document is one of the more fragile ones in the Smith family collections. It is an occupation tax receipt that Soapy Smith received after paying the $3.00 fee to operate his swindles in Gonzales, Texas county as a "seventh class merchant" for the period of one year beginning on January 25, 1883, the date the document was signed.

The receipt is signed by A. T. Bass, the tax collector. Bass was also the counties one time Surveyor and had been a captain in the county sheriff's department. The Comptroller of Public Accounts also signed it but I could not find the name of the person, only the office. It appears to read "Wm. Brown."

The Gonzales Branch Railroad Company was chartered on November 12, 1881. Twelve miles of track between Gonzales and Harwood, Texas, and a connection with the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway were completed in August 1882. This is the probable method of arriving into Gonzales.



(Click image to enlarge)
Three-card monte gang working a train



sources:

* Jeff Smith collection
* Ancestry.com





.

September 27, 2009

“Crime hole of Hades!”


“Say, this Soapy Smith fellow must be a regular Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde!” exclaimed an irate stampeder. “And I hear a few silly women of Skagway a few months ago were calling him the ‘dashing, colorful Robin Hood of the North!’—just on account of a few good deeds he did, generally with ulterior motives. One of his so-called ‘good deeds,’ which he never expected to be discovered, was a villainous act! Seems he gave the new preacher a good size sum of money to help build a church … but all the time, his men lay in wait to rob the minister on his way home. Think of it! Not only did they take Soapy Smith’s generous donation, but they took all their other donations as well! And to think, this slick soap salesman, this sleight-of-hand performer whose hand is quicker than the eye is the real power behind this evil ring! Now, they tell me Soapy dresses as a captain of the U.S. militia, drills several hundred of his gang in uniform. Sometimes he rides a beautiful white horse through town. Many call him the ‘Shah of Skagway!’ They say his big ambition, though is to be chief of police. Imagine! It’s a damned outrage, I tell you! Why, with his trained men armed to the teeth, Soapy Smith has the sinister power to declare martial law, and I understand has already threatened to do so. There’s no doubt about it, Skagway is a fever-stricken, crime hole of Hades! And my advice to you is, keep a sharp eye on your money, your hand on your gun; and don’t take up with strangers and, above all don’t go over White Pass unless you’re armed!”

From Black Sand and Gold by Ella Lung Martinsen, 1956.






.

September 26, 2009

A review, an update and followers...

(Click image to enlarge)
Book cover for
Riding With the James Gang
courtesy of Gayle Martin

There are a couple of items I wanted to cover today. The first covers a book review for Arizona author, Gayle Martin asked me to do for her latest Luke and Jenny adventure series, Riding With the James Gang. It is an honor to be asked to do such a review and the book was a fun read so it was a pleasure as well.

This is Gayles' third book in the series, the other two dealing with Billy the Kid and the Gunfight at (near) the O.K. Corral. All three can be seen on Gayle's website HERE.



On September 22 I reported on the recent changes Cathy Spude made on her upcoming Soapy Smith book. I wrote that her book was scheduled to be released in May 2010. She has since changed that date to January 2010.





I seek followers. No I'm not creating a religious cult... although some might see it as a historical cult. In the first column of the sidebars to the right I have a box marked "Please join and follow this blog." I put a lot of time and effort into this site and I want to be able to see that I am gaining converts. No matter your personal thoughts about Soapy Smith, if you come here every so often to read what I have posted then I would appreciate knowing about it. It's easy to join and no salesmen will visit your door. You won't receive emails or notices, but rather it just lets me see my followers. ...So, as the flag says...

.

September 25, 2009

Letter to Soapy Smith from Tombstone, Az. 1882.

(Click image to enlarge)
Letter to Soapy Smith
Jefferson Randolph "Little Randy" Smith collection


A
bove is a letter written to Soapy Smith from Tombstone, Arizona in 1882 using stationary from the Russ House, famous for partner Nellie Cashman.

From the 1960s through the 1980s my father and his siblings shared Xerox copies of their inherited collections a few pieces at a time and sending them via the postal service, Unfortunately these copies were often very poor. The above letter is an example.

In late 1882 (most likely December) Soapy Smith, was in Fort Worth, Texas where he wrote known confidence man and good friend, John T. Waller. On December 24, 1882 Waller responded with a letter from the Russ House in Tombstone, Arizona.


Dec. 24, 1882.
Friend Jeff

I received your card. I shall not stop in El Paso. You never said what you had been doing. Can you not take time to write a letter and give me the news. I am afraid that you will get busted before you get home. If so send me word & as long as I have a dollar you can have half of it. I am doing a good business here. I sold $82.75 yesterday. I took in $43.50 last night, & it was so cold that I came very near freezing. I shall only stay here 2 or 3 days longer. I got in here last Wednesday. I saw Taylor & and girl on the stage that day, going out. I wish you a Merry Christmas & a happy new year. Address Colorado City, Texas.

Yours truly
John T. Waller.



(Click image to enlarge)
Envelope for the above letter
Jefferson Randolph "Little Randy" Smith collection.

Note: The envelope is paired with the stationary and the cancellation stamp is from Tombstone, addressed to Soapy in Fort Worth, Texas.



T
he letter indicates at least two known confidence men and friends of Soapy's were operating in Tombstone. The "Taylor" mentioned in the letter is believed to be John Taylor, a con man thought possibly to have been Soapy's first mentor.

Waller does not mention any legal entanglements with the local city officials. In fact, Waller appears to have been doing quite well in Tombstone. $82.75 and $43.50 may not seem very successful in today's terms but using an inflation calculator, Waller took in the equivalent of $3,457.68.


The Russ House as it looks today
(Nellie Cashman Restaurant)
Tombstone, AZ.








.

September 24, 2009

Soapy Smith in Salem, Oregon 1882.

(Click image to enlarge)
Salem, Oregon city license, 1882
Geri Murphy collection

A nice city license dated September 16, 1882 for Soapy Smith granting him permission to "hawk his prize soap" on city streets for the period of one week from September 16, 1882 to September 23 for the fee of $15.25. The license is filled out by City Recorder, Charles W. Bowie, of whom I could only find an 1876 marriage record.


(Click image to enlarge)
Salem, Oregon 1876







.

September 22, 2009

More on Cathy Spude's book about Soapy.



Back on June 27, 2009 I reported that Cathy Spude was publishing a book entitled, Soapy: Truth Stranger than legend, 1898. Her goal she openly admits, is to attempt to show that Soapy Smith was nothing but a small time criminal so that her hero, J. M. Tanner, might have a chance to become better known. Her book was scheduled to come out in September 2009 but changes have been noted on her website. The title has been changed to Soapy Smith and Frank Reid: The Legend and the date of publication has been changed to May 2010. This is great news as hopefully her book will encourage debate, helping continued sales of my book and helping to keep Soapy on peoples minds.









.

September 21, 2009

The latest on book: Alias Soapy Smith


My publisher has posted the newest shipment dates for my book, Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel.

Sept 21 ANNOUNCEMENT Printer's Revised Schedule

Soft bound: estimate delivery Oct 13.
Hard bound: estimate delivery Nov 3.

All purchases made prior to Sept 21 will be shipped to patrons by Priority mail as soon as delivered. Thank you for your patience.




.

Soapy Smith in Portland, Oregon

Soapy Smith selling his prized soap cakes
from the cover of Soapy


THE LATEST RACKET.

A Sleight of Hand Performer in the Role of a Street Hawker — He Soft-Soaps the Unsophisticated and Rakes in Their Coin.

As a contemporary sapiently remarked a few days since, "there are some curious phases in human nature." Perhaps one of the most singular is the extreme gullibility of the average human, which exceeds that of the brutes. The sight of a piece of red cloth will put a bull or a turkey cock in a rage; the timid antelope can be attracted within gunshot by the waving of a rag tied to a ramrod; the wary trout is captured by a piece of fur or feather, and so on, but the human race appears to be more gullible than either of the above. All that is needed to attract them and charm the hard earned coin out of their pockets is for some glib tongued fellow to stand on the street corner and keep up an incessant talking, and no matter whether he is pretending to give a dollar's worth of lead pencils for a quarter, to sell some nostrum warranted to cure all the ill flesh is heir to or bits of soap with a ten dollar greenback wrapped around them, for one dollar, he is sure of an audience. A "fakir" whose tongue appears to be hung in the middle and run at both ends, has been working the latest racket on our street corners for several days. His stock in trade consist of an old valise and stool to support it, and a number of small pieces of alleged soap, an unlimited amount of cheek, a great gift of gab and a considerable skill in sleight of hand. He wraps a greenback around a piece of soap and drops ... among a number of similar looking packages. Then he takes another for $20 and pretends to go through the same operation, but while mixing up the packages with both hands, tucks it up his sleeve. After this has been carried on for some time, he picks out all the packages containing greenbacks and opens them to show that they were in the valise, and then the greenhorns rush in and buy his bits of soap at 50 cents each or 3 for a dollar. During about 10 minutes in which a STANDARD reporter was watching him, he took in about $20 and only gave a $1 greenback and this he sold for $3. The whole business is one of the most transparent frauds imaginable and should be stopped. It may not come within the scope of the police, but there can certainly be no law requiring out city authorities to grant licenses to carry on such a hogging gambling game and we call upon them to refuse this bilk another license and upon the police to see that he is driven off the streets. The class of people who want to get something for nothing are no match for those who give nothing for something, and the law should protect them. our laboring classes are robbed of thousands of hard earned dollars by the cursed tribe of frauds which infest our city, and it is high time that at least an effort was made to prevent it. —Daily Standard, August 2, 1882








.

September 20, 2009

Bob Ford in Creede, Colorado

(Click image to enlarge)
Creede, Colorado 1892
(courtesy of the Denver Public Library)

Within the Smith family is a story of how members of the Soap Gang would harass Robert Ford, the slayer of Jesse James by singing the Ballad of Jesse James around Ford's sleeping quarters in the late hours of the evening. In the book, Welcome Suckers by James Buchanan (2003) given to me by Friends of Bad Man Soapy Smith member Leah over at Old West Rogues, there is a fictional version of a closely related incident. I hope you enjoy it.

Bob Ford was sleeping in his office/apartment one night, his arm around a little whore named Rita who had never heard of Jesse James and was one of the few who answered to his blandishments these days. It was three o'clock in the morning and the streets in the north end had emptied. A warm summer night with a breeze teasing the curtains meant open windows. The the demon that had haunted Bob Ford for ten years crept into his dreams:

Oooh, Jesse had a wife
He loved her all his life
The children they were brave,
when that dirty little coward,
shot down Mister Howard
and put our Jesse in his grave....



(Click image to enlarge)
closeup of Orleans Club
Soapy Smith gambling hall


It wasn't bad enough that the voice was distinctly Southern, but also strange in the hearing, far away and yet somehow close, almost eerie in its lamenting evocation of distant hills, trails, and times. It was also a song that simply was not sung in public, not in Creede or anywhere else where Bob Ford held sway. The penalty had always been death.

It jolted Bob out of his sleep and onto his feet in one alarmingly eruptive jack-in-the-box movement, one that knocked the poor whore right out of bed as he leaped for his pistols on the post and then to the window. Leaning so far out in his attempt to see, he almost fell two stories to the ground. The voice was somehow, almost miraculously it seemed to him, far away now. There was no one on the street.

Oh, hear of Jesse's wife
Made a mourner all her life....

The voice became fainter and slowly disappeared. Ford threw the bewildered Rita out of the room with no little roughness and got back into bed to pull the sheets over himself, shivering. By dawn the linen might as well have spent the night under water.





.

Soapy Smith the half bear/half dog







(Click image to enlarge)
Soapy Smith the dog

April 1899, less than a year after my great grandfather's death, Soapy Smith, the half bear/half dog is shipped out from the Klondike and makes the pages of the San Francisco Call.

Soapy Smith, a dog owned by A. Carrillo of this city, will without doubt will be the greatest curiosity of any dog that will be exhibited in the coming dog show. Soapy is a recent arrival from the klondike region; in fact, he only arrived from the frozen north two weeks ago, and was sent down by express to Carrillo by a friend as a present. The owner says that he does not want any more canine presents, as he had to pay $125 express on the animal. The most curious thing about the dog is that he is half bear and half dog. His father was a big brown bear and his mother a genuine Klondike dog. Soapy has inherited his father's fine fur coat, the hair on his back being several inches long. He also walks with the clumsy gait of a young cub, but he is quite docile and tame. How he will stand the warm weather remains to be proved, but the hot spell of last week was very hard on the animal. If the temperature should be warm for Soapy out at the show his owner claims he will treat him to cold storage treatment by placing a big cake of ice in his kennel. Several Klondike miners who have seen the dog claim that the animal is a splendid specimen of his species and that this breed of animals, though only recently attempted in the north, has proved a great success and that for hard work drawing sleighs they have more endurance and patience than any other breed. — San Francisco Call, April 26, 1899.





.



September 18, 2009

Speaking frank about Reid, part 2.

Frank Reid Falls
Gold Rush Cemetery
Skagway, Alaska



Back on September 16 I posted the beginnings of an email conversation between myself and Mark Reid, a descendant of Frank H. Reid, the man who once was credited with the killing of Soapy Smith. Below the conversation continues.



September 14, 2009

Hi, Mark.

Thank you very much for responding. Like I wrote in my first email to you, the first goal in my book is for the truth. I am not out to make Frank Reid look bad in order to make Soapy appear less evil. However, that truth appears not to be of a completely innocent man. My goal in contacting you is to get to know you, in the hopes that we might become friends that at the very least share knowledge. I know that I am expecting a lot from you considering the "sprinkling of Frank." There is simply no justification or excuse for such a horrid town tradition. It was wrong, period, and nothing I can say will take away what has already been done. My website has a permanent and sincere apology knowing full well that it can never be enough, but it is a start. You responding in such a pleasant manner is that second step in the process of healing between our families. Please let me explain what the common beliefs were at that time between the 1970s and 1980s when all "that" was going on.

Today, my family knows who really killed Soapy. A lot of new information has been uncovered since "those days." If it means anything, I personally see Frank in a much better light then I did back then but I'll get to that in a minute.


(Click image to enlarge)
Frank Reid's casket and funeral honor guard.


Within days after being shot by Frank and killed by Jesse Murphy, the real story of how Soapy died was suppressed by the vigilantes and the newspapers. The reason was one of maintaining control over the city against threatened martial law by the U.S. army stationed in Dyea. My book goes into much greater detail about all this. Very soon after Soapy's death his widow, siblings and children heard rumors of "another shooter." Soapy's younger brother Bascomb boldly stated in a newspaper interview that his older brother had been "shot in the back and all of his possessions stolen." Over the next few decades old residents slowly began to let out bits and pieces of the true tragic events during interviews about the gold rush. There were a number of residents in Skagway, including Soapy's partner, John Clancy, who were exonerated of any wrong doing and given Soapy's property. Soapy was very wealthy at the time of his death but every single penny was taken. Granted it was mostly tainted money he had swindled from victims but to the Smith family the main point was that a large scale conspiracy had taken place. In the 1970s we were surprised to learn that many of the current residents in Skagway also believed there was some sort of cover-up, but no one had any details or provenance. It very much appeared to us that Soapy had been set-up and assassinated. Unfortunately the total sum of contempt the Smith's held for all those involved fell fully upon Frank Reid who sadly bared the brunt of our anger.

In the mid 1990s I began learning through numerous leads that the killer of Soapy Smith was actually Jesse Murphy.


(Click image to enlarge)
Reid's funeral. outside of the Union church.

My research shows that Frank was a bartender for Soapy in the Klondike saloon. He apparently had some sort of falling out with Soapy and joined in with the "real estate grifters." If it is true that Frank did work for Soapy then obviously they knew one another and most likely Frank knew what Soapy was capable of, that Soapy was not one who would back down from a fight. On the night of July 8, 1898 the ONLY man who would dare block and confront Soapy was Frank Reid. Even J. M. Tanner, who author Cathy Spude believes to be the true "savior of Skagway" would not make a move against Soapy let alone utter a single word to keep him from going down to the vigilante meeting, even though it was his job to stop Soapy. In my mind two very brave men faced off against one-another that night 111 years ago.

Please know that you are always welcome on my sites to make any comments or ask questions that you see fit.

Sincerely,
Jeff Smith




September 14, 2009

Jeff,

Your response is nothing if not gracious. Thank you for that. I will be the first to admit how little I know about the story and about Frank Reid. I can totally understand how your family would feel under the circumstances as you describe them. I certainly would not hold a grudge for something already done that I myself would be sorely tempted to do under similar ones. And if it afforded your family and friends of Soapy some comfort, I am sure Frank cares less about it than any of us, so why should I care more. What's done is done. My request was simply to say that now that we have begun a dialog, maybe we can move past that. As far as I am concerned, you have already done more in that regard with your words than many might have. Thank you for that.



(Click image to enlarge)
Reid's cemetery service.


Fact is history does not stop. The accidents do not stop. The accident of Soapy and Frank shooting each other on the wharf. The accident of your cousin and I meeting over 100 years later, and now you and I are talking. That older reality is no more real than this one. This one is just so much more freaky and interesting because it echoes the first one in a way.

I recently learned that the band width of light that we can perceive is very narrow, such that when a rainbow appears, there are actually at least 10 more rainbows, or 10 more orders of rainbow. The first rainbow is difficult enough to see usually. You have to be in the right place at the right time. If you are extremely lucky, you may see two, or even three of the rainbows, one outside of the other, each one larger than the first. I think, more now than ever, that history may also be like that, operating in larger dimensions than we can normally perceive.

I can only speak for myself, of course, but from my point of view this whole series of events has been a slight echo of the energy of the events in Skaguay. No doubt my perception only, but I suppose I felt "called out" a little. I know that is the last thing you meant in your invitation. But because of my internal, vague and uninformed relationship with Frank Reid, and what I perceived to be your cousin's and perhaps your presumption that I might be a direct descendant of his or equally connected to Frank as you are to Soapy, I felt I needed to answer if not for Frank, then for the Reid's. My answer could not be, "Well, I'm really not at all related to the guy," and throw him under the bus when, in my heart, I was harboring a secret pride at having a gunfighter relative up to that point. So I squared off and tried to find out what I could, both to do you the courtesy of honoring your request and also to see if I could find out something on my own to answer history's call.


(Click image to enlarge)
Frank Reid's first marker
Gold Rush Cemetery
Skagway, Alaska




The evening I was writing my last paragraph to you, I had a sudden mental picture of you and I inextricably drawn into the same positions as our predecessors by forces too large to be perceived. Not that we would shoot each other on a wharf, but that we were at odds for a moment, on the side each of our own DNA, re-enacting our programming at some core, primitive level. But this time with the benefit of some knowledge of history and gun control laws and much more civility. Nevertheless there may be more of the character of the men in this story living in their descendants than in all the facts put together. I hope that character is in your book. I will look forward to reading it.

Thanks for your heartfelt response.

Sincerely,
Mark Reid





September 15, 2009

Hi, Mark.

Thank you for your understanding and for not holding a grudge. It takes a good man to get past my families modern wrongs. I would only have to understand if you did not, but you did so I agree, it is time to move on to the present.

(Click image to enlarge)
Frank Reid's estate papers
Skagway City Museum

The first time I met members of the Reid family was on July 4, 1998 in Skagway, Alaska. I have their names in my files but can't recall them at the moment. It was before the big parade started and they were sitting in an antique car. I had a plan. I told my 8-year-old daughter, Ashley to be the first to speak as her and I made our way over to the car. I waved "Hi" but bit my tongue to keep from uttering a word until Ashley spoke. Wouldn't you know it she had a sudden case of stage fright, lol. The Reid ladies said "hello" and then stared at us as I keep nudging Ashley to say something ... anything. Finally she blurted out a hello and my daughter (as far as I know) became the first Smith to speak with a Reid in 96 years. A photo of her with the Reid's can be seen on my website here.

I attached some photos I thought you might like. One is Reid Falls behind the cemetery. The two drawings are from artist John Bruce that were never finished. They are the closets example of how I believe the gunfight took place. The first one shows Frank and Jeff (he hated to be called Soapy but my name is Jeff too) struggling with the rifle as Frank has his pistol out. The second one shows Frank on the ground and Murphy shooting Jeff with Jeff's own rifle. A great artist is currently painting the "gunfight on Juneau Wharf" and I will make sure you get all the information when I am allowed to release it (his call). The story of the gunfight would make a great movie and any movie would help both men become house-hold names. The we would meet at some big Hollywood star-filled premier and get our names plastered across the country and perhaps the world. Did I mention I dream big? I think I get that from Soapy, lol. I have a number of Reid related photographs, including Frank's first grave marker, and will get them to you if you are interested. I am more than happy to help learn more about your famous descendant and I very much look forward to your next.

Sincerely,
Jeff Smith

(Click image to enlarge)
Monument placed on Frank Reid's grave





I
am hoping for and await Mark's very interesting replies.



.