Soapy Smith

One Hundred and twelve years ago in Skagway, the townspeople awoke to hear that Jefferson Randolf Smith who was born in 1860 in Noonan Georgia and created a bit of a ruckus here in Skagway with his business associates, died on the evening of July 8, 1898 in a shootout with that hothead Frank Reid, or maybe it was Jesse Murphy, an employee of White Pass.
On July 9, 1898 here in Skagway, the right Reverend Sinclair arranged the funeral for Soapy and buried him in the Gold Rush Cemetery. The townsfolk spent the rest of the day beating the bushes to round up the “Soapy gang” and invited them to leave. Although some were arrested, and a couple ended up in prison, few served very much jail time, for lack of evidence or witnesses.
There was a festive and excited atmosphere in Skagway on that day, followed by 112 years of boredom. Some will dispute that characterization, but it is true that shootouts seldom occur on the streets anymore although “fancy girls” hang out the windows and gold merchants line the streets.



One Reply to “Soapy Smith”

  1. My computer was down for a time…just in time to miss the main Soapy date, the day he died! How I missed this entry I don’t know, lol.

    Thank you for including ‘ole Soapy!

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