Sophia victims

While researching Albert David Pinska (born on this day, February 10, 1877 in Minnesota and drowned on the Princess Sophia), I found some interesting facts about other victims on the Princess Sophia. The dates of death of some of the victims were later reported in news accounts that put the death dates later than the actual death dates of October 25, 1918. Some victims even fail to show up in the Ken Coates book on the Sinking of the Princess Sophia, 1991.

The Daily Alaska Dispatch Newspaper of 29 OCT 1918, Juneau, Alaska stated that additional victims of the Princess Sophia had been identified. “Advices from Skagway show there were ten more people on the vessel than shown by the list, to-wit: Geo. Allen, W. Barton, Jim Kirk, N. McLeod and wife, C. P. Queen, H. F. Robinson, D. Williams, W. Wright and George Williams, the latter being aboard without having purchased a ticket.” (Mrs. Pinska was later identified as a victim also).

There was a G.W. Williams who worked for Soapy but left Skagway June 16 1898.
The San Francisco Call, on March 16, 1905 said that John Lee Kirk, a Soapy Smith collaborator, was arrested in Victoria for crimes committed in Nome, in 1905 – however he was released three hours later for lack of a warrant. (See SoapySmiths.blogspot of April 17, 2009)
The Fairbanks News reported the deaths of a G.W. Williams and a William Wright on December 10,1918 – these reports could have been delayed and the deaths occurred earlier, such as in October, not December 1918.

Could G.W. Williams and Jim Kirk actually have been the G.W. Williams and John Lee Kirk who worked for Soapy? Or just a case of similar names. The fact that George Williams on the Princess Sophia was reported to have been onboard “without having purchased a ticket” throws suspicion his way. Whether the Jim Kirk is the same as the John Lee Kirk who was arrested in 1905, and released is pure conjecture, I know, but its a delicious thought to think that these scoundrels were still working their tricks in 1918.

And furthermore, was James Kirk’s middle name Tiberius?
see British Colonist online March 16, 1905.



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