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November 2007


That Firehose

For those waiting for more on those new articles, have no fear. Plenty, plenty to come...


The Tourist

Jeff Smith passed on one more article today, 1891, regarding saloons staying open despite the new "Sunday law." Listed is Soapy's Tivoli, of course, and the Blonger's Tourist Club, called simply The Tourist. Oddly, it's listed as residing at 1734 Larimer, not 1740 as written elsewhere. That's fully two buildings down. Simply a typo?

1728-40-44 Larimer



Check Your Attic

We heard this week from old friend Mark Dworkin, who first introduced us to the world of two Outlaw-Lawman organizations, NOLA and WOLA, through which we've made many wonderful acquaintances. On a recent trip to Tombstone, Mark visited with Western collector John Rose and happened to spot an item he knew would pique our interest: a bill of sale signed by Sam Blonger. But it gets better. The receipt, dated March 12, 1883, records the transfer of a thoroughbred horse named "Brown Dick", at a price of $300, to none other than Johnny Behan, onetime sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, and, depending on your perspective, cowardly conciliator or exasperating co-conspirator in the events leading up to and following the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Sam had a long history as a horse owner and racing enthusiast. Soon after he lost his job as marshal of Albuquerque in July, 1882, the local newspapers noted Sam buying, selling, or racing horses throughout the Southwest. Brown Dick was not mentioned; Sam's prize horse was a bay named Sorrel Dan. (A check of national racing results from the period showed several horses by that name.) As late as 1907, Sam was still involved in horse ownership. He probably played the ponies right up to his death in 1914.

How did John come across the document? He told us that it last belonged to the collection of John Gilchriese, one of the original Earp scholars. According to John, "Gilchriese had tracked down Albert Behan, who eventually turned over to him many terrific documents and photos, and this was one item from that collection." Johns' Western Gallery of San Francisco put the items up for auction a few years ago.

We thank John for sharing his find with us, and we thank Mark for recognizing the Blonger name and setting up our exchange with John.

Who knows how many other such documents still exist, in boxes, cabinets or scrapbooks?


First we find out Sam was arrested over the Wolcott swindle (have we even gotten to that yet?), and then again in 1895 with May Bigelow of the California Gang, for larceny and robbery. Next we hear he was living in Dodge City in 1885, our first tangible link to Dodge. Now he's hanging with Johnny Behan in '83. Busy month for Sam.



The Forest Queen

Let's start on those new articles. First, a handful of new Forest Queen mentions.

An 1893 article mentions plans to dig the shaft to 160 feet. Owners are "Neil Dennison, R. W. Steele, and the Blonger Brothers of this city."

An June, 1894 article notes the sale of an interest to distiller J.W. McCullough. The mine is represented only as "a prospect," with a mineral vein yielding $4 to $90 a ton in gold. The price: $7500. Other sources have claimed McCullough paid Lou 20 barrels of his Green River Whiskey for the shares.

A strike in December yields $16 to $75 a ton.

An article in 1899 indicates Blonger and associates ar "saving a little ore at a depth of sixty feet."

Nothing new here, really. Just a litte more flesh on the bones.


Lou's Women

A couple of new articles add to what we know about Lou's attachments. Nothing big, just a little more detail. To re-synopsize:

Lou weds Emma Loring in 1882, in San Francisco, we don't know exactly when. After January Lou is living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

September 12, 1882, Lou is arrested for assaulting Park Van Tassel in a bordello after the Professor says something unseemly to the madam of the house. She is noted as being "Lou's woman." We now hear Lou visited Denver with his wife October 2. Taken at face value, this suggests Lou married Emma in late September. Was Emma his "woman," the madam?

In 1888, an Arizona prostitute, formerly of Albuquerque, murders Charles Hill as he breaks in to her chamber, where she is busy with another client. Her name, even as stated in documents from her trial in Kingman, is Kate "Kitty" Blonger. Lou arrives shortly in town thereafter, presumably to attend her trial (she is found not guilty).

A few days later, in Albuquerque, sporting woman Mollie Blonger is arrested for running a whorehouse.

In Denver, Lou divorces Emma at the end of April, 1889. Now Mollie turns up again, in Denver, with an unclaimed letter in June. Interesting. Also in June, Kitty has an unclaimed letter in Aspen.

By November, Lou has wed a young clog dancer named Cora, who would be his wife until his death.

Kitty, who had promised to move back eas to her family's bosom after her trial, was last seen (by us) in 1893 with an unclaimed letter at the Deadwood post office.


November 2007



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