In August of 1897, Joe Blonger
shot and killed Alex Allan at the Bottom Dollar Mine.
Santa Fe New Mexican, August 25, 1897
ALEXANDER ALLAN KILLED
Last Evening at Dusk Joseph Blonger Shot and Killed Allan at the Bottom Dollar Mine.
THE TRAGIC RESULT OF A QUARREL
Blonger Surrenders Himself and is Lodged in JailThe Story of the Tragedy
Last night between 12 and 1 o'clock, Joseph Blonger knocked at Sheriff Kinsell's door and when Mr. Kinsell answered the summons said that he had killed Alex Allan, and surrendered himself to the law.
Mr. Blonger was lodged in jail and about 5 o'clock this morning Mr. Kinsell left for the Bottom Dollar mine, where the tragedy occurred, to get the remains of the dead man.
This forenoon Mr. Blonger was seen in the jail, and to a representative of the NEW MEXICAN told the following story of the killing:
"For over a month past, Alex Allan, Cyrus [Silas W.] Smith and myself have worked and camped together at the Bottom Dollar mine. Everything had been pleasant among us, and while Smith and myself were working for Mr. Allan, no contract for any special length of time had been made, we were on good terms and no trouble of any kind had come up. Several days ago Mr. Allan run out of lumber and none could be gotten except from Chicago. Smith and myself wanted to come to Santa Fe until the lumber came, but to this Mr. Allan objected as he would then be left alone. We consented to stay until last Monday. On Saturday Mr. Allan came to Santa Fe and remained until Tuesday morning, when he came back to the mine, reaching there about 10 o'clock."
"Mr. Allan and Smith then walked to Cerrillos to attend to some business and I stayed to watch the camp. They came back just before dark. I had supper ready for them, and we sat down and ate. Just as we had finished Mr. Allan asked me what I was thinking and I told him I was going over to the Bonanza mine to get a team to take me into Santa Fe, and Smith said he would go along. This seemed to anger Allan and he said we were nice fellows to leave him all alone. To this Smith replied: 'We have to look after ourselves and if we want to go away you can't help yourself.' Allan jumped up from the table and drew his gun and covered us with it and said he would see if he could not keep us there. At this time Ed Andrews came up to spend the evening at the camp. Allan lowered the revolver for a moment and then threw it at Smith. It fell near me and I picked it up. Allan clinched with Smith and threw him to the ground. Allan picked up a rock and as he held it over Smith's head said: 'I'll brain you right here.' I don't know how it happened, but I fired at Allan and the bullet struck him either in the chin or just below. Allan sprang up and ran in circles, falling as he ran. In less than five minutes after I shot him he was dead. Before he died, I went to him and told him I was sorry, very sorry that the shooting had happened. He tried to answer me, but his breathing was so difficult and the blood was rushing from the wound so rapidly that I could not understand what he said."
"So soon as I saw he was dead, I got on a horse and went over to the Bandana mine and hitched to a wagon and drove to town, and gave myself up to Sheriff Kinsell. That is all there is to it."
From the manner in which Mr. Blonger tells as to how the killing occurred it is plain to be seen that at the time it happened he was so excited that he did not know what he was doing. He is very despondent over the matter and feels that in defending Smith he has committed a crime he can never atone for. It is certainly a sad case. It all happened in a moment of time, and in the excitement Mr. Blonger lost his judgment and reasoning powers.
This morning, about 11:30, Sheriff Kinsell arrived in the city with the remains of the dead man, which were immediately taken to Gable's undertaking rooms and prepared for burial. A view of the body disclosed the fact that two shots were fired at Mr. Allan in the excitement of the moment by Mr. Blonger, both of them taking effect. One ball struck just at the left corner of the mouth, cutting out all the upper teeth, the other hit the point of the right shoulder and ranged upward and passed through the neck, cutting the juggler vein.
Alex. Allan was well known in Santa Fe and up to a short time ago was deputy sheriff under Sheriff Kinsell, proving himself an efficient officer. About six weeks ago he left that position to work the Bottom Dollar mine in southern Santa Fe county, and was making good progress in developing the property when the unfortunate and deplorable affair of last night happened. He leaves a wife and one child to mourn his death.
Joseph Blonger, now in jail to await a hearing on the charge of murder, is a resident of the city, and is well and favorably known by many of the citizens. He enlisted in Company H, Twenty-fifth Michigan infantry, as a private in March, 1862, and served through the war, and was mustered out of the service on June 5, 1865, as a corporal. He joined Carleton post, G. A. R., of Santa Fe, August 15, 1889, and is still a member in good standing.
Santa Fe New Mexican, August 26, 1897
RELEASED ON BAIL.
Joseph Blonger Held in the Action of the Grand Jury and Gives Bonds in the Sum of $2,500.
This afternoon at 2:30 o'clock the preliminary hearing of Joseph Blonger, charged with killing Alex. Allan, was heard before Justice Garcia. Three witnesses were called, Ed. Andrews, S. W. Smith and Dr. Massie.
Dr. Massie was first placed on the stand and testified that he had examined the body; that two were found, and he described the nature and character of them; that the ball which cut the jugular vein caused the death; but could not tell which one was fired first.
The testimony of Andrews and Smith corroborated the story of the killing as told by Blonger and printed in the NEW MEXICAN yesterday.
Mr. Blonger then waived examination, and was placed under bonds in the sum of $2,500 to await the action of the grand jury.
At 4 o'clock Mr. Blonger was released, having filed a bond in the sum named, by John Andrews, C. A. Schenrich, and and J. H. Blain.
Santa Fe New Mexican, December 28, 1898
TERRITORIAL DISTRICT COURT.
Jury in Blonger Murder Case Instructed to Return Verdict of Not Guilty Editor Gould Fined for Criminal Libel Other Matters.
In the Santa Fe county district court, late last evening, the trial of case No. 2934, Territory of New Mexico vs. Joseph Blonger, murder, was finished and the judge instructed the jury to bring in a verdict of not guilty. C. A. Spiess for the plaintiff. A. B. Renchan and R. C. Gortner for the defendant
This article describes an earlier incident involving the Allans.
Chicago Tribune, Aug. 15, 1884
THE FAR WEST
Alleged Conspiracy to Murder the Entire Family of a Former Chicagoan.
A SANTE FE SENSATION.
DETAILS OF AN ALLEGED CONSPIRACY.
SANTA FE, N.M., Aug. 14. - [Special] - Santa Fé is enjoying a lively sensation today founded on an alleged conspiracy to murder the entire family of John D. Allan, of smelter fame. It is charged by Allan that Cyrus Smith was at the head of the alleged plot, aided by two strangers who game the names of John Martin and William Sill, and possibly one or two others whose names are not made public. Smith began the erection of the Santa Fé smelter about eighteen months ago, and, before it was completed, sold his interest to Allan, who came here from Chicago early last year. The sale took place last August, when Allan made a small payment down and gave his note for $5,000, which has not been paid. Smith has been living in Silver City, and came to Santa Fé three weeks ago for the purpose of effecting a settle with Allan, and it is charged that he took up his rifle and said: "I intent to have money or blood. I don't care to live much longer anyway, and I am willing to risk my life in getting satisfaction if I have to murder the whole Allan family." Although Smith did not approach Allan and demand a settlement at this time, still the latter became fearful of his life and remained at home, and his residence has been in a state of siege the last ten days. Smith failing to find Allan on the streets, it is charged that he had arranged with his pals to make an attack upon the house last night, murder J.D. Allan and his brother Alexander and Mrs. Allan, and carry off the children and hold them till a ransom was forthcoming from Mrs. Allan's brothers. It is alleged that Smith had a secret interview with Jack Bearinger at 8 last night; that he produced the two two-ounce vials of chloroform and gave them to Jack with directions to chloroform the family and give a signal when all was ready, at which Smith and his pals were ready to come in, do their bloody work, and carry off the children. Jack, being a detective in disguise, told the foregoing story, and Allan was prepared with a posse to receive visitors. The attack was not made, but Smith and the others were arrested early this morning and are now in jail. Smith, it is alleged, admits having shadowed Allan's house, says he feared Allan was going away, and that the wanted to force a settlement. He emphatically denies all charges of threats to murder, and says Allan is scheming to cheat him out of the amount due him. He also freely charges Allan with having burned the smelter to obtain insurance on it. Public opinion is much against Smith for his impudent talk and actions, but it is generally believed that his intention was only to force a settlement. Smith is about 55 years old and formerly lived in Joplin, Mo., and Neutral City, Kas. A preliminary examination of the case is set for Monday next.