Burglars, Umbrellas & Punchbowls

A few new odds and ends:


September 1, 1914, Denver Post. This day the Lost and Found column had two curious items in a row.

The first concerns a pearl pin, duck-shaped, with diamonds, lost at Tabor’s Grand Opera about 8:00 pm on Saturday night, and belonging to Lou’s old friend, Harry Tammen, co-publisher of the Post.

The second is from Lou himself, requesting the return of an umbrella shamelessly appropriated “from the iron bench in front of Scholtz drug store.” The culprit was obliged to please return it to Bert Davis’ cigar store — Lou’s name was engraved on the handle.


July 12, 1909, Denver Post. Lou was the victim of a serial thief most interested, apparently, in women’s clothing, including dresses, shoes, and undergarments. Detectives thought it likely the thieves were women, “their identity, however, remains a mystery.”


December 26, 1894, the Denver Post reports that there is “great admiration” for a punch bowl being exhibited by Sam. The work of Miss Birdie Atwood, the bowl is described as hand-painted with grapes, leaves, spiders and webs, with a gold stem. “The entire effect, designed by Miss Atwood, is charming and is highly creditable to the artist.”


November 22, 1912, Denver Post. Burglars again, this time breaking a window to get into Sam’s house, 1125 Clarkson Street, while he and the wife were away on vacation. Fortunately a private watchman arrived just in time to scare them off.

Problem is, they were still apparently out of town when this was published. The Post only made it worse with the following:

Blonger and his wife are out of the city, and, had the burglars not been interfered with, they would have been at liberty to ransack the house from top to bottom. 

Sounds like a dare to us. The Post reported the potential booty to be “thousands of dollars’ worth of Oriental tapestries, curios gathered from around the globe and silverware in abundance.” Thanks guys.


Mrs. Susie Orr


March 22, 1906, Denver Post, front page. Mrs. M.J. Orr was badly injured when one of Sam’s horses bolted. The colt was pulling a sulky up Sixteenth Street when workmen began using an electric riveter, sending the animal into a frenzy. The driver attempted to keep the horse under control, but when the harness broke the frightened animal took off at a gallop in the direction of Stout Street.

When the driver finally convinced the colt to turn in to the side, he kept charging, trampling Mrs. Orr on his way across the sidewalk and through the plate glass window of Fitwell’s clothing store. Both Mrs. Orr and the pony sustained nasty but non-lethal injuries. The sulky was a wreck.


Several Salt Lake Herald listings from 1889 indicate Sam’s property at lot 4, block 28, plat G was to be auctioned in light of Sam’s delinquent tax bill, amounting to a measly $.75, all of three quarters.

In 1891 Sam bought back the same lot, and lot 1, from the county. Four months later he and wife Sadie signed the property over to Lou.

Via Con Dios, Sam Blonger

Finally, here’s Sam’s obit en español, from Estrella (Las Cruces, N.M.), February 20, 1914:

Samuel H. Blonger, uno de los más notables hombres de sport del oeste, y residente de Denver por más de treinta y cinco años, murió en su casa en Denver.

That is:

Samuel H. Blonger, one of the most remarkable men of sport in the west, and a resident of Denver for more than thirty-five years, died at his home in Denver.

1 Responses to Burglars, Umbrellas & Punchbowls

  1. Jeff Smith says:

    Friend Craig. Have you found an online source for the Denver Post? Inquiring minds wish to know!

    Jeff Smith

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