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Alias Soapy Smith

The Trial of Kitty Blonger.

 

Kitty Blonger, relationship undetermined, shot Charles Hill in the head when he burst in on her tryst with Kid Fay.

She was the second woman to be tried for murder in Arizona.

Mohave County Court Minutes, April 1888

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San Francisco Chronicle, February 23, 1888

KILLED BY A WOMAN.
A Young Blacksmith Fatally Shot in the Head.
KINGMAN (A.T.), February 22 — To-day about noon a young man by the name of Hill was shot and killed at Peach Springs, a small station fifty miles east of this place. It is reported that Hill was drinking, and going to a disreputable house was denied admission, when he proceeded to kick the door in. The woman of the house shot through the door, striking him on the head and killing him instantly. The name of the woman was Kate Blonger. She was brought to this place to-night and placed in jail to await a preliminary trial. Hill was a blacksmith by trade and was employed in the Atlantic and Pacific road shops at that place.

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Albuquerque Morning Democrat, February 25, 1888

TRAGEDY IN ARIZONA.
One Man is Killed by a Woman, and Another Cuts His Own Throat — Other Quarrels.
A well known and reliable gentleman has just returned from a trip over the Atlantic & Pacific R.R., and related a chapter of fights and shooting affairs which have occurred during one day. At Peach Springs it appears that a blacksmith, who is a married man, became infatuated with a fast woman and could not bear to have other persons pay her any attention.
He went to her house about noon but was refused admittance and in a fit of jealousy, he kicked in the door. The woman met him with a revolver in her hand and fired, the bullet taking effect just behind the unfortunate man's left ear and death resulted almost immediately. Several hot heads talked of lynching the woman but good sense prevailed and she was handed over to the authorities.

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Mohave Miner, February 25, 1888

MURDER AT PEACH SPRINGS
Charles Hill, a Blacksmith in the Railroad Shops, Killed by a Prostitute.
On Wednesday of this week, between 12 and 1 o'clock, the frequenters of Somerset's saloon at Peach Springs were startled by a pistol shot, coming from the rear room. A rush was made by those in the saloon to the room, where a prostitute named Kitty Blonger was found with a smoking pistol in her hand and Charles Hill lying on the floor with a bullet in his brain. D. M. Fay was also in the room. Coroner Mollering held an inquest, and below we give the testimony of the witnesses.
"J. L. Rogers; residence Silver city, New Mexico, age, 21 years past, occupation, locomotive fireman. Me and Mr. Smith were playing a game of pool in J. T. Somerset's saloon in the village of Peach Springs, on the 22d day of February 1888, about half past one in the afternoon. Mr. Hill entered the saloon and said to me, I will bet you you are the best prize fighter in the town; he spoke to me a few minutes and then went towards the back of the house. I then heard a scuffle but could not at first locate it. I then heard a little racket in a back room attached to the rear of the building; in a few seconds thereafter I heard a pistol shot; myself, Mr. Smith, George and W. H. Henry immediately ran to the door of the room; the first words spoken was by W. H. Henry who said, it is Charley I believe. I saw the powder smoke coming out of the room and a woman was standing inside the room with a pistol in her hand. I do not know her name, have heard her called Kitty. I saw Mr. Hill laying on the floor in the room with his head laying in the door. I saw him bleeding very freely, saw his brains oozing out of the top of his head and blood running out of his ears; there was also a gentleman standing in the room; do not know his name, could recognize the man if I saw him; heard the woman Kitty say, "I have killed him; he broke into my room;" when I rushed up to the door I heard her say, "Don't come in;" the last remark was immediately after I heard the pistol shot; this was addressed to me and those who were with me."
"Daniel D. Welch; reside at Peach Springs, age, 36, occupation, miner. I was in the saloon of J. T. Somerset, on the 22d day of February, 1888; shortly after 12 o'clock at noon, I heard a scuffle but could not locate it; after locating the scuffle I went to the back room. I saw a man who was called Charley Hill laying on the floor with his head very near the door, he was bleeding near the top of his head, he was not then dead but breathing; did not see anybody in the room; a woman occupying a room in the back of Somerset's saloon in known to me by the name of Kitty Blonger."
"Geo. T. Smith; reside at Peach Springs, occupation saloon business; myself and J. L. Rogers were playing pool in J. T. Somerset's saloon. Mr. Chas. Hill passed through the saloon and through the partition door back of the saloon; this was between 12 and 1 o'clock, and he appeared to be in good humor and spirits; in probably two or three minutes I heard a scuffle which I finally located in a bed room back of the saloon. I then started for the bed room; when I got to the door I heard a woman say, "I have killed him but he busted my door in and I don't allow no --- of a --- to do that." I saw a pistol in her hand at that time. Mr. Hill was laying on the floor with his feet towards the bed and his head against the door-casing. I picked him up and straightened him out. I examined him and found him shot through the head; there was a gentleman in the room with her, I do not know him, the man was dressed but the woman was in her nightgown; the bed room door was open; Mr. Hill did not speak when I got to the room; do not know if the room was rented or leased to her or not."
"W. H. Henry; reside at Peach Springs, age 23, occupation brakeman; myself and Charles Hill had been together about one hour before we come into J. T. Somerset's saloon; he said, wait till I come back, I want to go to the water closet; he went out the partition door when I heard a scuffle in a bed room in the rear of the saloon; while going towards the bed room, I heard the report of a shot, the partition door in the rear of the saloon was shut; myself and Rogers and Smith started for the partition door in the rear of the saloon about the same time Mr. Smith opened the door. I then saw the bed room door and door in the back of the house both open and Charley Hill laying on his back in the room with his head in the door, he was bleeding about the middle of the head, with a woman named Kitty standing in the bed room with her nightclothes on; she had a pistol in her right hand; as soon as I got to the door the man Kitty said, "Get out," twice; also said, "He broke my door open and I killed him, and I don't allow no --- of a --- to break my door," and then went outside. I saw also a man in the room who I have heard called "Kid" Fay; he was dressed and standing back of her towards her left; did not hear any sound which sounded like the breaking open of a door."
"Geo. F. Smith recalled; did not hear any noise which sounded like breaking in of a door, nor a word spoken."
"Dayton M. Fay; residence Prescott, age 21, occupation gambler; a man came to the room door and asked to be let in, and Kitty Blonger replied that she was engaged, the man said open this door or I will kick it in, for I thought I was a lover of yours; she said, get away from there I will be out in a few minutes, for the man in here is a stranger to you; he then said, open this door or I will kick it in; I spoke up and said, you had better not kick it in; he replied, I will kick it in and you too; with that he kicked the door in; I then jumped up and grappled with him, while scuffling with him I heard a shot; not knowing that there was a gun in the room, I imagined it was in the saloon. I felt the man with whom I was scuffling relaxed his hold on me, and saw where he was shot. I even then could not tell that he had been shot until I turned around and saw a gun in the hands of the lady Kitty Blonger. I said, "My God, what have you done?" she replied, "I don't know, I have killed him." A crowd rushed in then. I have known Kitty Blonger about nine or ten months; she is known as a prostitute; the man did not speak after he was shot; we were both down on the floor scuffling."
The jury returned the following verdict:
PEACH SPRINGS, Ariz., Feb. 22, 1888.
"We the undersigned jury summoned for an inquest on the body of Charles Hill, find that he came to his death from a pistol shot fired from the hands of a woman called Kitty Blonger, on February 22, 1888.
J. N. COHENOUR, (foreman.)
J. RICHTER.
C. G. REYNOLDS.
W. B. DEMPSEY.
J. L. NELSON.
R. HERNEBERRY.
W. TRACKWELL.
JAS. BUCKLEY.
ALBERT CROOK."
After the examination, Kitty Blonger and D. M. Fay were brought to this place and put in jail.
On Thursday a charge of murder was brought by Prosecuting Attorney Eb. Williams, and the accused parties were brought before Justice of the Peace Funston, and an examination was set for Monday, the 27st inst.

LOCAL BREVITIES.
E. M. Sanford, the well-known Prescott attorney was in town Thursday. He is retained by Kitty Blonger and D. M. Fay, who are charged with the murder of Charles Hill at Peach Springs on Tuesday last.
Arrivals at the Kingman Hotel for the Week Ending This Day.
[at end of a list of 30 persons:]
L. Blonger

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Albuquerque Evening Citizen, February 27, 1888

Kitty Blonger, a sporting woman formerly of this city, killed a man named Hill, at Soda Springs, Arizona, a few days ago.

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Mohave Miner, March 3, 1888

LOCAL BREVITIES.
J. N. Cohenour and R. L. Frazier, of Peach Springs, spent several days here this week. They were witnesses in the Blonger-Fay examination.
The preliminary examination of Kitty Blonger and D. M. Fay, accused of the murder of Charles Hill at Peach Springs on the 22d day of February, 1888, took place before Justice of the Peace Funston this week. The examination occupied the greater portion of three days. District Attorney Williams represented the people and E. M. Sanford, Esq., of Prescott, the defendants. The evidence was taken in writing and James J. Hyde performed this arduous task. The following witnesses came their testimony: J. L. Rogers, Geo. T. Smith, J. N. Cohenour, J. L. Nelson, C. M. Walker, W. H. Henry, J. H. Mollering, Frank Peek, A. S. Coon, R. L. Frazier and James Wales. The evidence being sufficient to hold the defendants, they were committed to the Sheriff, and they probably will be tried at the April term of the District Court. James J. Hyde has been retained as an attorney in the case to assist Mr. Sanford in the defense.
Arrivals at the Kingman Hotel for the Week Ending This Day.
[in the middle of a list of 28 persons:]
L. Blonger, San Bernardino, Cal.

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Arizona Weekly Champion, March 3, 1888

At Peach Springs on Wednesday of last week a blacksmith named Hill while trying to forco an entrance to the room of Kitty Blonger was shot and instantly killed. "Kid" Fay, well known here, was in the room with Kitty, and although she claims to have done the shooting it is rumored that Fay fired the shot and has skipped out to escape arrest.

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Tombstone Epitath, March 3, 1888

DAYTON FAY IN HOC
Dayton Fay, son of A. E. Fay, a former resident of Tombstone is in jail in Kingman, charged with the murder of Charles Hill at Peach Springs, last week. Following is young Fay's testimony at the Coroner's inquest:
"My name is Dayton M. Fay; residence Prescott, age 21, occupation gambler; a man came to the room door and asked to be let in, and Kitty Blonger replied that she was engaged, the man said open this door or I will kick it in, for I thought I was a lover of yours; she said, get away from there I will be out in a few minutes, for the man in here is a stranger to you; he then said, open this door or I will kick it in; I spoke up and said, you had better not kick it in; he replied, I will kick it in and you too; with that he kicked the door in; I then jumped up and grappled with him, while scuffling with him I heard a shot; not knowing that there was a gun in the room, I imagined it was in the saloon. I felt the man with whom I was scuffling relaxed his hold on me, and saw where he was shot. I even then could not tell that he had been shot until I turned around and saw a gun in the hands of the lady Kitty Blonger. I said, "My God, what have you done?" she replied, "I don't know, I have killed him." A crowd rushed in then. I have known Kitty Blonger about nine or ten months; she is known as a prostitute; the man did not speak after he was shot; we were both down on the floor scuffling."

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Mohave Miner, April 7, 1888

ACQUITTED.
The Trial of Kitty Blonger for the Murder of Charles Hill.
On Thursday last in the District Court in the county the trial of Kitty Blonger for the murder of Charles Hill at Peach Springs on the 22d of February was commenced. The circumstances attending the killing of Hill, together with the threatened lynching of his slayer and "Kid" Fay, her paramour at the time, by the citizens of Peach Springs, and the additional fact that it was but the second instance in the history of the Territory where a woman had been placed on trial for her life, has been the means of attracting such general attention that the case will long be remembered as one of the causes celebre in the annals of Arizona courts.
Owing to a difficulty in empanelling a jury it was not until late Thursday that the following named gentlemen were sworn as jurors to try to the case: J. C. Potts, John E. Ryan, P. Caffrey, J. D. Bland, W. W. Clark, W. H. Jennings, Parker Holloway, Richard Taggart, John Burt, Thomas Steen, E. Ellibee and A. H. Smith.
The testimony introduced on behalf of the Territory differed but little from that given on the preliminary hearing of the defendant, being to the effect that Hill had, a short time previous to his death, born the relations of a favored friend of Miss Blonger, so far as the friendship of such women can be considered as favoring any special individual. On the day of the death, in company with a friend, he entered Somerset's saloon in Peach Springs, and passing directly through the saloon entered that portion of the building in which Miss Blonger roomed, and in the short space of a minute or two afterwards was killed by a pistol shot fired by the woman whose pet he had once been. Parties who were in the saloon at the time, and who were the first to reach Hill after his receiving the fatal wound, testified to his having been of a quiet and good-natured disposition generally, but that he was slightly under the influence of liquor at the time.
The testimony on the part of the defense claimed that the deceased had kicked in the door of Miss Blonger's room, against her protestations, and seizing "Kid" Fay, who was in bed with her at the time, and who had been a former lover of the defendant's in Prescott, was struggling with him, when she stood up in bed and fired downward, shooting Hill through the head just above the left ear. Both the defendant and Fay testified to these last mentioned facts, the last named giving his age as twenty-two, and describing his profession as a gambler; while the defendant herself, in delivering her testimony, did so with the most remarkable self-possession for a woman in her trying position. The case was ably argued at length by District Attorney Williams and Harris Baldwin, in behalf of the Territory, and E. M. Sanford, Esq., and J. J. Hyde, Esq., for the defendant. On Friday afternoon, after an exhaustive charge as to the law applicable to the case by the Court, the jury retired, and after being out for nearly three hours returned into court with a verdict of acquittal. For the first time during the entire trial Miss Blonger, on hearing the verdict, displayed the slightest emotion. The stoical indifference that throughout the trial enabled her to bear the most damaging testimony and the most scathing arguments of the prosecuting attorneys without moving a muscle or even changing color, gave way, and despite her strongest effort to retain her self-control her eyes filled with tears, which slowly, but silently coursed down her cheeks. On being discharged from the custody of the sheriff, immediately after the recording of the verdict, her self-control entirely gave way, and she was led from the room sobbing uncontrollably.
It is stated that she will at once return to her home in one of the Eastern States, where her parents are highly respected, and will endeavor by a life of future rectitude to redeem the past.
Important Legal Rulings.
During the present term of the District Court Judge Wright was called on to give a solution to several important and novel legal questions, involving the admission of certain classes of testimony in criminal trials.
. . .
The second important ruling was in the admission of certain depositions taken in the preliminary examination of Kitty Blonger for the murder of Charles Hill, under stipulation between District Attorney Williams and Mr. Sanford, who was defending Miss Blonger. The counsel opposed the reading of the deposition in evidence on the ground that the defendant had the constitutional right to be confronted on her trial by all the witnesses for the prosecution. The Court held that such right had been complied by the witnesses having been examined and their testimony reduced to writing in the presence of the defendant on the preliminary examination; and that as the testimony had been taken in strict compliance with Chapter III. of the Revised Statutes, being the law governing witnesses in criminal actions, that it was admissible.
COURT NOTES.
Hon. Harris Baldwin ably assisted District Attorney Williams in the Kitty Blonger case.
The Grand Jury ignored the charge of murder against D. M. Fay, as they did also the charge of forgery against James Wilson. 
A number of ladies listened to the argument in the Kitty Blonger case on Friday afternoon. They were attentive listeners.

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Tombstone Epitath, April 14, 1888

THE SOUTHWEST
The trial of Kitty Blonger for the murder of Charles Hill, at Peach Springs on February 22d last, resulted in her acquittal. Her trial in the District Court ended the 6th. The jury brought in their verdict of not guilty, and the judge informed them that their verdict was in accordance with the instructions of the Court. The woman was overcome by the verdict and wept. The Grand Jury failed to find an indictment against her paramour Kid Fay.

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Mohave Miner, January 18, 1890

The Journal Miner [of Jan. 10, 1890] says: — Dayton M. alias "Kid" Fay died at half past nine o'clock this morning. He was taken sick with the prevailing disease, about two weeks ago, and being addicted to the opium habit, it resulted fatally. Deceased was about 24 years of age, and was a son of A. E. Fay, an ex-Arizona legislator and a newspaper man well known both in Arizona and California. Young Fay will be remembered here as being connected with the Kitty Blonger murder trial.

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NOTE: The 1880 census lists Artemis Fay as an editor/publisher in Tombstone, Arizona. His son Dayton M. Fay, born in New York, was 13 years old at the time. By 1888, the elder Fay lived in Flagstaff and published the Arizona Champion, which in its abbreviated coverage of the trial noted tersely that Kid Fay is "well known here."


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Albuquerque Evening Citizen, April 9, 1888

Court Proceedings.
Territory vs. Mollie Blonger; maintaining a nuisance; pluries writ ordered, and scire facias.

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Aspen Weekly Times  June 22, 1889

Uncalled for letters remaining in the Aspen post office:
Blonger, Kitty

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Kate "Kitty" Blonger, aka Sadie Wilson, married Sam Blonger in Denver in 1889, days after his divorce from Ella Livingston. Within four years his violent, abusive behavior drove Kate to leave him. Shortly after their divorce, Sam married Virginia Pierrepont -- breaking a promise to wed Jesse Wheat (who then sued Sam for $25,000).


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Black Hills Daily Times (Deadwood, S.D.), February 26, 1893

Letters remaining in the Deadwood post office:
Blonger, Kittie

 

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