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Alias Soapy Smith

End Of The Blongers.

May Their Wandering Souls Rest in Peace.


Sam's Death (1914)

When Sam Blonger died in 1914, he was not a wealthy man, but he probably lived quite comfortably. He filed his will in 1908, probably as the prolonged illness that took his life was deepening, and named his wife Virginia as executrix and sole heir. The final tabuation of his estate, which was one-half of their total estate, was $24,727. The couple owned six lots in Block 3 of the Park Hill Heights subdivision of Denver, and 4,500 shares of the Auraria Mining company, which ran the Forest Queen mine.

In addition, Sam had loaned money at interest to the following people: $3,100 to James, George, and Martha J. Malone; $13,000 to Nannie E. Smith, Clarence L. Smith, and Ada Evans, assumed by S.G. Hamlin; $4,000 to the Western Casket Manufacturing Company; $1,100 to James B. Slack; $3,500 to James O. Grout; $2,500 to O.M. Webster; $2,500 to Robert H. McKenzie; $3,000 to Mary R. and Joseph Graves; and $1,500 to William N. Clark.

Sam also owed smaller sums to several people, including $78 to his brother Lou, and $750 to Thomas Ward, Jr., who was Lou Blonger's personal attorney during the 1923 trial.


Simon's Death & Descendants (1920)

Sometime between 1900 and 1910, Simon Blonger moved from Colorado to Washington to live with his daughters, Laura McLean and Emma Sandhofer. In 1910, the census shows the trio living in the village of Wilkeson, in the hills east of Tacoma, along with Laura's husband, Peter, a coal miner.

Over the next few years the city directories of Seattle followed Simon to 2403 Western Avenue (1915), 9 McGraw Street (1917), and 6647 Corson Avenue (1919). It's uncertain whether he lived with the rest of his family during this period, but by 1920, in failing health, he was moved to the County Almshouse. He passed away in King County Hospital on June 21, 1920, at the age of 84.

Simon Blonger was cremated and thus has no headstone. No probate record has been found. 

So far as can be determined from census records, neither of Simon's daughters had children.


Lou's Death (1924)

Lou Blonger died in prison on April 20, 1924. As the articles suggest, his visitation and funeral were huge public events in Denver, attended by friends who came from all walks of life. He was laid to rest in Fairmount Cemetery, although his will specified that he be buried at Mt. Olivet. Perhaps the Catholic Church refused to allow his burial on sacred ground, considering that Lou had divorced and remarried. Lou's headstone at Fairmount is near the main entrance off Quebec Street. Drive past the adminsitration building and as you enter the cemetery, Lou's grave is in the first section to the left.

Lou's probate is of little interest. He knew he was dying for some time, and before he went to prison, signed over almost all of his property to his wife Nola. The probate record contains his will, scrawled in a shaky hand just a few days before his death, and a bill signed by District Attorney Philip Van Cise for Lou's share of the trial expenses: $1,178.75. Nola, the executrix of the will, did not contest payment.

Lou Blonger had no children and no descendants.


Michael's Death (1924)

Michael died on Dec. 21, 1924, just eight months after his brother Lou.

Michael and his wife Mary Quinn had nine daughters and one son, and their descendants are documented in the Genealogy section of this Web site. 


Marvin's Death & Descendants (1927)

After years of mining alone in Philipsburg, Marvin Blonger retired to the care of his younger daughter Ollie in 1924, about the time his brothers Lou and Michael were dying. Ollie lived with her husband Roy Buick in Dunsmuir, California, in the shadow of Mount Shasta. There Marvin held on for three years until he finally succumbed on October 26, 1927. He was buried in Dunsmuir Cemetery.

Roy and Ollie Buick had one child, Leila, who also had one child, Jere Renoud, who died childless in 1986.

Marvin's older daughter, Abbie, had two sons, Harold and Edward Kervin.  Harold was also apparently childless, if his obituary is correct. When Harold died in 1975, his brother Edward lived in Grass Valley, Cal. Edward died in 1978 in Nevada, according to the California death index, but it has not been determined if he had any descendants.

Marvin's probate has not been researched.


Joe's Death (1933)

According to the Armstrong account, Joe Belonger, while in his nineties, was murdered on the streets of Seattle by a knife-wielding Mexican. His death certificate, however, indicates that Joe died from a coronary thrombosis on July 8, 1933, after some four days under the care of Dr. Al Jordan. The portion of the death certificate reserved for "death due to external causes (violence)" is blank. If Joe ever had such a run-in, it apparently did not lead to his demise.

Instead, Joe's pension file details a slow and agonizing slide toward incapacity and death. Joe first entered a veterans' home in 1908, at Los Angeles, when he was just sixty years old. He had married only six years before, but was probably divorced by this time. He bounced around for many years, landing in the Colorado Soldiers and Sailors Home in Monte Vista, then apparently living with his brother Lou in Denver for a while (or at least receiving his mail there), then later at the veterans' home in Leavenworth, Kansas. His pension file shows he was admitted to the Battle Mountain Sanitarium in Hot Springs, South Dakota, in 1917, and there he stayed for over a decade.

At some point prior to 1930 he moved to Seattle, probably to live with his niece, Emma Sandhofer. As Joe's condition continued to decline, she shipped him out to a woman named Inga Dunn, who took care of him in return for his monthly pension check. When Mrs. Dunn found herself in the hospital one day, her friend, V. M. Walbridge, took over Joe's care (and check).  Upon her recovery Mrs. Dunn showed up at the Walbridge house with a wheelchair and "two lusty men" who intended to move Joe back, by force if necessary, but Joe insisted he was happy with the Walbridges, and there he stayed. The Veterans Department had to intercede to retrieve Joe's pension certificate from Mrs. Dunn.

Joe's final year or two found him bedridden, incontinent, waiting to die. In July, 1933, he developed gangrene in his foot and was moved to Harborview Hospital, where he finally succumbed three days later. He was cremated and thus has no headstone.



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