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Alias Soapy Smith

Lou's Probate.



Denver Post, April 22, 1924

Document Embodies Fervent Request That His Attorneys Push Appeal Now Pending in State Supreme Court to Reverse Conviction.
That Lou Blonger, who died in the Canon City penitentiary Sunday, nursed to his dying moment the hope that his name would be cleared of the stigma attached to it when he and his companions in the nationwide bunco ring were found guilty last April, is indicated by one paragraph of Blonger's will which was filed in the Denver county court, Tuesday.
This paragraph embodies a fervent request that Blonger's attorneys and friends push his appeal in the supreme court in an effort to have the verdict of the lower court set aside.
In accordance with the request, attorneys, Tuesday, were delving into the law to determine what effect Blonger's death will have on the appeal. If it is found possible to prosecute the appeal and thereby get a final determination of Blonger's guilt or innocence, the appeal will be pushed.
Blonger's will, a brief document leaving all his worldly goods to his widow, Nola Blonger, and providing for the payment of his just debts and his burial in Mount Olivet cemetery, was written in the penitentiary March 24. But, in order that the document might leave no hint to posterity of his sojourn behind prison walls, it was written on the stationery of the Strathmore hotel, Canon City, and dated simply "Canon City."
It was drawn by Attorney John J. Morrissey of the Denver law firm of Morrissey, Mahoney & Scofield, and was witnessed by George Ashler and C. J. Jameson, two of the prison guards. Blonger's signature was shakily written, attesting his feeble health at the time.
The document stipulated that Mrs. Blonger be sole executor, to serve without bond, and makes her sole heir for all his property, real and personal. The value of the old man's estate is problematical. He has an orchard near Golden, estimated to be worth $75,000, some mining property and two parcels of city real estate. The ranch and the real estate he conveyed to his wife before he went to the penitentiary.
Three court judgments stand against the estate, a $17,000 judgment obtained in Judge Moore's court by John S. Peck of Kentucky, one of the bunco victims, a judgment obtained by District Attorney Van Cise for part of the cost of the bunco trial, amounting to about $16,000, and a lien by the government for taxes for a small amount.
A suit is pending in Jefferson county to set aside the conveyance of the orchard near Golden to Mrs. Blonger. Just what the outcome of the suit will be is problematical, and it is impossible to determine how much property the widow eventually will get. While the will provided that he be buried in Mount Olivet cemetery, it was announced Tuesday that interment will be in the Blonger family plot at Fairmount.
Altho he died behind the bleak gray walls of the state penitentiary, to the hundreds of people who have already crowded into the funeral parlors of W. P. Horan and Sons, 1527 Cleveland place, for a farewell gaze at Lou Blonger, he is just the old, pleasant Lou, always ready to extend a helping hand to any unfortunate.
Few men have left behind them such a host of friends from every class in society. When the word went out Saturday evening that Blonger was dying at the penitentiary his intimate friends in Denver were deluged with calls inquiring after the aged pioneer.
The body had hardly been received by Horan's Monday, when the vanguard of a never-ending stream of people reached the funeral parlors with the request that they be allowed to look for the last time upon the face of their friend.
There in a little side room of the establishment they came all day Monday, and again on Tuesday, by twos and threes, and alone, to file past the big mahogany casket, the only object in the room, and gaze at the kindly quizzical face for a few seconds until crowded on by new arrivals.
From every walk of life they came. Men and women, well dressed and poorly dressed, refined and uncouth, the banker and the society matron, the scrub woman and the shuffling outcast from nowhere in particular, to pay their last respects to Lou Blonger.
The morbidly curious element that generally throngs to such a scene is absent in this case. All seem to have been friends of Blonger, and their visit is one of respect. For practically every one of these visitors has at some time received some kindness from his hands. Forgotten is the bitterly fought trial of a year ago, the verdict of the jury and the sentence of the judge as they remember only what they owe to "Lou."
But there are some who may not visit the parlors and gaze on their old friend again. Tuesday orders from these, some of them from Canon City, were pouring in for flowers.
From 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon until the funeral Wednesday morning, the body will lie in state in the chapel at Horan's. There it may be viewed at any time. Already hundreds have passed before the coffin but the undertaker is making special arrangements to handle a greater crowd.
The funeral services will begin at the Cathedral at the Immaculate Conception at 9 o'clock Wednesday morning. Following the services Blonger will be buried in the family plot at Fairmount cemetery. The pallbearers will be old friends of Blonger and his comrades of the Civil War period, the G. A. R., will attend in a body.




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