Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Skagway in Skagway Borough, Alaska — The American West (Northwest)
 

Fatal Duel

 
 
Fatal Duel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jeff Smith, July 8, 1998
1. Fatal Duel Marker
Inscription. Frank Reid, guarding the approach to Sylvester's Wharf, where the vigilantes were meeting to restore law and order, shot "Soapy Smith" who failed to stop when challenged, July 8, 1898.
 
Erected 1998.
 
Location. 59° 27.257′ N, 135° 19.196′ W. Marker is in Skagway, Alaska, in Skagway Borough. Marker is at the intersection of Second Avenue and State Street, on the right when traveling east on Second Avenue. Touch for map. Located on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and State Street. Marker is in this post office area: Skagway AK 99840, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jeff. Smith’s Parlor (within shouting distance of this marker); Arctic Brotherhood Camp Skagway (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Skagway and White Pass (about 500 feet away); Skagway Centennial Statue (about 500 feet away); Inspector Charles Constantine (about 500 feet away); Three Thousand Pack Animals (about 500 feet away); Bank of Alaska (approx. ¼ mile away); Mollie Walsh (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Skagway.
 
Regarding Fatal Duel. Note the marker states the gunfight took place on Sylvester's Wharf. It actually
Jefferson “Soapy” Smith standing at bar in saloon in Skagway, Alaska. July 1898 image. Click for full size.
Source: US Library of Congress via Wikipedia Commons
2. Jefferson “Soapy” Smith standing at bar in saloon in Skagway, Alaska. July 1898
took place on Juneau Company Wharf.
 
Also see . . .
1. Soapy Smith Preservation Trust. Alias Soapy Smith, king of the frontier con men, boss of the bunco brotherhood. (Submitted on December 17, 2008, by Jeff Smith of Corona, California.) 

2. The port of Skagway , Wikipedia entry. Between 1897-1898, Skagway was a lawless town, described by one Canadian Mountie as "little better than a hell on earth." Fights, prostitutes and liquor were ever-present on Skagway's streets. The most colorful resident of this period was bad man Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith. He was a sophisticated swindler who liked to think of himself as a kind and generous benefactor to the needy. He had gracious manners and he gave money to widows and stopped lynchings, while at the same time operating a ring of thieves who swindled prospectors with cards, dice, and the shell game. His telegraph office charged five dollars to send a message anywhere in the world. [$5 in 1898 is the equivalent of more than $2700 today.] (Submitted on December 22, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

3. Wikipedia entry for the Shootout on Juneau Wharf. “The duel ended with both Smith and Reid being fatally shot – Smith was shot in the heart and died shortly afterwards, and Reid dying 12 days later due to injuries from
The <i>Skaguay News,</i> Friday, July 15, 1898 image. Click for full size.
Source: The Skagway News via Wikipedia Commons
3. The Skaguay News, Friday, July 15, 1898
“Soapy Smith’s Last Bluff Called by Frank Reid. Armed with a Winchester he endeavors to intimidate a large meeting of Indignant Citizens on the Third Wharf. Dead in a moment — shot through heart. The jail quickly filled with members of “Soapy’s” Gang by citizens armed with Winchesters. Brave Frank Reid seriously wounded. The inquest, aftermaths and notes.”
the fight. The fight was the result of a power struggle for control of the town of Skagway, which at the time was booming during the Klondike Gold Rush.” (Submitted on July 23, 2011, by Jeff Smith of Corona, California.) 
 
Additional keywords. Soapy Smith, Frank Reid, Skagway, Alaska
 
Categories. HeroesLandmarksNotable EventsNotable Persons
 
Gravesite of Frank Reid - Hero of Skagway image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 1996
4. Gravesite of Frank Reid - Hero of Skagway
Reads, "He gave his life for the honor of Skagway"
Jefferson "Soapy" Smith Gravesite image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 1996
5. Jefferson "Soapy" Smith Gravesite
Died July 8, 1898
Aged 38 years
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 14, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 17, 2008, by Jeff Smith of Corona, California. This page has been viewed 3,235 times since then and 170 times this year. Last updated on April 5, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was the Marker of the Week July 8, 2018. Photos:   1. submitted on December 17, 2008, by Jeff Smith of Corona, California.   2, 3. submitted on July 7, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   4, 5. submitted on December 22, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
Paid Advertisement We are suspending Amazon.com advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.