Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith II

Zeb the Duck here to tell you about Leadville, Colorado in the 1800’s.  Silver mines were profitable, and everybody was looking for fast money.  Prostitutes were plentiful, street merchants and entertainers were everywhere.  Even Doc Holiday was in Leadville; arrested twice in three days for attempted murder.  Con men were also very common on the streets of Leadville.

One of the con men was Jefferson Randolph Smith II.  He began selling soap.  He wrapped a $100 bill around a bar of soap, re-wrapping it with his own label, and placed it in a box with other bars of his “Sapolion” soap.  Walking into a saloon with the soap, his silent partner purchased a bar of soap and opened it in front of the saloon patrons.  What a surprise.  There was a crisp one hundred dollar bill under the wrapping! Needless to say soap sales escalated at a phenomenal rate for “Soapy”.

Soapy soon left town, (a necessary move) relocating in Creede, Colorado and then to Alaska where he was killed in a gunfight on July 8, 1898.  Leadville will always remember “Soapy” Smith.

Now you know why JB Duck, Eider Duck, myself (Zeb the Duck) and the little ducks always have to watch our “Soapy” Smith Duck.  He is quite the scoundrel.

No sapolion soap for our Soapy Smith Duck

No sapolion soap for our Soapy Smith Duck

This information was from

4 thoughts on “Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith II

  1. Soapy Smith was actually in Leadville a very short time. In 1879 he moved to Denver, Colorado and made it his home until 1895. He did go to Creede in 1892 but returned to Denver after the silver rush there petered out. He traveled all around the towns and cities of the west, including places like Tombstone, Arizona. He went to Alaska in 1896 and Skagway, Alaska in 1897-98. He was killed on July 8, 1898 in the shootout on Juneau Wharf.

    You can learn more about Soapy on my website,

    Jeff Smith
    great-grandson of Soapy

  2. Excellent article. Keep writing such kind of information on your
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