5Artwork of a Gunfight5

This painting by Stan Galli was illustrated in the August, 1958 issue of True magazine for an article entitled Showdown for a Conman. It is the best example of the moments preceeding the infamous gunfight between Soapy Smith and Frank Reid.

This drawing by H. M. Eaton, published in Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly magazine, January, 1901 is the earlist known drawing of the gunfight. 

One of the more accurate versions of the Smith/Reid gunfight comes from The Streets Were Paved With Gold by Stan Cohen, 1987.

Drawing from the Winnipeg Free Press, May 9, 1964, "Life & Death of Skagway's Soapy Smith." A very good likeness of Soapy, minus the boots. Soapy wore business attire shoes.

One of the least authentic renditions comes from the Reader's Digest condensed book, Tara Kane.  The illustrator, Guy Deel, made numerous mistakes, such as Frank Reid having the rifle rather than Soapy and the distance between the two combantants being much too far apart and the location does not look much like a wharf.

Drawing by Rudy J. Ripley for the Mike Miller's Soapy, 1970. Great drawing but Soapy and Frank Reid are way to far apart. Frank Reid 's left hand was holding Soapy's rifle barrel when he was shot.

This early drawing was done by James Lynch an artist for the Rocky Mountain News in 1932.

                                                                                   courtesy of Look & Learn Magazine

A nice rendition by artist Graham Coton for an article on Soapy Smith in the February 23, 1980 edition of Look and Learn Magazine.

Photo by Andrew Cremata, Skagway News

(Click on painting to enlarge)

Restoration of a gold rush era building uncovered a mural the week of October 26, 2007. After paneling was removed from the walls of Moe’s Frontier Bar, a mural by Bea O’Daniel (now Lingle) completed in May 1951 was revealed. The painting stretches around the perimeter of the main bar room and includes a detailed panoramic scene of Skagway in 1900 and separate pieces showing gold seekers ascending the Chilkoot Trail’s Golden Staircase and a Canadian Mountie on horseback atop a mountain. The above portion shows the Soapy Smith/Frank Reid gunfight.

The mural was covered up in the late 1960s or early 1970s. There are currently no plans to salvage it.

The Truth Be Told

The most recent art piece comes from John "Grub" Culligan, our Historical Weapons Analyst. It is the only currently published art that shows Jesse Murphy shooting Soapy Smith rather than Frank Reid.    

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