Frank Reid had a varied life and career. A Union soldier during the Civil War, he was trained as an engineer before becoming a teacher in Oregon. In 1897, he headed to Alaska for the Klondike Gold Rush and became a barkeep in Skagway—working for legendary con-man Soapy Smith. Reid also became town surveyor and helped map out the town.
He also was a vigilante, and July 8, 1898, he confronted his old boss Soapy. The two exchanged shots. Reid died 12 days later. Another vigilante finished off Smith with his own rifle.