Running the Con in Denver

Lou Blonger

The Blonger brothers even outdid Soapy Smith.

Lou Blonger and his brother Sam had a lot of experience in running Old West saloons, dancehalls and gambling parlors in the decades after the Civil War. Around 1890, they moved to Denver and built a comprehensive criminal ring based on con games and bribery of public officials. The Blongers had a competitor: the legendary Soapy Smith. Smith had been there more than a decade but was the victim of his own temper and a government crackdown on his activities. By 1897, Soapy had moved to Alaska. The Blongers ran Denver for 25 years.

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