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"To differentiate mythology from fact"



Upon the world he made his mark, and

from him we learn how not to be one.”
                                                                                                                                Jeff Smith


The Soapy Smith Preservation Trust is a sanctioned voice for the Smith family* regarding Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith. The website, Friends of Bad Man Soapy Smith, is a subsidiary and the official mouthpiece of the foundation, whose main purpose is for the distribution of information in regards to Soapy Smith. 

The family established the Soapy Smith Preservation Trust to:
  • Represent the descendants viewpoint
  • Preserve and disseminate the factual history
  • Correct misinformation and curtail intentional fabrications

The Trust was originally formed in 1985 under the name, the Soapy Smith Collection, whose membership consisted of family members who had inherited the main portions of the family artifacts and documents.  In June 2006 it was expanded and renamed to accommodate all members of the Smith family with an interest in the history of the entire bloodline.

Why a Trust? 

It is very likely Soapy Smith kept most, if not all, of his correspondences, personal, business documents and letters. These have been preserved by members of the Smith family. Inclusive, the family has invested over one hundred years in researching and investigating the life of this infamous bad man. Being the primary and foremost source of information we therefore feel we should be recognized in the historical community as the leading voice on the factual events of Soapy Smith's life.


Jeff Smith, President

Geri Murphy, Vice President
Ellen Rafeedie, Family History Director
Erik Andersen, Family History Vice Director
Jeanie Shaftner, Newnan, Georgia Family Site Curator
John “Grub” Culligan, Historical Weapons Analyst

Board of Trustees
James Smith, Senior Manager
Mildred "Bunny" Godard

Art Petersen
Cheryl Jenkins
Members who have supported this site financially
(in alphabetical order)

Tad Brunton, g-grandson of Soapy
Jim Caraway, g-grandson of Soapy
Jay Hartzell, g-g-grandson of Soapy
Art Petersen
Ellen Rafeedie, cousin twice removed of Soapy

*The Trust does not claim to represent 100% of the Smith family


"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton,
you may as well make it dance."
                                               —George Bernard Shaw



Become a member of The Friends of Soapy Smith and receive up-to-date information on history and modern events as they pertain to Soapy and the rest of the Smith family. This is all by email. You don't need to be a family member; just interested in Soapy Smith's history. Best of all it's FREE! In fact, if you join today we will give you the one dollar bill below!

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A list of things to do and wish for

1.) Start maintenance of the Soapy Smith Skull Memorial on the hillside by the Skagway wharf, erected in 1920.
2.) Start a fund drive for maintenance of the Soapy grave site and to replace the fence surrounding it.
3.) DNA testing on Soapy's lock of hair on display at the Alaska State museum in Juneau.
4.) DNA on blood taken from the ascot/tie worn by Soapy the night of the shooting (July 8 1898). On display in the city museum, Skagway, Alaska.
5.)  Have a marker placed on the grave of Jefferson Randolph Smith III (there is no marker).


Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel


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