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Re: Doc Baggs
Mon May 20, 2013 7:43am

Hello, Bob.

Thank you for posting.

Soapy Smith and Charles Baggs were two different types of confidence men. Baggs went after the one big single haul while Smith went after the numerous smaller swindled amounts. Do not confuse Bagss as being a more profitable sharper than Smith. Those "smaller" hauls added up quickly. At the time of his death it was estimated by his wife that he was worth about $40,000,000. The main difference between Baggs and Smith in those early days was one of legal attention. Baggs' large robberies caught the attentions of every newspaper and law man in the country, whereas, Smith's smaller, but more numerous profits were not noted, except by the officers and newsmen at that location. While Baggs had to stay "on the move," Smith was able to settle down and make a home for himself.

The fact that Denver was home to Baggs for some time suggests that he did not operate larger cons in Colorado. It is not known if Smith and Baggs worked together, or were considered competitors. They were probably not actually competitors as their choice of prey were different.

Bob, you write that it has

been stated Baggs' father was Charles S. Bagg (singular). I am wondering where you heard this information. I know that a Kenny Vail professes to be an expert on Baggs but Mr. Vail has a debatable reputation regarding facts. Is there another source for this? I am also curious where you obtained your other information on this interesting confidence man. I can't pretend to be an expert on the man, however I did do some research for my Soapy book, and made a few blog posts on his history as well.

Baggs history
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Other posts include
Morgan Earp and Baggs

Baggs in discussed in my book Alias Soapy Smith on pages 61-62, 72, 75-76, 80, 82, 85, 88, 90, 135, 242, and 254.

Jeff Smith

  • Doc BaggsBob Rybolt, Wed May 15 7:37am
    Soapy took over from chales L. "Doc" Baggs, in Denver. The 1880 Colorado census listed charles L. Baggs as living in Araphoe County with his wife Carrie, born in NY and occupation as farmer. It also... more
    • Re: Doc Baggs — Jeff Smith, Mon May 20 7:43am
      • Doc BaggsBob Rybolt, Mon May 20 12:15pm
        As near as I can figure Chales Stanley Bagg was born in 1816 at either Sotos or Sotos Point, NY (both were shaker colonies. I'm certian he was a Montana legislator (and lawyer) our of Deer Lodge and... more
        • Thank you! As a hardcore historian I ...Jeff Smith, Mon May 20 3:58pm
          Thank you very much Bob! As a hardcore historian I would love to see all your information. I have all the faith in the world in your skills, however, anyone can be easily led in the wrong direction... more
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