Deadwood, SD: Edward L. Senn, 1939.
Softcover. Very good. Pamphlet, 4 x 7 inches, 23 pp, in original self-wrappers. Some staining to front wrapper, otherwise very good. Scarce biography of the first preacher of any denomination in the gold camps of the Black Hills. A Methodist preacher and Civil War veteran originally from Connecticut, Smith (1827-1876) began preaching in the Black Hills in May, 1876. Just three months later, he was murdered while walking from Deadwood to preach. "He had not been robbed, causing his death to be generally attributed to Indians, although some still believed he was killed by thieves. Another theory, however, held that he was murdered by a person or persons representing the saloons, brothels, casinos, and other 'vice dens' of Deadwood, who feared that his preaching would cut into their income" (wiki). Senn reviews the known facts about the case and concludes that the questions of who committed the murder and why "probably never will be answered to a certainty." He also describes the funeral arrangements and the erection of a monument to Smith in 1914.