Lou "The Fixer" Blonger
(May 13, 1849 - April 20, 1924)
"They framed me. I'm an old man and I never hurt anybody, but they framed me."
~Lou Blonger, 1923.
Born in 1849, Lou enlisted in the Union Army at age 15 as a fifer. He hitched his wagon to older brother Sam's star and went west with him in 1867 to seek his fortune. The Blonger Bros. supplied drinks, gambling, and entertainment in the boomtowns of Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado during the 1870s and 1880s, meanwhile gambling with western legends like the Earps, Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, Luke Short, Frank Thurmond and Lottie Deno.
Blonger served as a Deputy Marshal of New Albuquerque under his brother Sam, and protected Earp and Holliday for a few days as Acting Marshal in April of 1882.
Finally settling in Denver in the 1880s, they ran numerous saloons and policy shops on Larimer Street and later Stout Street. Along with Sam, Lou owned various valuable mining claims over the years, including Cripple Creek's Forest Queen, on Ironclad Hill.
Blonger influenced elections and political appointments, and by the mid-1890s he developed a protection racket that shielded Denver con men from prosecution until 1922, when the operation was shut down by the city's Populist district attorney, Philip Van Cise. Convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud, he died in Canon City Penitentiary in 1924.
Lou Blonger is buried in Fairmount Cemetery, Denver.
Information compiled by Scott and Craig Johnson
Books About Lou Blonger
Fighting the Underworld by Philip S. Van Cise
This book details Lou's bunko operation in Denver, the investigation against him, and his eventual arrest and imprisonment.