A Baby Doe, Silver Queen and Futile Mission


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Silver King Horace

Silver King Horace

On This Date in History: 

Augusta...Quite the Looker!

Augusta...Quite the Looker!

In the 19th Century, many fortunes were found from the treasures of the earth.  Of course, there were those who got lucky in gold fever and then there were those who has silver in their veins.  One silver king was Colorado Lt. Governor Horace Tabor.  He enjoyed his wealth but his wife of two decades, Augusta, had remebered the early poverty of their marriage beore they struck it rich and lived in fear of being poor. She was frugal, he was a spendthrift.   So, she stayed on his case about money. 

In 1880, a young divorced woman who was five foot two with an outstanding figure, golden curls and eyes of blue arrived in Leadville, Colorado.  Sounds like a potential hire at a local TV station.  Anyway, she was quite a piece of eye-candy and had all the charms of the fairer sex.  For some reason, the old silver king was in Leadville at the time.  It is no wonder why he became smitten and fell instantly in love.  Wasting no time, Tabor got a secret and quickie divorce from his nagging wife and in September of 1882, he married Elizabeth Bonduel McCourt Doe.  She became known as Baby Doe.

Tabor Traded Up with Baby Doe

Tabor Traded Up with Baby Doe

On March 1, 1883 I guess the couple wanted to make it more official and were married by a priest in Washington D.C.  I know there is a law against being married to two people at once, but I wonder how many times you can get married to the same person.  But, the Washington social scene was non-plussed by the new love-birds and government wives stayed away from the wedding.  President Chester Alan Arthur did show up along with some others who called the ceremony “pcturesquely vulgar.”    Well, things weren’t too different than they are today except today we have instant communications technology.  So, back then it took awhile for the gossip pages to reach across the nation and soon news spread of the first secret St. Louis wedding.  The priest was quite upset that he was deceived.  The public seemed to gasp in unison as more details came out, including the quickie divorce in Durango, Colorado that was immediatly deemed as being illegal.  Nevertheless, the Tabors returned to Denver.

1893 Panic Caused Banks to Collapse...Sound Familiar?

1893 Panic Caused Banks to Collapse...Sound Familiar?

The reception in society circles wasn’t much better there than in the nation’s capital as they lived ostentatiously with sneers, jeers and snubs from the well to do.  That is until 1893 when the silver king turned to lead.  His finances collapsed as the country fell into an economic depression.   Maybe he should have listened to Augusta because Tabor had to go back to pushing a wheel barrow at the slag-heap.  Some old political friends came to the rescue though and got him appointed as the Denver postmaster.  Coincidentally, the his office was in a building that sat on land that had been previously donated by Tabor.  Rather ironic, I would say.  Now, these socialites all just assumed that Baby Doe was a gold digger and she would leave the old man when the finances dried up.  But, the upturned noses were surprised that the young beauty stayed with him.

Tabor ended up leaving her for good in 1899 when he died.  He had told her to “hold on to the Matchless” which was a reference to a mine that he still owned.  So, she took her two daughter to Leadville.    She made it her mission to follow her husband’s last wishes.  So devoted to that mission was she that her daughters grew weary.  One left and renounced the family for eternity while the other ran off to die in a Chicago slum. 

Matchless? More Like Worthless!

Matchless? More Like Worthless!

Kinda gives you an idea of how rotten things were in Leadville.  Still, Baby Doe pressed on.  She worked the mine by day and was filled with visions each night of Tabor, the devil, Jesus Chirst and her daughters…though I’m not so sure there was any connection between them.  She toiled in poverty for 35 years, still scorned by those who thought her love of Tabor was so scandalous.  On this date in 1935, a 72 hour blizzard ended in Colorado and the frozen body of Baby Doe was found on the floor of the shack in which she lived next to the Matchless Mine.  Her arms were found outstretched in the form of a cross.  Seems to me that the mine should have been called the “Worthless Mine.”

Let this be a lesson….make sure that if you take up a mission in life, make certain that it is worthwhile and not worthless.  Also, carrying a torch for the past will often leave you in the past.  The trouble with a memory is that it focuses on what has happened and not what is yet to come.  In the words of the Great Professor…Press On!

SPC Severe Outlook Sunday 8AM to Monday 8 AM

SPC Severe Outlook Sunday 8AM to Monday 8 AM

Weather Bottom Line:  Really not much change.  Yesterday I posted the severe outlook for Saturday morning to Sunday morning but it seemed like to me that the better chance was late Sunday.  The wave of energy running along the boundary seemed like it would be pretty far north and even west.  Well, the boys at the SPC have come around.  The severe risk for Saturday through Sunday not only remains west, but a little farther west and north than it was called for yesterday.  As that wave goes by, the front will advance Southeast a bit.  So, when the next, stronger wave rolls through Sunday afternoon and evening, it will be closer to our area.  Hence, we are on the edge of the slight risk for severe storms.  In all liklihood, we will only get some t’storms with some gusty winds.  The best dynamics should be well north and west as the surface low will track from just north of St. Louis to Chicago.  Once that goes by, some cooler but still above average air will sift in.  By late Wednesday,we have another chance for rain with a cold front.  That will provide decidedly colder air for Thursday and Friday with a warm up beginning on Saturday afternoon.  I would think at this point we’ll see afternoon highs on Thursday and Friday in the low 40’s…so its not too bad…but nothing like the upper 70’s on Saturday.  So, enjoy the spring-like Saturday while you can…and remember to move your clocks ahead on Saturday night.

  DAY 3 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK 
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   0228 AM CST FRI MAR 06 2009
  
   VALID 081200Z – 091200Z
  
   …THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS THE MIDWEST/LOWER OH
   VALLEY AND MID-SOUTH…
  
   …MIDWEST/OHIO VALLEY/MID-SOUTH…
   VARIABILITY EXISTS AMONGST 00Z SUITE OF NUMERICAL MODELS…BUT
   GENERAL CONSENSUS SUGGESTS A RELATIVELY COMPACT/NEGATIVELY TILTED
   SHORTWAVE TROUGH WILL ADVANCE NORTHEASTWARD ACROSS THE UPPER MIDWEST
   ON SUNDAY. ONGOING EARLY DAY TSTMS COULD POSE A SEVERE HAIL THREAT
   ACROSS PORTIONS OF IA/MO/IL AND PERHAPS INDIANA. WITH COLD PROFILES
   ALOFT/STEEP MID LEVEL LAPSE RATES ATTENDANT TO THE UPPER
   TROUGH…GRADUAL DIURNAL DESTABILIZATION/NEAR-SURFACE SOUTHWESTERLY
   MOISTURE INFLUX OF NEAR 60F DEWPOINTS AND UNSEASONABLY WARM
   TEMPERATURES SHOULD LEAD TO AN UPSWING IN TSTM INTENSITY BY LATE
   MORNING/EARLY AFTERNOON AHEAD OF THE ADVANCING SURFACE LOW/COLD
   FRONT. SEVERE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY
   RISKS…ALTHOUGH AN ISOLATED TORNADO CANNOT BE RULED OUT.
  
   …ARKLATEX VICINITY…
   THE SEVERE THREAT APPEARS MUCH MORE CONDITIONAL WITH SOUTHWESTWARD
   EXTENT ACROSS THE ARKLATEX VICINITY ON SUNDAY. ALTHOUGH STRONG WIND
   FIELDS ALOFT WILL REMAIN JUXTAPOSED ATOP UPPER 50S TO AROUND 60F
   SURFACE DEWPOINTS…WEAKENING FRONTAL CONVERGENCE ALONG THE STALLING
   COLD FRONT…AND WEAK/AMORPHOUS LARGE SCALE FORCING IN THE WAKE OF
   THE MIDWEST UPPER TROUGH…LEAD TO CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY
   REGARDING THE POTENTIAL EXTENT/MAGNITUDE OF ANY SEVERE THREAT. AN
   APPRECIABLY ORGANIZED SEVERE RISK IS NOT EXPECTED AT THIS TIME
   ACROSS THE ARKLATEX REGION…BUT WILL MAINTAIN 5% SEVERE
   PROBABILITIES WITH A REEVALUATION IN SUBSEQUENT OUTLOOKS.
  
   ..GUYER.. 03/06/2009

3 Responses

  1. Hey, I just did a search of your name in google and came across this blog. I haven’t been able to read it since it was taken off of the wlky website. I am glad that i found it. Reading your blog was one of the highlights of my day.

  2. Glad you found it. As you can tell, I’m alive and well. Feel free to chime in and put in your two cents.

  3. Great article! I’m loving your website;

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