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Tabor Triangle - Page 5
Horace and Baby Doe Tabor, the years following their marriage were a
constant whirlwind. The
were yielding millions of dollars in silver, especially the Chrysolite and
Matchless Mines. The Matchless Mine alone, produced over 9 million
Tabors continued to enjoy their expensive
parties, distant travels, and lavish nights at the newly built Tabor Grand
Opera house. In addition, campaigns for political office (not to mention
jewelry, furs, and gowns of the finest silk and lace for
Baby Doe and
their two young daughters) occupied much of
Tabor's time and money. The
grew by the day and being too vast to count, allowed the
opened his wallet for investments in more silver mines, new companies
that needed capital, and some risky deals that did not land a dime in
profits. The ten golden years between 1883 and 1893 were filled with
endless possibility for
Horace and Baby Doe.
The Matchless Mine in 1853, courtesy Denver Public Library.
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on his arm, Horace
Tabor's plans to turn Denver
into the "Paris of the West" seemed within reach.
Baby Doe's dreams matched her
husband's-an adventure of grand living and great civic
accomplishments. However, like all good things, it ended all too soon.
The fairytale ended in 1893, when the
country moved to the gold standard. Silver, Horace's main holding,
along with parcels of highly mortgaged property came crashing down,
along with the Tabors' lifestyle. Horace, failing to listen to
the advice of others and diversify, faced ruin. In the interim, and
adding to the crisis,
also made a number of unsuccessful, if not unwise, investments in
foreign mining ventures that failed. He lost huge amounts of
money in Mexico and South America.
However, regardless of the now destitute
condition of the
Horace never lost faith in the future, and until his dying day, he
always found work of some kind, hoping to recapture his lost wealth.
Baby Doe and Horace, along
with their young daughters Elizabeth "Lillie" and Rose Mary "Silver
Dollar" moved out of their Capitol Hill mansion and into a rented
cottage. At age 65, Horace was shoveling slag from area mines at
$3.00/day until he was finally appointed postmaster of Denver just a
year before his death.
remained optimistic about regaining
Tabor's lost fortune, but it
never panned out.
Many people who disliked Baby
Doe predicted that she would divorce
he ever lost his fortune. However,
was loyal and devoted to her husband until the end. In April,
1899 Horace took ill with appendicitis and a few days later, before
his death he was said to have told her ..."Hang on to the Matchless
Mine, if I die, Baby, it will make millions again when silver comes
back." However, this statement was later disputed as being made
up by a writer who wanted to sell her books. Flags were lowered
to half mast in
and 10,000 people attended the funeral. Baby
Doe, just 38 years old, would never again
live a lavish lifestyle.
Cottage where the Tabors moved after having
their fortune., 1962
Still beautiful and relatively young,
Baby Doe could
easily have remarried. She chose, instead, to "hold on to the Matchless,"
continuously seeking funds to "work" it. With her two children in
tow, Baby returned to
and took up residence in the one-room, 12 by 16-foot structure that
originally served as a tool shed at the Matchless Mine. Her elder
daughter, 15-year-old Lillie, so resented the place, she boldly stated
that she was leaving, and borrowing the money for the train fare from her
uncle, she went to Wisconsin to live with her grandmother, ceasing
all contact with her mother and sister.
Silver Dollar, a 10-year-old tomboy, initially thrived on the adventure of
living and working at the mine. She liked to write poetry and
encouraged this endeavor, actually helping her to get a couple of songs
published. One of these included a song to celebrate a visit by Theodore
in 1908, called "President Roosevelt's
Hunt," the music written by a friend in Denver.
Dollar Tabor shaking hands with Teddy Roosevelt in 1910. Courtesy
Denver Public Library
The song was well-received in
and a long article regarding Silver Dollar's "budding career" was printed
in the Denver Post. In 1910, the song was actually sung for Mr.
Roosevelt and Silver Dollar got to meet the man.
Lillie Tabor, 1886, courtesy Denver Public Library
Silver Dollar Tabor, 1889, courtesy Denver Public Library
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