Tabor (1833-1895) - Augusta Pierce was one of seven daughters and three sons born to
William B. Pierce and Lucy Eaton. She grew up in a comfortable
middle-class home in Augusta, Maine. She began a courtship with Horace
Tabor that would eventually lead to marriage in 1857. The pair headed west
where they homesteaded a
piece of land on Deep Creek in Riley County,
Kansas which is called "Tabor
Valley" to this day. Though Augusta was appalled by the
Indians, the pair stayed for two years until Horace began
to hear stories of gold discoveries in the western part of the Kansas
Their arrival in the gold camp at
Gulch made a curiosity of Augusta, the first woman known to venture into
those parts. She endeared herself to the miners by becoming the camp's
cook, laundress, postmistress, and banker, using the gold scales she and
Horace had brought with them to weigh the "dust."
Before long they moved on to
Horace, after grubstaking a couple of miners, hit the jackpot. But it
was not long after that he began a sordid affair with
Doe" McCourt. In a scandal that rocked polite Denver society, he
divorced Augusta and married
In the end, Horace and Baby Doe would lose their
millions and die penniless, while the frugal Augusta continued to live
very comfortable. She eventually
moved to Pasadena,
California where she died on February 1, 1895, a wealthy,
respected and lonely woman, leaving her son Maxcy over $1.5
million dollars. More ...
image available for photographic prints
Baby Doe Tabor
was renowned for her beauty.
image available for photographic prints
McCourt "Baby Doe" Tabor (1854-1935) -
Born into a prosperous family
in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1854, Elizabeth McCourt grew up to be a
beautiful young woman. She married a man named Harvey Doe in 1877
and the two soon boarded a train to
Harvey intended to make his fortune. However, Harvey was a heavy
drinker, a poor provider, and drifted from one job to another.
Baby Doe soon divorced him and moved to
Leadville, Colorado where
she met the millionaire "Silver King," Horace Tabor. Almost
immediately, the pair were infatuated with each other. Tabor ended
up leaving his wife, Augusta, and the pair married causing a major
Living flamboyantly, they spent
their millions lavishly, but try as she might,
would never be accepted in Denver society. They had two children,
Lillie and Silver Dollar, who would benefit in their early years from
Horace's vast wealth.
However, in 1893, the fairytale ended
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' fortune
and lifestyle. They were forced to sell their Capitol Hill mansion,
rented a cottage, and at the age of 65, Horace went to work
shoveling slag from area mines at $3.00/day until he was finally
appointed postmaster of Denver just a year before his death.
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 died.
Baby Doe, just 38 years old, would never again
live a lavish lifestyle. She ended up returning
taking up residence in the one-room, 12 by 16-foot structure that
originally served as a tool shed at the Matchless Mine, that had
originally made the Tabor fortune. She died there, penniless, and was
found on March 7, 1935. She was 81 years-old. More ...
Mary Elizabeth "Libby" Thompson (1855-1953)
of the most popular soiled doves in
other frontier cattle towns during the 1870s. She later became
famous as Squirrel Tooth Alice, madam of a brothel in
Sojourner Truth (1797?-1883) A
former slave, she became a leading proponent of human rights and
a spokesperson for abolition and women's rights.
Alice Ivers Tubbs; aka:
Poker Alice (1851-1930) - Perhaps the best known female poker player
in all of the Wild
Harriet Tubman (1820?-1913) As a
"conductor" on the
Underground Railroad, this fugitive slave
helped thousands of blacks escape north prior to the
during which, she served as a Union nurse and military spy.
Elizabeth Van Lew (1818-1900) - A Union spy during the
Civil War, Van Lew was born
on October 25, 1818, the oldest daughter of John Van Lew, a
prominent Richmond, Virginia businessman, and Elizabeth Baker Van Lew.
Her father ran a hardware business and owned several slaves. She
was educated at a Quaker school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
where she was first exposed to abolitionism. After she finished
school, she returned home to Virginia and a short time later,
her father died. Though he had expressly forbidden it prior to
his death, she and her mother freed the family's nine slaves,
one of whom was
Mary Elizabeth Bowser, who would later work with Van Lew as a spy.
Van Lew and her mother also bought and freed some of their
former slaves' relatives.
When the Civil War
broke out, she began working on behalf of the Union. At first
she brought food, clothing, and other necessities to the Union
soldiers held at Libby Prison in Richmond. She then began to
help prisoners to escape, passing them information about safe
houses and getting a Union sympathizer appointed to the prison.
In exchange, prisoners gave her information on Confederate
troop movements, which she passed on to Union commanders.
Running and operating a spy ring of 12 people, Van Lew was even
able to have Mary Elizabeth Bowser hired by Varina Davis, which allowed Bowser to spy in the White
House of the Confederacy. Her work was highly valued by the
United States, so much so that George H. Sharpe, intelligence
officer for the Army of the Potomac, credited her with "the
greater portion of our intelligence in 1864-65." On Ulysses S.
Grant's first visit to Richmond after the war, he had tea with
Van Lew, and later appointed her postmaster of Richmond.
When Richmond fell to the United States, Van Lew was the first
person to raise the US flag in the city.
She kept an "Occasional
Journal" of her activities, but buried it for a time, for fear
After Reconstruction, she became increasingly ostracized in
Richmond and having spent her family's fortune on intelligence,
was destitute. Finally, a group of wealthy and influential
Bostonians collected money for the woman who helped so many
Union soldiers during the war.
She died on September 25, 1900, and was buried in Shockoe Hill
Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. Her grave was unmarked until the
relatives of Union Colonel Paul J. Revere, whom she had aided
during the war, donated a tombstone. Even into the 20th century,
she was regarded by many Southerners as a traitor.
Elizabeth Van Lew (October 25, 1818-September 25, 1900) was a
well-born Richmond, Virginia resident who built and operated an
extensive spy ring for the United States during the American
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