Baby Doe Tabor – Scandal in Denver


Baby Doe Tabor

Baby Doe Tabor

Baby Doe Tabor, aka: Elizabeth McCourt (1854-1935) – Marrying one of the richest men in Colorado, Baby Doe was involved in one of the country’s most famous love triangles, scandalizing the social community of Denver.

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 Central City, Colorado, where 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 scandal.

Living flamboyantly, they spent their millions lavishly, but try as she might, Baby Doe 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 Tabor if he ever lost his fortune. However, Baby Doe 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 to Leadville, 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in the one-room, 12 by 16-foot structure that originally served as a tool shed at the Matchless Mine, that had originally made the Tabor fortune.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 …


Also See:

Historic Women List

Women in American History

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