Highlights from the
75 Years Ago
Coin Found In Denver Believed Tabor’s
March 11, 1946
Echoes of the dramatic lives of the Tabors of Leadville have been awakened again with discovery in Denver of an 1890 silver dollar in which was hidden a photograph of the beautiful Baby Doe. Sunday’s Rocky Mountain News carried the following story:
THE COIN WAS FOUND by chance in a stack of change in the Treasurer’s office of the Denver Tramway Corp.
The dollar had been cleverly split into two discs, the interior hollowed out and the discs refastened with an interior double-hinge. The picture bears a mysterious inscription, “Bebe from Dollie, Xmas 1890.”
Relatives and friends of the Tabors have been at a loss to explain who the mysterious “Bebe” or “Dollie” could have been, said A. W. Yenter, discoverer of the coin.
Mr. Yenter, a clerk in the treasurer’s department of the Tramway Corp. concluded the dollar was presented for change by a tramway passenger unaware of what it contained. The silver dollar, perfectly minted in 1800, was issued by the Philadelphia Mint.
The hollowed sound of the 1890 dollar caused Mr. Yenter to become suspicious. The dollar, outwardly in perfect condition, doubtless had been passed from hand to hand by persons who little realized their close contact with the apparent gift of the one-time multimillionaire, he surmised when he discovered its secret.
Tabor’s life-long fetish was the silver dollar. It would be like him to design such a gift, or be the recipient of one.
This dollar, relatives speculated, if it was given to Baby Doe, would have been carefully guarded. Even after reverses of fortune came, she kept countless mementoes of bygone days.
Baby Doe spent her remaining resources in a fruitless effort to reopen the Matchless.
As she descended step by step onto a plane of utter privation, Baby Doe finally moved into a one-room shanty at the Matchless in May 1903.
Living amid Cinderella-like memories of the decade and a half in which she was married to the “king of the silver empire,” Baby Doe had only one thought: the future, when the Matchless would again make her wealthy.
Her frugal existence during those long years was full of hardship. She had no money, only that sent to her by a few old friends.
Perhaps if she still owned this dollar she spent it at a Leadville store for groceries. Only by the hollowed tone of the dollar could anyone tell it wasn’t a regular coin.
The mystery of the inscription, “Bebe from Dollie, Xmas 1890,” in an unusual locket fashioned from a silver dollar has been solved in Denver. The Rocky Mountain News reports that following publication of a story on the finding of the hollow dollar, a third cousin of Baby Doe Tabor, Oliver Longan, identified “Dollie” as his grandmother, Mrs. Elizabeth McCourt Tinney Wright, who was a first cousin and schoolgirl chum of Mrs. Tabor. In girlhood, the two looked so much alike their fathers, the brothers McCourt, called them both Elizabeth. Their nicknames, “Bebe” and “Dollie,” served to identify them when the girls were together.
FELIX GALLEGOS, 39, FATALLY SHOT IN ALTERCATION;
Club Operator Is
Felix Gallegos, 39, of 199 Stringtown, was fatally shot last night shortly before 7 p. m. in an altercation in the Paramount Club. Local police officers arrested C. A. Roper, 59, operator of the club, and held him for questioning by District Attorney William J. Meehan in connection with the shooting.
Gallegos and Roper had been scuffling near the third stool from the rear of the bar of the Paramount, according to the story witnesses told officers. The scuffle had been broken up once, but when it was renewed Gallegos was shot through the chest. He staggered out the front door of the club and fell to the sidewalk a few feet north of the door.
The man was dead when Andy Cassidy, answering an ambulance call, found him there. Coroner James J. Corbett was summoned and Night Police Captain George O’Malia, Officer John Mangan, Sheriff Clarence McMurrough and Undersheriff Buck Glenn also hurried to the scene.
McMurrough and O’Malia asked Roper’s wife, inside the club, if she knew who had done the shooting. She replied she didn’t know, having just arrived.
The officers then questioned Roper, who, according to Sheriff McMurrough, told them, “I shot him (Gallegos). He was causing a disturbance.” Roper willingly accompanied the officers to the county jail where he was booked for further questioning.
There were several persons in the Paramount Club at the time of the altercation. Half a dozen of the witnesses were examined in the Sheriff’s office last night, the investigation going on until near midnight.
According to witnesses, a quarrel had been going on between Roper and Gallegos for about a week.
Coroner Corbett said he would call an inquest on the fatal shooting. Further developments in the case awaited the arrival of the district attorney from Eagle late today.
Gallegos had been employed at the A. V. Plant of the A. S. & R. Company for the past 10 years. He is the father of 6 children, the oldest 14 years and the youngest two. Gallegos’ wife is expecting another child later in the month.
The Paramount Club was closed today and ordered kept shut pending an inspection by the district attorney.