(Second in an occasional series about founders of the storied Silver King Mine.)
I was born in Missouri in 1859 to prosperous parents who owned 70 acres, slaves and a general store. When the Civil War broke out, my father enlisted and became a captain but was captured by Union soldiers and sent to prison camp. At the end of the impoverishing war we left in a covered wagon to find our fortune in the gold fields of California. By the time I was 25, my parents were struggling again and we came to Utah where we had relatives and friends.
In Park City, I paid my way by working as a seamstress. I met the very handsome, well-liked Postmaster named Albion Emery. He was 13 years older than I, but that didn’t matter. We were madly in love and got married.
When Albion was working in the offices at the Daly Mine, Superintendent David Keith and his friend Tom Kearns offered us a chance to buy in on their promising Mayflower lease in Woodside Canyon. My old acquaintance R.C. Chambers, Ontario Manager, loaned us the $8,000 to buy 1/5 interest in it. We incorporated the Silver King mine in 1892, and it came in BIG! We were rich, but my dear Albion died after only 10 years together. I was devastated.
The worst was yet to come. That old “friend” R. C. Chambers sued me just 3 months after Albion died for half of my Silver King stock. He claimed that his loan to us represented an agreement for a half interest. Well, I fought him in court, and won. I was making $1000 a day from my Silver King shares.
Five years after Albion died, Tom Kearns introduced me to the very wealthy but older Col. Edwin Holmes whom I married. We had a glamorous wedding at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, traveled in Europe, and returned to Salt Lake City where we bought Brigham Young’s Amelia Palace and another mansion in Pasadena, CA so we could spend the winters in warm weather.
I was 66 years old when Ed died and I became a widow for the second time. My next husband was the dashing Serbian physician from Paris, Dr. Radovan Delitch. He was 30 years younger than I, but horribly jealous, so I sent him away and he committed suicide on shipboard.
Thank goodness an old beau, the Romanov Prince Nicholas Engalitcheff, only 15 years younger than I, came back into my life and we married in 1933. He had the title, I had the money. But with the horrible depression, my money began to dwindle. After Nicholas died, I was comforted by my handsome young assistant, Culver Sherrill. He stayed with me until I died in 1942 in Norwalk, Connecticut. I left him $65,000, unpaid bills, and an apartment building, which he sold. I’m told that he was able to console himself quite comfortably in a villa in Europe for many years.