Horace Tabor and His Life in Leadville, Colorado

Horace Tabor and his beautiful wife Augusta, who was the first woman in the California Gulch, and their small child Maxcy, arrived in California in 1860, with a brief stop in Leadville Colorado before landing in California. However the Gulch had ceased to produce profit and by 1862 the Tabor's had moved on, heading back east, building a cabin in the town of Buckskin Joe. This is where Horace first became involved in politics, he was appointed postmaster, he ran a general store and he was place in office with the school board.

Once again the call of California left something to be desired in Horace Tabor and he moved his family to Leadville where he again opened shop and he became their second postmaster and the city's first mayor.

Tabor was a bighearted man and he started becoming a depository for prospectors who would prefer not to take their valuables up the hills. As a storekeeper, he was also in a position to provide "grubstakes" for the down-and-out miners on their way back into the wilds for another shot at fortunes. In return for keeping the minors valuables, Horace stood to keep everything left behind by the prospectors as collateral if they did not come back. In providing grubstakes - which was giving the prospectors what they needed to mine - Horace would be allowed to stake a claim for a third of any riches the minors found. It was a gamble Horace was willing to take.

Horace's grubstakes paid off in a big way in the spring of 1878 when two prospectors, George Hook and August Rische, hit pay dirt almost by accident. This little Pittsburg mine yielded $20,000 a week; however Hook and Rische weren't the only ones suddenly rich. Mr. Tabor's $60 investment in their grubstakes made him their partner and $2 million richer from the strike in the first year without even getting his hands dirty.


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