5 Little Known Facts About Colorado’s Most Famous Titanic Passenger
Though it's been over 100 years, the lore surrounding the sinking of the Titanic continues to fascinate us, as well as Colorado's most famous Titanic passenger.
The name Margaret Tobin may not ring any bells for you, but the bells would start ringing if I told you Margaret is better known as Molly Brown - as in the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown.
A 1960 Broadway musical and a 1964 movie were both based on her life and how she earned the moniker, the Unsinkable Molly Brown. Known to her friends as "Maggie," Brown would gain fame for her connection to the Titanic and ended up spending much of her life in Colorado.
Brown moved to Leadville, Colorado at age 18, where she shared a two-room log cabin with her brother. Later she would buy a mansion in Denver with her husband for $30,000. They also built a summer house in southwest Denver.
You definitely know her name, but, here are five little-known facts about Colorado's most famous Titanic passenger - the Unsinkable Molly Brown.
Margaret Brown was born in the famous town of Hannibal, Missouri in 1867. Hannibal, of course, is the town in northeast Missouri where author Mark Twain was raised and provided the setting for his classic characters Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
On September 1, 1886, Margaret married James Joseph Brown. She's quoted as saying she wanted to marry a rich man, but she loved Jim Brown. She said she finally decided she would be better off to marry a poor man that she loved than a rich man whose money had attracted to her. The couple was married for 23 years before separating in 1909.
Margaret was on the Titanic the fateful night of April 15, 1912. The story is told that she helped others into lifeboats, before finally being persuaded to get in a lifeboat herself. Reportedly, Brown wanted to take the lifeboat back to the scene of the sinking ship to try and rescue more passengers, however, the crewman in charge of the boat was fearful the boat would get sucked into the water by the sinking ship or would be swarmed by desperate people in the water trying to survive. It's not known for sure if the lifeboat went back or not.
Through the years, Margaret was heavily involved in a number of charitable causes. She helped fundraising efforts for Denver's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and worked to help destitute children and establish the first juvenile court system. During World War I, she helped wounded French and American soldiers behind the front line. Following her rescue from the Titanic, she organized a committee of first-class survivors to help second and third-class survivors get basic necessities and counseling.
Margaret died in her sleep on October 26, 1932. An autopsy indicated she suffered from a brain tumor. She was buried in a cemetery in New York with a small ceremony on October 31 attended only by family members.