What we know
Billie Rose Cattering, née Murphy
1856 - 1902
Born in Dublin. Billie Rose was a house servant until given a bad character. She left for America and became a prostitute at the White Owl. Married Joe Cattering, a miner who had struck it rich on Sugar Boy. In an effort to join Marble Springs’ high society, Joe donated a new roof for the Marble Edifice. Rachel Cole refused to let Billie Rose join the Ladies Aid, so Billie Rose started her own Charity Relief Fund.
Plied her passage, travelled on the rails
by cozening up to a few conductors.
At the White Owl, she took one look—
green summer glistening
on smooth puncheon floors.
Settled down with Old Joe1
and his mine on Sugar Boy.
Had three boys and a little girl̶
the girl for luck, Billie Rose laughed
with Bridget over cups of
China tea in her sun-
drenched cabin over the mine.
And the dust sounds of hunger,
crowded streets, and textile factories
slowly melted into the silences
of shivering aspen and the distant shouts
of her boys playing in the pilings.
Jack, Ellen E.The Fate of a Fairy. Chicago: M.A. Donahue and Company Publishers, 1910.
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