Matilda Granger

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Marble Springs 2.0 screenshot of Matilda Granger

What we know

née Reed
1856 - 1918
Wife of Paul Granger, sheriff of Marble Springs from 1877 until 1918. Both died of the influenza epidemic of 1918. Four living children (Caleb, Abel, Chastitiy, and Constance). Three died in infancy (Harriet, Beatrice, and Violetta).

In His Name

Love thy neighbor as thineself.
This is the Law of the Lord.

Love thine husband, too,
as he straps on his guns.

Keep the coffee1 warm
on the woodstove. And pray.

Sweep out the jail and keep it clean.
Comfort them as he locks them in:

Little Sue Langley raped and waiting,
motherless, to mother her own child.

Billie Rose and Bridget, coming in
drunk from the miners’ Saturday nights.

Bart Morrison who shot up
the town after Ruby came back.

Crazed Edith, shouting strange nothings
after axing her wandering husband.

And outside, grey-faced Ilsa chanting
to her God to follow her husband.

Love is knowing when to follow.

Keeping the Peace

The one who cleaned up at the end of Ladies’ Aid.
The one who put the choir music away.
The one who tidied flowers on neglected graves.
The one who helped Sue Langley in her need
and two years later brought the baby back from the orphanage
saying it was her orphaned niece from Wichita.
The one who
when Sheriff Granger lost the election
knew he took comfort in Cleo's arms
and said nothing.
She was as good and calm as a summer sky.
She never gossiped.
Many women liked her,
though she had no friends.
The week after Paul Granger died
Matilda took her daughter back East
and married a lawyer in Wichita
whom she'd been writing to for twenty years.
Leah Cole took over tidying the flowers.
She was as good and calm as a summer sky.
She never gossiped.
Many women liked her,
though she had no friends.





Backus, Harriet Fish.Tomboy Bride. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company, 1969.
Micheal, Gladys.The Peaceful Sheriff of Elbert County. Boulder, Colorado: Johnson Publishing Company, 1968.

Portal caption and links

A drawing of a coffee pot.
Edna Harris

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