Matthew Cole

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Marble Springs 2.0 screenshot of Matthew Cole

What we know

One of the first inhabitants of Marble Springs. Came in 1869 with his wife, Rachel, to set up a general store. With Rachel, he founded the store, the millinery, and the post office. He tried to set up a gambling hall, but Rachel closed it. Honorary member of the Elks Lodge. Secretly funded the White Owl while Cleo was managing it. Five children, including Leah, his youngest. When Rachel left, he closed the store and would not speak to anyone.


by Kathy House

Matthew had the golden touch.
Some said
he'd robbed a bank
or sold his soul.
But it was Rachel’s father gave the money,
sold off his disapproving daughter
to a man with ambition.

Matthew had a largeness inside, apetites.
He wanted:
Money, a wife, buildings, business, family.
He pushed, prodded, plowed
But he could not move Rachel.

She was a good wife.
Honest, skillful, worked as hard as he.
He ran the business, Rachel ran the town.
But his teeth and his belly frightened her.
Her natural hunger shrunken in the tight-laced years.

Matthew tried to grasp her
but she melted, flowing like the spring streams,
swift and cold.
There came a time when business ran itself.
Gambling dwindled into postal service.

Rachel sat in state in her own world.
And Leah, golden daughter, slipped his grasp.
The world he was to conquer shriveled.

And Matthew, with no purpose, sat,
growing a Victorian belly
to house the stillbirth of his dreams.


by Chris Willerton

“What people value, they pay for,” he’d tell his sons.
“You don’t have to read minds. Just notice
when folks reach for their wallets.”
But he did believe in the public good. Rachel
always saw to the public good, leading the Ladies Aid
and stirring the church to good works.
When she’d made him close his gambling hall,
he’d sighed, confessing, yes, the public good.
The General Store he’d built, the millinery,
the post office, yes, made for the public good
and gave him a kind of consecrated profit
to pay for their mansion.

He knew himself as good a man as Davidson.
But he had to admit, gazing at Goliath Manor,
that he himself was no Captain of Industry.
It was Davidson planning a workers’ utopia,
Davidson standing with President Roosevelt,
grinning in photographs after their hunting trip.
But—and Matthew smiled—it was Davidson, too,
with the icy Boston wife

who never joined1 Rachel and their daughter Leah
in the Ladies Aid, who never left Goliath Manor
even in spring. Davidson would leave behind
a mansion, Matthew thought, but no sons or daughters.





A drawing of a coat of arms with skeleton keys to show the crossings of connections.
Goliath Manor

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Portal for secret connections
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