What we know
1860 - 1933
Born in Dover, England. Her family moved to Pittsburg when she was thirteen. At seventeen, she married Ed Horner, who became the Congregationalist Pastor for the Crystal River Valley. In 1878, burdened with a sickly one-year-old child, she followed her husband's call to minister to the god-gambling west. Three sons, Ephraim, Josiah, and Saul. Raised two girls: Lothia (Lottie) and Mariah. Two still births.
When Bridget O’Shanty, whore at the White Owl,
dug up her unconsecrated child
that fine May morning
and stole The Pastor’s shay
with the red fringed top from New York,
and drove off—
some said to Devil’s Hole
and others, simply straight to Hell—
Millie wondered how long Bridget would keep riding,
and if the casket would break open
when that right wheel wrenched back,
which it did each time the rims hit a rut.
And Millie thought about how she must
sit next to Ed on those long
drives between towns—
The Pastor’s Wife who always smiled
in the tight, respectable style1.
When the children scream
and The Pastor stomps off to the outhouse
to write his sermons in peace,
Millie wonders what she would have grabbed
on the way down to the waiting shay—
had Bridget scratched on her windowsill
in the predawn starry darkness
of that almost spring morning.
Bacon, Leonard Woolsey.The Congregationalists. New York: The Baker and Taylor Company, 1904. Available at the Western History Department, Denver Public Library.
Hopkins, Walter Sawyer.The Bible and the Gold Rush: a Century of Congregationalism in Colorado. Denver: Big Mountain Press, 1962.
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