Ruby Mateson

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Marble Springs 2.0 screenshot of Ruby Mateson

What we know

Eldest daughter of Jake and Mollie Mateson. Left Marble Springs when she was fifteen after being given to Bart Morrison. Returned thirteen years later in 1895 with an crushed leg. Died with her sister, Emmy, in a snowslide in the winter of 1929.


Jake Mateson kept the White Owl Saloon,
and it was rumored that he gambled
away his first daughter,
since Ruby was given to Bart
when she was only fifteen—
and ran off three days later.
Edna Harris once claimed
to have seen a letter marked
France1 when visiting Emmy.

Ruby came back five weeks late
for her father’s funeral.
Her leg was crushed, she said,
on the Riviera.
She took to sitting
on the front porch of the White Owl,
hollering at Emmy
for cold-water compresses
and hot spiced ale.

The white-caned chair she rocked in
slowly bleached around her,
leaving ivory shadows





Noel, Thomas J.The City and the Saloon. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1987.

Portal caption and links

A drawing of a rocking chair.

Rebecca Reaver
Lottie Horner
Edna Harris

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