Molly Brown

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The woman who would come to be known as the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” was born
on Denkler Alley and Butler Street in Hannibal, Missouri on July 18, 1867. She was born during
a very bad thunderstorm and her mother predicted right then that Molly would not be “just
another pretty face.” Margaret (Molly’s birth name) grew up in a small town with a surprisingly
small population of less than 20,000 people. (Heroine of the Titanic, 1) Margaret attended
school for thirteen years. It was during these years that she earned her nicknames Maggie and
Molly. She had a very open and close family. There were eight people in her small childhood
home. These eight consisted of her two parents, her five brothers and sisters, and Molly herself.
At the age of ten Molly’s father taught her how to row a boat. He insisted that this skill would be
useful for her later in life. If he only knew what laid in store for his daughter! A little known
fact about Molly’s family is that they were poor. She tried to keep this fact about her family a
secret because she found it shameful and embarrassing. As a young girl Molly worked at the
Park Hotel. She was soon dismissed for being too opinionated for a young lady. She then went
to work in a tobacco plant, but found the conditions disgusting and vulgar. (The Unsinkable
Molly Brown, 1)
At the age of nineteen, Molly was getting bored in her small “same ol, same ol” town.
When she heard that one of her favorite cousins and his wife were taking a train cross-country to
Colorado she literally jumped at the idea of going with them. She had heard all of the stories of
adventure and excitement in the West and wanted very badly to try her hand at it herself.
Molly’s parents decided to let her go because their small town had nothing to offer their
daughter. Molly’s main goal in life had always been to achieve success and be well known.
They hoped their oldest child could make her dreams come true in the great land of Colorado.
Once Molly got to Colorado, she was anxious to begin her own adventure and see what was in
store for her. She got a job sewing carpets while she got her new life started. Her co-workers
described her as a “capable and pleasant” employee. They all adored her because she had a
bright, charming personality, and beauty to go with it. Molly’s move to Colorado was also a bit
terrifying because she could have found herself working in a crib house, as a prostitute, or a
cook in a boarding house instead of fulfilling her dreams. It was here in Colorado that she met
her future husband while the both were mining for silver.

Molly met James Joseph Brown in a local mine. He fell madly in love with her charm
and wit. Stories say that when he came to her house for their first dates he pulled up to her gate
with an old , worn carriage and an aging horse. Molly said to James, “Certainly you are not
taking me anywhere in that!” The next time James called on her, he had purchased a brand new
horse and carriage just to show Molly off in. Maggie and J.J. married on September 1,1896.
Not long after their marriage James struck it rich in the silver mines of Leadville. The couple
bought a sixteen-room mansion that is now a museum. ( Molly Brown, 1) Legend says that not
long after they moved into their large home, J.J. brought home his $300,000 paycheck . Molly
placed it in the stove for safe keeping. When James came in later that evening and lit the stove
to warm himself up, he did not realize that Molly had hidden the money there and in a split
second their monthly fortune was gone. As good as things were going for J.J. and Molly
financially, their marriage was heading for trouble. J.J. was sick of all the commotion Molly
was causing around the town. Although documents do not reveal what commotion Molly got
into , we can only begin to imagine what kind of things she stirred up! J.J. soon left Molly and
she sent their children to boarding school. With no one for Molly to care for she decided to set
off on her own

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