My grandmother, Dorothy, donated her mother-in-law’s wedding dress to the Healy House museum in Leadville, CO, in the early 1960s. Since then, the Healy House collection was transferred to the general collection of History Colorado (formerly the Colorado Historical Society). By the time the dress got to Denver, they had very little information about the dress or former owner. In 2012, I contacted History Colorado to ask about the dress. They were able to find it their collection and I saw it in the summer of 2012. This picture is their photo of the dress.
I wrote the following to add to their documentation on the dress.
The dress was made for Anne Brownlow, the youngest daughter of the late William G. Brownlow, former governor and senator of Tennessee, for her marriage to William F. Patrick of Leadville. The dressmaker was a Mrs.Daugherty, probably of Knoxville, TN.
Anne and Will were married in Knoxville, TN on January 26,1881, in an evening ceremony at her mother’s home. In the brief biography of Anne that was published in the Rocky Mountain News when she served on the committee that planned the Colorado exhibition at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, it says the couple set up housekeeping first in Kokomo. They sold their cabin in the summer of 1881, several months before the fire that almost destroyed Kokomo later in 1881.
Anne was born November 10, 1854 in Knoxville, TN. She attended the Chestnut Street Seminary in Philadelphia for several years and was asked to stay on as a teacher, however, she decided against teaching. It was there that she was introduced to liberal ideals and attitudes. The Rocky Mountain News biography also mentions that she played the role of hostess for her father in Washington, D.C. when he was in the Senate. She was only 21 when Senator Brownlow left office, so she may have traveled down from Philadelphia on the occasions that required her to host for her father. She met many influential people during this period and continued a lively correspondence with several of them for the rest of her life.
Will was born May 3, 1853 in St. Louis, where his father, William, had a successful lumber business and was City Treasurer for a number of years. His mother, Eliza McCall Patrick was very active in the Suffragette movement and once hosted Susan B. Anthony in her home. Will graduated from Washington University as a mining engineer in 1872 and served as assayer on the Newton-Jenney Expedition to the Black Hills in 1875. He may have stayed on after the expedition was over to do some prospecting of his own, but by 1876,he was in Georgetown as superintendent of the Reduction Works (unverified) and in partnership of an assaying office (verified).
The Georgetown Chronicle reported that W. F. Patrick left Georgetown to “emigrate” to Leadville in February of 1878, where he and his assay partner opened an office. Soon after, he came into possession of some claims in the Ten Mile District, one of which, the Aftermath, showed much promise and was sold by Will and his partners in January 1881 for $250,000.This probably gave him the money to marry Anne and set up a home.
Will and a partner bought a claim on Iron Hill in California Gulch which later was named the Col. Sellers Mine (after a character in the Mark Twain novel, The Gilded Age). His original partner in this was George Bowman, a St. Louis lawyer. After several months of unprofitable development, Bowman wanted out and Will bought his interest in the mine. Of course, soon after that, silver was discovered and Bowman sued Will for fraud, claiming Will had known that they would soon hit silver. The suit dragged on through the courts, finally ending in the US Supreme Court in 1893 in favor of Will, and also setting an important precedent in mining law. By that time, Bowman was dead. He had been shot in St. Louis. Bowman was universally disliked and had been disbarred for unprofessional actions. No one, not even his wife, said anything good about him and a verdict of justifiable homicide was returned.
In addition to the Col. Sellers Mine, Will had several other mining interests in Leadville, Aspen, Rico, and other areas in Colorado. He owned a ranch near Meeker, land at the present day corner of Kipling and Bowles near Denver, and some lots on 14th Ave. in Denver that are now under the City and County Building. Will was a member of the Denver Club from 1885 through 1893.
Will and Anne were very active in the social life of Leadville. They are mentioned many times in newspaper accounts of parties and social activities. They hosted several famous and influential people in their home. Among them were Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ward Beecher and the sculptress, Harriet Hosmer. General Sherman might also have paid a visit when he was in Leadville in 1883. When President Benjamin Harrison visited Leadville in 1891, Anne was on the welcoming committee and rode in the carriage with President and Mrs. Harrison. She also might have known the Harrison’s daughter at the Chestnut Street Seminary. Prominent Coloradoans who were close friends of Will and Anne’s included Lyman Robison of Canon City, who was a partner in the Col. Sellers, and Mary C. C. Bradford of Colorado Springs.
Anne was known for her intelligence, ready wit, and her kindness. She was one of the founders of the Women’s Industrial Exchange in Leadville following the lead of her mother-in-law who helped found the Women’s Industrial Exchange of St. Louis. Anne also served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Denver.
Anne never attended the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She fell ill in early 1893 and visited several doctors around the country, but they were unable to help her. She died in her mother’s home in Knoxville on July 21,1893 and is buried near her father in Knoxville’s Gray Cemetery.
Will soon sold his interest in the Col. Sellers Mine and became a consulting mining engineer in Mexico and Nevada. He married again, but the marriage wasn’t happy. He died in Rhyolite, NV on July 20, 1905, and was buried next to Anne and their youngest son in Knoxville.