Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Marcus Daly’s Romance

Copper king Marcus Daly was the youngest of eleven siblings and began his career as a penniless Irish immigrant. He arrived in New York in 1856 when he was only fifteen years old. But Daly had a keen sense of business and a Midas touch with an uncanny instinct for the veins of copper that made his huge fortune. He founded Hamilton and Anaconda and was a generous patron to his fellow Irishmen and a benevolent boss to his workingmen. And he never forgot his humble Irish roots. But aside from all that, he was a great family man and father who loved his wife dearly. He and Margaret, or Maggie as he always called her, had a storybook marriage with a romantic beginning. In 1872, Daly was a foreman working for the Walker Brothers banking and mining syndicate of Salt Lake City. He was showing a newly discovered mine near Ophir, Utah, to miner Zenas Evans. Evans’ daughter, Margaret, was visiting the mine with her father. Daly hopped into a trench and held up some samples of the ore. Margaret was interested in looking at the samples and strayed too close to the edge. She lost her balance and tumbled right over the edge, landing right in Daly’s open arms. This chance encounter led to an engagement, and the couple was married in Salt Lake City at Joseph Walker’s home. Marcus doted on his Maggie until the day he died in 1900.

Margaret Daly. Courtesy the Daly Mansion
Curiously, Margaret had four sisters, and one of them, Miriam, was married to J. Ross Clark, a brother of Daly’s arch enemy, William A. Clark. The strange connection must have made for interesting family dynamics and dinner table conversation.

P.S. Remember Daly's prized racehorse?

1 comment:

  1. We're in Hamilton for the night but not going to have time to visit his mansion. Have to save it for another visit.