In 1880, Tabor took up with a young, attractive divorcee who had arrived in Leadville, by the name of Elizabeth Boundel McCourt Doe (Baby Doe). Carrying on a discreet relationship with Baby Doe, Horace soon asked Augusta for a divorce, which she refused – in the vein of torrid love triangle sagas, he obtained an illegal divorce and he and Baby Doe were secretly married in 1882. Horace Tabor’s fame grew, and he even served as a senator – however, the alleged divorce and scandalous marriage raged on, and was front page news across the country. It was an embarrassment to Washington, as well as other prominent figures in high social circles. On March 1, 1883 the marriage between Horace and “Baby Doe” was finally legalized. Augusta Tabor eventually received a good part of the Tabor fortune in a final divorce decree and moved to Pasadena, California where she died in 1895, comfortable and fairly well off.
When Congress repealed the Sherman Silver Act, the government was no longer in the market for silver and Horace, failing to listen to the advice of others and diversify, faced ruin. Tabor also had made a number of unsuccessful investments in foreign mining ventures, losing huge amounts of money in Mexico and South America. His reserves diminished, he and Baby Doe lost everything. Horace died a broken man in 1899.
(Photos: Matchless Mine; Inside Baby Doe's Shack; one of the last known photos of the once glamorous Baby Doe). Baby Doe, once a millionaire, died in virtual poverty in 1935…found dead in her small shack at the Matchless Mine. After her death, 17 trunks that had been stored in Denver were opened, as well as several gunny sacks and 4 trunks from Leadville. All that was left from the Tabor fortune were several bolts of exquisite cloth, several pieces of china, a tea service and some jewelry, including a diamond and sapphire ring. The famous watch fob and chain given to her husband at the opening of the $700,000 Tabor Opera House in Denver was also found.