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Sunday, November 4, 2018

LUCY MAGGARD - A Force to be Reckoned With #history #womenshistory #west

For my scheduled first Sunday on the month post I'm writing about Lucy Maggard. To read about the additional 'First Ladies':

Elizabeth McAllister
Cara Bell

Grace Greenwood

Trying to find the true story of Lucy Maggard is one of digging through myth, lies and a whole lot of names changes. An attempt will be made to stick to as many facts as can be verified, but some stories are just too good not to share. Those I will ask you to make up your own mind.

Lucy was born Lucy Ann Davis in New York in 1814. In 1836 when she was twenty-one Lucy married David Maggard. Then in 1854 at the age of thirty-nine she married James S. Coberly. Prior to moving to Colorado Lucy lived in Iowa and Kansas. It was while she was living in Kansas she filed for a depredation claim. In the claim she says she's a widow and her husband, David Maggard died in 1848, and she was the head of the household. For those who would like to read the whole of the claim and its outcome follow this link: Lucy Maggard Kansas claim- Google Books

In May of 1861 Lucy had a judgment against her property in Denver City and it was sold at a Marshal's sale. Whether this had anything to do with her boarding house not selling alcohol even though there were thirty-one saloons close by. According to the Colorado Heritage magazine her boarding house, known as the Temperance House, was known for its buffalo tongue pot pie with bacon and cabbage.

That didn't stop Lucy. She moved to Colorado City in that same year of 1861, the year Colorado became a territory, and opened another boarding house called the "El Paso House" in 1862 as seen in this ad from the Rocky Mountain News, July 22, 1862.

 Colorado City was founded in 1859 and was for a brief time the territorial capital. One story has it that the delegates who were staying in Colorado City were unhappy with their accommodations. In an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette of November 9. 2008, Lucy is partly blamed for the delegates leaving.

While Lucy was one of the early pioneers to the region and one of the few widows, there were others who preceded her in the area, some arriving around 1858. However her daughter, Fidelia's marriage to William H. Garvin was one of the first recorded in the region.

By 1866 Lucy had moved to Montana and appears to have started using the name of her second husband, Coberly. There seems to be some question as to when she married him, but she used that name for the rest of her life. Except for a brief time in Nebraska in 1885, Lucy spent most of the rest of her life in Montana. She died there in 1892 at the age of seventy-seven. 

Lucy's grave marker in Montana

For those interested in what others have to say about this women, here are two more links:
Old Colorado City Article
Granite County History Blog

Until next time happy reading and writing. Get those fingers typing for PRP has some great anthologies coming up.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Member of National League of American Pen Women,
Women Writing the West,
Pikes Peak Posse of the Westerners

Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here


  1. These women were so strong and real survivors. Another fascinating piece. Thank you.

    1. Her life was so rich with story that is was difficult to keep it down to just these few words. The government depredation claim alone is fascinating. These women were so amazing and strong in their place in history. I confess, I love digging their stories out and sharing. Doris

  2. Thanks again for helping us remember some of the strong women who carved out a life for themselves in the west. I don't know how they did it. Just thinking about the miles they covered when traveling was a major undertaking is mind-boggling to me. And,it is challenging to go back and sort fact from story with some of these lesser known characters! Buffalo tongue pie...yum

  3. I confess, I am so enjoying writing and researching this series. The stories also help me develope my own characters and that is a plus. I so happy you are enjoying the stories of these women.

    I know, Buffalo...but it was considered a great meat back then. But me, not so much.

    Thanks for adding to the discussion. I so appreciate it. Doris

  4. Doris, I know I would not have made a good pioneer. I would not have "had the right stuff" I don't think. On the other hand, what did people do--they either lived or they died! I'm glad I'm alive in this day and time and not back then. LOL

    1. I confess I'm still on the fence about being a pioneer. Health issues would be a concern, but...oh who am I kidding. (Grin).

      It took so much to just survive. Like you, I'm content with this time. I will say, researching these women has been a joy. I hope to continue for a bit with some of these early women. They are great 'fodder' for building my own characters. (Smile)

      Thanks for everything. Doris

  5. Well darn her anyway for making those legislators fetch their own firewood and clear out at mealtimes. *still chuckling over that* Now, fetching my own firewood wouldn't bother me a bit. It's the buffalo tongue pot pie that got me. No amount of bacon can fix Ewww.

    Lucy was a colorful character. I'll bet she told great stories...true or not.

    1. She comes up whenever the Old Colorado City folks talk about losing the capital. Of course Judge Baldwin sometimes will show up too.

      Her story only gets better the more I did into her past. The buffalo tongue was a new one I had recently found. I know it was considered a delicacy, but...Ewww is right.

      Glad you like Lucy. I've a feeling she may show up someway somehow in a story one of these days. (GRIN) Doris

  6. I apologize for being so dang late, Doris. Lucy certainly did a bunch of moving, but who could blame her? What a hard time she had trying to establish herself in the business community.
    For as popular as buffalo tongue pot pie might have been, I can't imagine actually eating it.
    Well, I'll give it to Lucy, she was a tough and persistent lady. Great blog, Doris. You always have some great historical stories to tell. All the best to you!

    1. Sarah, Thank you for the kind words. I truly do love researching and telling these stories. In many ways I admire and relate to some of them, and others I just go WOW. Wishing you the best on your new writing adventure. Doris

  7. I just came across your blog while searching for an ancestor, David Maggard. He was born c.1792 in present day Shenandoah County, VA and moved with his mother (Susannah PENCE Maggard) and her family to Champaign County, OH around 1805. He and his brother Benjamin went to Indiana with their Pence and Norman cousins in the late 1820s, then I loose them during/after the 1832 Black Haw War in and around present day Joliet, Will County, Illinois.

    Do you have any additional information about your David Maggard? I've always guessed if he didn't die, he kept going west.

    Thank you most kindly,
    Charlotte NC