Leadville, Colorado - A “No Limits” City at 10,152 feet Above Sea Level!
...to riches... (Tabor’s Purchase of the Matchless Mine)
Even though Tabor’s income was reported to be tens of thousands of dollars a month,
with millions of dollars worth of mining stock accumulating, he anguished over not
owning a single mine in the district purely by himself... all his existing stocks
were shared with other investors.
His chance to own a mine that he could call completely his own came in September
of 1879 when Tim Foley, A. P. Moore and T. B. Wilgas put their Matchless Mine up
for sale. More than simply money itself, Tabor’s desire to own his own silver mine
had to have been the key to his decision to buy the Matchless, since it had been
traded and bartered so many times before for non-production, and was further embroiled
in lawsuit after lawsuit, that he had to invest over $30,000 just to clear the title
and resolve all the pending litigation. But now paying Foley, Moore and Wilgas an
additional $117,000, Tabor proudly touted that he finally had a mine, free and clear,
all his own, even if it wasn’t producing or making him any money.
The Matchless Mine Gallows and Head Frame
He quickly attempted to get his new “toy” up and running, but by March of 1880 work
at the mine finally had to be halted due to excessive water which was continually
flooding the shafts. But Tabor would not give up, and in July he hired a new manager,
Lou Leonard, who promptly re-opened the mine and began working to resolve the water
problems. It wasn’t long before Leonard happily reported to Tabor that he had gotten
the mine back in working order, and had hit what he claimed was “good ore.”
It was far better than “good”. Tabor’s Matchless Mine should have been called the
“Cinderella”, for by the first of the year, 1880, it was producing no less than $2,000
a DAY straight into Tabor’s wallet. Assay reports show some shipments were running
as high as 1,000 ounces of silver to the ton. Horace Tabor had done it again, and
it seemed his lucky streak would never end.