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Loading Table Of Contents Also in This Series. More Like This. More Details. More Copies In Prospector. Loading Prospector Copies Bell and myself to prepare a life of General Palmer, primarily for the state archives. The General promptly vetoed the arrangement; he could not be made to see that he had done anything in his life to merit such distinction. After the reunion, he wrote more openly regarding the importance of his friendship with General Palmer. In closing his letter to the men who had attended the reunion he wrote, But greater than his triumphs upon the field of battle to which we bore witness: greater than his triumphs over the forces of nature, as illustrated by his great work in Colorado, are the triumphs in his character.

Of those attributes which we are in the habit of considering as appertaining to the heart rather than to the head, triumphs which have won for him the undying love of his old comrades in arms, of the people of this community, and of all whose privilege it is to know him. Although both men were extremely modest and did not consider that they should be singled out for special praise, they were true pioneers who built a lasting legacy in the West and in the city of Colorado Springs.

It is to be hoped that Major Henry McAllister will be remembered not only for all that he was and all that he did for the city of Colorado Springs, but also as an example of a good and true friend. Barbara Gately received her B. She participated in the bicentennial celebration of Zebulon M. Gately enjoys reading historical novels and mysteries, as well as researching historic costumes and needlework.

Haskell, December 10, McAllister House Museum Archives. You cannot spoil me in that way. William, a year old Civil War hero and railway builder, was charismatic and intelligent. The couple had much in common. They enjoyed art, poetry, literature, and they shared a passion for travel. Their courtship was a long-distance one, carried on through letters, telegrams and brief visits by Palmer whose business drew him from west to east and back again.

In November , they married. Although marked by frequent and lengthy separations, theirs was a grand and bittersweet love story, but it endured a lifetime. Hats she scorned. In a letter to her, he reported that upon first meeting her, an acquaintance admired Queen. This sentiment delighted him, as it agreed with his own estimate.

William told Queen his dreams for their future life.

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And what fantastic dreams he had! He loved the West, finding inspiration in its majestic mountains, and he envisioned developing its resources and opening it to settlement. The couple looked forward to a life, rich and varied, a life imagined and achieved by few others in history. Together, in the magnificent Colorado landscape, they would establish a new railway reaching from Denver to Mexico and a new colony of cultivated souls. At the foot of Pikes Peak, they would build a castle; nestled in the canyon they called Glen Eyrie.

Upon their railway, they would travel in a private little house-car. And then our future home occurred to me, and I felt so happy that I would have such a wife, who was broad enough, earnest enough, wise and good and pure enough to think that a wild home amidst such scenery was preferable to a brown stone palace in a fashionable city. Enchanted by the remote, sublime location nestled in the Garden of the Gods, she began designing a three-storied home with spacious rooms for the children she dreamed she would raise, the guests she would entertain, and the servants she would employ.

I love you with all my heart.

Legends, Labors & Loves William Jackson Palmer, 1836—1909

The day following, they sailed to Europe for a three-month long combined honeymoon and business trip for William. William, away on business, welcomed his bride with letters. While William pursued his business interests, Queen, left to entertain herself in his absence, captivated the hearts of her new neighbors and inspired the cultural foundations in her new home.

She supplied the schoolroom and all its furniture, including a good cabinet organ; she invited personally every boy and girl in reach to be there on the day for opening. When we came, some twenty in number, on an early October morning, we found all possible books and supplies of every sort in quantities very generous; and beyond all this, Mrs.

Palmer had installed herself as teacher. She gave herself to the work without stint, coming from Glen Eyrie every morning by 9, either driving or riding, for she loved fine horses, bringing her noon lunch, and so working until 4, every day for months. It was a kindness and self-forgetfulness so rare that I have never personally known any instance comparable to it. Palmer was a rarely beautiful woman, and, to me at least, living in the new west, with its homely, plain people, the elegance of her dress, and grace and charm of her manner, her genuine refinement and her unvarying patience and kindness, her soft, musical voice as used in reading or talking and in her beautiful singing, for she was fine both as reader or singer, all combined to give my first Colorado Springs teacher a marked influence over me.

We all brought lunch at Mrs. Bell, Photographer, Chestnut St. On one afternoon each week Mrs. Palmer would read to the school from stories of Greek mythology a subject wholly new to every one of us. So our interest was intense as we heard. We all began to write essays which were corrected and commented on with care and kindness, and the best ones read aloud by Mrs. Palmer herself, and she sought earnestly to train each one to read effectively both prose and rhyme. For both others and me there was more of real comprehension of the subject from the influence of those months than from years of study of grammar and rules.

If Mrs. Palmer decided that any pupil ought to take any study she promptly arranged for it in some way. Still, the Palmers traveled; while on a February , Parisian voyage, Queen noted that they had traveled nearly constantly. Palmer on his business trips. London and New York were the usual destinations.

Queen suffered a heart attack. Within weeks of that traumatic event, her daughter Dorothy was born at Glen Eyrie. Slightly over a year later, in England in the fall of , the Palmers welcomed their youngest child, Marjory. Palmer would travel to London to be near him during the time of confinement. Palmer, Elsie, Dorothy, two governesses, the family doctor and two maids.

More and more time was spent in and about London, Gen. Palmer providing splendid homes and being as frequently with his wife and children as his business activities would permit. Finally, around , Queen and her daughters settled permanently in England. It mattered not whether Queen dwelled in London or at Glen Eyrie, as the following August newspaper account illustrates: At the last annual meeting of the directors, General Palmer was practically relieved of the principal portion of his duties by a resolution placing the control of operation in the hands of a managing committee, whenever General Palmer was absent from New York.

He has been away from the main office of the company much of the time for the past two years, his Mexican railway projects requiring a great deal of attention. But his powerful sense of responsibility is revealed in an letter, written aboard a ship returning him to New York from England, where his family remained.

I have taken it easy aboard Ship. I shall plunge into the Maelstrom however tomorrow. My single purpose now is to rescue the various Enterprises from the gulf which seems to yawn for them and save my friends and the other investors from a final loss if possible. In the spring of , together they toured France and Italy.

Notified of her worsened condition, William departed for England. But her life slipped away so quickly. William was not at her deathbed. In death they would be together. William died on March 13, A simple stone marks his ashes, buried at the Evergreen Cemetery. I do not hope for you that the honeymoon may be perpetual, but that the burning love of this happy period may give place to that pure and steady flame which shall go out only with life.

Nicholl has occasionally served as an adjunct instructor of history, teaching college level courses for CSU-Pueblo and for the Pikes Peak Community College. Formerly unknown to the participants, it was an eBay discovery by Palmer collector Victor Stone who then shared it with all of the Colorado Springs photograph repositories. All agreed that it showed better than any previously known image the girl with whom Palmer fell in love, and was thus used in the symposium puppet show to represent that Queen Palmer. Palmer to Queen, May 30, , Her mother Isabel died when she was four years old; her father, William practiced law in Illinois and Ohio, was an official of the U.

Treasury Department in Washington, D. Frances M. Mary D. Black, Queen of Glen Eyrie, Edward F. Glen Eyrie was scheduled for remodeling. The General took this opportunity to move the Mellens to England so that the three boys might attend Oxford. He also took Queen and the girls along. Osterwald, A Mile by Mile Guide, Palmer Dead. She continued to live at Glen Eyrie until , when a trouble of a valve of the heart compelled a removal to a lower level.

The last was for four months in See photo on page Rocky Mountain News, August 11, Black, Queen to William, May 30, , William to Queen, January 2, , quoted in Gehling. Isaac H. Palmer Philadelphia: privately printed, , Palmer to Clothier, August 5, The William L. Now that is a generous brother- in-law. Does it make you wonder why he built it? Perhaps an excerpt from my biography in progress will make you wonder more. After my divorce, I was a bit at loose ends. I was living with mother in New York City.

I had been feeling a bit unwell and when General Palmer came to visit us that December, he suggested I try the healthy air and refreshing solitude of Glen Eyrie once more. My brother, Clark, also decided to join us and find a place for himself in Colorado. As we traveled on to Colorado, the General read us passages of Mr. He suggested deep breathing with arm raises, deep bends from the waist and always, proper breathing.

I laughed as the General read that I must do these with loose or no undergarments, in private with good ventilation. I agreed with Mr. The corset, though somewhat modified, was still a confining and unnecessary evil. I was pleased that General Palmer was interested in my well-being.

I did practice these exercises and also went riding every day at Glen Eyrie, remembering to use both left as well as right handed saddles to stay properly aligned. The General escorted me and we were met in the reception room by old friends, Dr.

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They were pleased to see me, divorced woman or not. As we ascended the smilax wreathed staircase to the dining room, I heard the guarded whispers of the women below. I remember the gossip of acquaintances back in when I received my final divorce decree. I was not considered quite a proper person, I guess. It was brave and kind of General Palmer to escort me about on his arm. I knew he usually avoided these public displays. I truly felt like someone of worth.

Queen spent almost thirteen years searching for a place to live where her heart problems would diminish. When she was living in England for her health about , the General was asked to choose between these two loves. He found he could not. Fortunately, he was wealthy enough to try to keep both. Now my dear Will about my health.

General William Jackson Palmer, 1990 Colorado Business Hall of Fame Laureate

Can you not give up some of your responsibilities. Was he successful in his efforts to keep both loves? Maybe it depends on how you view true happiness. In a letter to his father-in-law, General Palmer gives us a peek into how he viewed Glen Eyrie. He was writing as he embarked on another trip to Mexico. Mellen, [his mother-in-law] I am sorry to lose so many more months of Glen Eyrie. When he met Queen late in , he probably did not ask about her health. Who does when they fall in love? We can assume he learned of her background slowly. What accounted for that? Let us take a look at some family history that General Palmer may have learned early on.

William Mellen when she was 17 years old. He was fifteen years her senior and a widower with a 4-year-old son. She was a brave strong lady, it seems. Not a good sign. They were hardy pioneers, like Grandmother Clarke. Mellen built a large lovely home for his family, now of two children. Courtesy a brother and sister for of Delores Gustafson. But here is the warning of problems ahead.

Well, five children in seven years. Queenie was not yet 5-years-old. She and her siblings retained little memory of their mother. May she live and be like her mother in pureness of heart. Maybe not until after they were married, since he was working on the Kansas Pacific Railroad for much of their courtship and irregularly visited her. Health is not something you talk about when you have short visits. At any rate, there were more warning signs in the Mellen family. Queen alone, at age 12, remained as a mirror of her mother, Belle.

When General Palmer first visited Queen and the family, they were temporarily living in Washington, D. Grandmother Clarke was also living with them. A bit of a letter from Grandmother gives you a clue about the family. This must have been an adjustment. Those are some of the facts the General may have known about Queen before he married.

But he was in love and his dream of making a home in the West for her must have been very strong. Never mind the health history. They married in November , and left for England combining a honeymoon and business. A letter that General Palmer wrote to his in-laws shows some of his feelings. She is a great contrast with the reserved shell-enclosed English girls. From the day I first met Queen, I have formed a higher opinion of her character the longer I knew her.

And I now respect, admire and love her more than ever before. This is a different thing from love at first sight. Her father and mother who have formed this character are still more respected for it and endeared to me by the inestimable boon they have conferred upon me. William J. Palmer is sitting in back, with Queen Palmer in front of him.

Photo ca. From Delores Gustafson, courtesy of Rhoda Wilcox. I will return to Charlotte Mellen Sclater, called Lottie. They never thought that, of course. They considered themselves sisters. They had the same father and their mothers were sisters who lived together much of their lives. Lottie was 8 years younger than Queen. I think she was a bright brash child.

Goodbye from your sincere friend, Lottie Mellen. Please write soon. When General Palmer built the original Glen Eyrie in , it was not a cottage for two. He had asked his father-in-law to join in his railroad venture. Mellen was a lawyer, who knew all about coal mining, and had served as a Treasury Department special agent in Washington, D.

He knew influential people with money to invest. Lottie Mellen with her parents and five siblings, ranging in age from 14 to 1-year-old Daisy, arrived in Colorado Springs the last day of Maud was born in October Glen Eyrie was not ready for the two families so they became pioneers for a while, camping in Manitou. This was just like Grandmother Clarke again. Two things occurred to make Lottie a bit of a rebel. Her adored Grandmother Clarke died while on a visit to Glen Eyrie in She was buried on the hillside behind Glen Eyrie, with a lovely rock for her headstone.

Lottie had been on her first solo trip with him, visiting relatives in Cincinnati and planning to go on to Washington. These were too many changes, too fast for a year-old girl. General Palmer became surrogate father to the whole Mellen family. His own daughter, Elsie had been born just a year earlier and another Mellen daughter, Maud, had arrived about the same time. That meant he had eight children depending on him.


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Also he was in the midst of developing a railroad and a city. This was quite a man. Lottie Mellen may have felt a bit cheated by those deaths in the family. She had missed out on so much. Queen had gone everywhere with their father after she turned Chicago, Denver, Minnesota, Niagara Falls, Washington and even on a boat trip to southern ports after the Civil War. Lottie defied her mother and asked General Palmer for permission to marry. She had not yet turned How did General Palmer handle this situation? He gave in. Lottie Mellen and Ernest P. General Palmer then took over, trying to make sure this marriage would survive.

He was doing alright, but General Palmer gave him the job of collector for his newspaper, the Gazette. Ernest became general manager very quickly. Ernest was right in there with all the big names in the new city. The General helped them buy their own home on Tejon Street. The Palmers and Mellens were no longer living together at Glen Eyrie.

General Palmer had assisted Ellen Mellen in that move shortly after she was widowed. Perhaps she felt Queen needed a home of her own now that she had a daughter, just as Lottie deserved a home of her own. But recovery came with the birth of two more sons, Eric and Cyril. Ernest Stephenson had been selling lots and investing in silver mines. General Palmer had even purchased ten lots north of Colorado College from Ernest. Did he realize that Ernest was in financial trouble? Ernest announced in the newspaper that he was leaving his position on the Gazette to pay more attention to his silver interests in Silver Cliff and Leadville.

This time General Palmer did not bail him out. Perhaps there were other problems, as by , Lottie Stephenson owned the deed to her home and Ernest was gone. General Palmer gave the ten lots to Lottie, putting one half in trust for his godson, Cyril Stephenson. That is a neat godfather. Lottie sold some property, and with her two sons joined her mother in the move. General Palmer had his own family to consider. Queen went to England about the same time as her mother where her third daughter, Marjory, was born.

The General was still traveling to Mexico, dealing with his dream of a railroad to Mexico. Palmer took time to set up trusts for the seven Mellen children. He tried to get them to stay on a budget but Ellen Mellen was not a good manager. Lottie appealed to him for help. I have given you up long ago as hopeless and have. After your death to pay the same interest for the support and maintenance of your unmarried daughters, etc.

With your rent from Manitou, you need not feel that you are dependant [sic] upon anyone or running any risk. He was not a father in name only. He was also a benefactor. General Palmer had come to the rescue again for Lottie. In order to divorce her husband Ernest, she had to live in El Paso County for a year before her case would be considered. Whether all the facts were accurate, only Lottie knew.

The statements given by Lottie, her mother and sister, all repeated the same thing. Have not heard of defendant [Ernest Stephenson] since Ernest left the family and provided no support. I believe the ladies were well drilled in how to answer the questions. The divorce was granted. Her brothers were there studying architecture and law.

In , Lottie returned to Glen Eyrie for the short visit I already told you about. Now you know the rest of the story. After her brief Colorado visit, Lottie returned to England to enroll her sons at Eton. General Palmer continued to visit Queen, who had been in England for six years, and any Mellens living there. General Palmer gave the bride away in a highly fashionable wedding. After the wedding, Mrs. Mellen moved to England again. General Palmer arrived too late to say goodbye. He had kept his beloved Glen Eyrie but lost the love of his life, Queen.

I believe she beat the odds by moving to England.

She probably had 10 extra years of life, though more sedentary, than she would have had in the high altitude of Colorado Springs. In the General took his three precious daughters back to his waiting Glen Eyrie. She married William L. Sclater, a noted English ornithologist. His mother had tried to prevent the marriage of her son to this divorced woman.

When Mr. Sclater was appointed curator of the museum in Capetown, South Africa, they defied her. They married in February and sailed to Capetown. General Palmer began traveling with his daughters to England and Europe, looking for items for the planned new and larger Glen Eyrie.

The three Mellen sisters, then all married, were living in the Frant area, as was Mrs. Lottie and Mr. Sclater often returned to England for Mr. I am sure the Mellens and Palmers often met over those years. Herein lies a puzzle. In Lottie received an expensive gift from General Palmer, a Tiffany wristwatch. What was the occasion?

Lottie had been one of the founders of the Field Force Fund in Capetown which gave packets of comforts for the troops during the Boer War. However, she did not receive her award for that until Lottie also assisted her husband in the editing of the many books he wrote. Sclater and his father, Philip Lutley Sclater, also an ornithologist, did complete a book about that time. Whatever the reason, the gift was likely presented in person as General Palmer and daughters were in England at that time. I am still searching for the answer. General Palmer was generous, but his gifts to individuals were usually not that extravagant.

Lottie joined them when they sailed back to the United States. It was a very rough voyage and everyone became seasick and stayed in their cabins, rolling and tossing. The next month at Glen Eyrie was filled with picnics, parties, and invigorating rides into the foothills. Lottie was an accomplished horsewoman. Lottie was an active, intelligent and well-read woman of her day. Now Lottie and General Palmer had a chance to ride in his mountain kingdom, no matter what the weather. His own daughters were not enthusiasts of outdoor activities. Lottie Sclater was 23 years younger than General Palmer.

I believe he looked on her as the kind of daughter he had always wanted. The Sclaters left Capetown, going overland from Zanzibar to Nairobi and down the Nile by safari and boat, taking photographs and recording their trip for a slide presentation later. Lottie was a pioneer in her own way, shades of her beloved Grandmother Clarke. The Sclaters arrived at Glen Eyrie in July There was plenty of room for them in that new and improved castle. They went camping at Wagon Wheel Gap, attended the festivities of the Pike Centennial, and explored the area on birding expeditions.

He was paralyzed and bedridden after a fall from a horse. An ordinary man would have given up. He was back in the game of life. Glen Eyrie became filled with doctors, nurses, extra help and endless visitors. The castle became too busy and noisy for Mr. Glen Eyrie was not conducive to quiet times for writing. Plans for the building of the Orchard House were begun. The Sclaters rented a home on Wood Avenue in the interim.

By fall , the Sclaters moved into the Orchard house. Lottie spent much of her time at Glen Eyrie. That summer in , the Palmers and Sclaters sailed for England for the planned marriage but Marjory Palmer had changed her mind. Henry C. I would have loved to have heard that conversation between father and daughter. Upon the return to Colorado of the whole extended family in November, the General was weak after a bout with bronchitis and Marjory Palmer was ill with tuberculosis.

By the end of February , the General was visibly failing. In March, General Palmer was gone. The end was peaceful. He was a man ahead of his time. He was able to found a railroad and a city plus care for two families. I believe he found his happiness with Queen, his three daughters and Glen Eyrie.

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But what about Lottie Mellen Sclater? I think he was very proud of all her accomplishments and truly treated her as a fourth daughter. The Orchard House today stands as the visible monument to their relationship. Gustafson has researched her subject for over a decade, has met with family descendants in England, and has uncovered historic photographs and other documentation about the Sclater and Palmer families. She is originally from Minnesota and graduated from St. Olaf College. Delores Gustafson, William J. Palmer biography in progress for Rock Ledge Ranch. Palmer to Mr.

William P. Horatio P. Van Cleve and family papers, , Minnesota Historical Society. Van Cleve and family papers. Palmer to William P. Mellen, December 10, , Mellen Family Papers. Palmer Collection, Colorado Historical Society. Colorado Springs Gazette. New York Times, July 27, Palmer, encouraged them from his bed. The bedside sling provided excellent entertainment. Bell NOTE: This chapter is reprinted with only minor format and spelling revisions to the original version. The rapid development of the United States is largely due to the few men of exceptional ability who have opened up the country by various systems of railroads.

Palmer high school in Colorado Springs, the social sciences building on the Colorado College campus, and a statue in downtown Colorado Springs at the intersection of Nevada and Platte Avenues. The statue faces south, with the General in civilian attire in a relaxed pose facing southwest towards Pike Peak.

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You are here Home. William Jackson Palmer. William Jackson Palmer Share article to. Share article to. He became a general during the war. Legacy Palmer had a lasting impact on the state of Colorado, especially on Colorado Springs. Ambriz, Cynthia. Allan C. Additional Information:. El Paso County. Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Related Articles.