The woman who would come to be known as the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” was bornon Denkler Alley and Butler Street in Hannibal, Missouri on July 18, 1867.
She was born duringa very bad thunderstorm and her mother predicted right then that Molly would not be “justanother pretty face. ” Margaret (Molly’s birth name) grew up in a small town with a surprisinglysmall population of less than 20,000 people. (Heroine of the Titanic, 1) Margaret attendedschool for thirteen years. It was during these years that she earned her nicknames Maggie andMolly.
She had a very open and close family. There were eight people in her small childhoodhome. These eight consisted of her two parents, her five brothers and sisters, and Molly herself. At the age of ten Molly’s father taught her how to row a boat.
He insisted that this skill would beuseful for her later in life. If he only knew what laid in store for his daughter! A little knownfact about Molly’s family is that they were poor. She tried to keep this fact about her family asecret because she found it shameful and embarrassing. As a young girl Molly worked at thePark Hotel.
She was soon dismissed for being too opinionated for a young lady. She then wentto work in a tobacco plant, but found the conditions disgusting and vulgar. (The UnsinkableMolly Brown, 1)At the age of nineteen, Molly was getting bored in her small “same ol, same ol” town. When she heard that one of her favorite cousins and his wife were taking a train cross-country toColorado she literally jumped at the idea of going with them.
She had heard all of the stories ofadventure and excitement in the West and wanted very badly to try her hand at it herself. Molly’s parents decided to let her go because their small town had nothing to offer theirdaughter. Molly’s main goal in life had always been to achieve success and be well known. They hoped their oldest child could make her dreams come true in the great land of Colorado.
Once Molly got to Colorado, she was anxious to begin her own adventure and see what was instore for her. She got a job sewing carpets while she got her new life started. Her co-workersdescribed her as a “capable and pleasant” employee. They all adored her because she had abright, charming personality, and beauty to go with it.
Molly’s move to Colorado was also a bitterrifying because she could have found herself working in a crib house, as a prostitute, or acook in a boarding house instead of fulfilling her dreams. It was here in Colorado that she mether future husband while the both were mining for silver. Molly met James Joseph Brown in a local mine. He fell madly in love with her charmand wit.
Stories say that when he came to her house for their first dates he pulled up to her gatewith an old , worn carriage and an aging horse. Molly said to James, “Certainly you are nottaking me anywhere in that!” The next time James called on her, he had purchased a brand newhorse and carriage just to show Molly off in. Maggie and J. J. married on September 1,1896. Not long after their marriage James struck it rich in the silver mines of Leadville.
The couplebought a sixteen-room mansion that is now a museum. ( Molly Brown, 1) Legend says that notlong after they moved into their large home, J. J. brought home his $300,000 paycheck . Mollyplaced it in the stove for safe keeping. When James came in later that evening and lit the stoveto warm himself up, he did not realize that Molly had hidden the money there and in a splitsecond their monthly fortune was gone.
As good as things were going for J. J. and Mollyfinancially, their marriage was heading for trouble. J. J. was sick of all the commotion Mollywas causing around the town.
Although documents do not reveal what commotion Molly gotinto , we can only begin to imagine what kind of things she stirred up! J. J. soon left Molly andshe sent their children to boarding school. With no one for Molly to care for she decided to setoff on her own