Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Picture courtesy of PPLD

I would like to introduce you to Mary Lincoln Mellen Palmer better known as Queenie. She was Colorado Springs first school teacher.

Queenie came from a modest family, her father was a lawyer/coal miner/chauffeur. 1871 was a big year for her, she turned 21, married General William Jackson Palmer, gave birth to her first child and she and her husband founded the city Colorado Springs. The above picture was taken in 1871 a few days after her marriage.
Queenie stood shoulder to shoulder with her husband building the city of Colorado Springs. She took all the children and taught them no matter what race. She became a hero to the children and their parents. One woman she befriended, named her last girl child after Queenie. This woman was a Cheyenne Indian married to a white man. To Queenie, she was just another person making a life in the wild west, there was no racism in her heart.
Her heart was bigger then life and she was very much in love with her older husband. William Palmer was a good man and loved his wife. They built a beautiful home together here in the Springs, it is called Glen Eyrie. It's a wonderful castle.
By the year 1881, Queenie had two daughters Elsie 10 years old and Dorothy 1 year, with another child on the way. She packed her bags and moved to England. Colorado history books say she had heart problems and needed to live in a lower altitude.
Margery Palmer, Queenie's last child, was born in England. William loved Queenie and could not bear to be without her. In the early 1890's he went to England, he stayed so long his visa expired. In 1894, a member of his family died in the states, he applied for a emergency visa to return to America. His daughter Elsie, now in her 20's, went with him.
It was after this he told Queenie and his daughters things would be differant. I can find no record of Queenie returning but his daughters did. They found out things were not differant, only this time he had tied up the money so they could not leave. In 1906 fate made a call. While horseback riding on his land, William's horse threw him. The accident left him paralyzed for life, he ordered the horse shot. Many years later, his daughter Dorothy said "they should have shot him instead of the horse."
In March 1909 William Palmer passed away, Queenie followed in 1910. Their final resting place is here in Colorado Springs, the city they started.
I edited this story in April 2010 because some of the things that Dorothy had told me as a child were somewhat jaded. She did not have a good realtionship with her father but her father was a good man. He also had a gift of coming to an area and seeing what that area would become. He told his daughters things would be differant if they came back to the Springs, what he didn't know was that the men he was in business with were becoming more greedy and his money would be tied up.
Palmer was a good man that loved his wife above all and she loved him.

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