The first time I saw this picture I was sitting on the hardwood floor in my
parents home, playing with my toys. My father walked up to me, he was
VERY angry, he shoved this picture in my face and said, "This is my best
friend and I want you to remember it. Don't you ever forget, study this
picture and never forget Charley was my best friend."
I took the picture and to this day it is a favorite of mine. Why did my father get so mad, you wonder. Its because the Tutt family was going around saying that C.L. was my dad's best friend. My father was going to
make sure I knew the truth and to this day I will not print the picture of
my dad and C.L.
Charles Mather MacNeill was the son of Dr. J. Edward MacNeill, he had one sister named Eloise.
They lived in Denver, Colo. but his dad was from Vermont. Charley was a go getter, he was a year younger then my father and my dad always thought of him as a brother. In fact he once said that Charley acted more like a brother then his real brothers.
Charley was a partner in everything my dad did. He was a partner in the Broadmoor and president for the Utah Copper, Chino, Alaska mines and more. The list is staggering from Africa mines to Alaska and Charley even did businesses that my dad didn't get involved in. He was the energizer bunny of his time. He and my dad tried to do the hotel business before the Broadmoor. It was in Penrose, Colo. but it failed. The hotel still stands in that city today.
Charley was rich and powerful, with that comes enemies and he had them. The biggest enemy was The Western Federation of Miners, they were the mafia of that time. They had hit men and Charley was on the list. No matter what you read, they murdered Charley. He did not die from pneumonia, my father could not help him. How they did it I will never know because my dad could not bring himself to talk about it. He would start then hang his head and no more words would come out.
Charley was married to Marion Parsons Irwin, they had a house in New York and apartments at the Antlers Hotel here in Colorado Springs. I always thought that it was strange, living at The Antlers when he was a partner of The Broadmoor. I know he had his reasons, it just makes me wonder what they were. They had no children but Charley was the guardian of a boy and girl. The children were not related to each other and I could find nothing out about them. If my father ever mentioned them then I don't remember it. Marion was in Europe when Charley died, she left for Europe in 1921 and did not come back till 1924. She remarried in 1925.
Charley was a Colonel in WWI. There are no monuments or memorials to him, in fact history has all but forgotten him. Except for a little girl, who made a promise to always remember her daddy's best friend.
So, here's to you Charley the bestest friend Spencer Penrose aka Philip Thomas Penrose ever had.