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Erastus Hallack Living with Millionaire Silver King Horace A W Tabor - 2nd Wife Was Baby Doe

Erastus Hallack Living with Millionaire Silver King Horace A W Tabor - 2nd Wife Was Baby Doe

Posted: 1328021265000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1330047000000
Wealthy Erastus Hallack Family Living with Millionaire Silver King Horace A W Tabor - 2nd Wife Was Baby Doe

Erastus-7, John D-6, Jonathan-5, Joshua-4, (__?__)-3, William-2, Peter-1 Hallock
(Note he spelled his name Hallack during his whole adult life.)

The 1870 census reveals the above Erastus to be a wealthy man: Real Estate worth $9,000 and Personal Property worth $10,500. He was shown in that census as manufacturer - planing mill and a lumber merchant. His personal property is probably from his business interests and inventory.

In 1880, we find this wealthy lumber merchant and his family boarding with the Colorado Silver King Horace A W Tabor (occupation in that census shown as Lt Governor), and his first wife Augusta and son Maxey. This is before his celebrated marriage to second wife Baby Doe Tabor (President Chester Arthur attended the wedding). He would eventually lose his fortune, Baby Doe would live her life in poverty and the legend of Baby Doe was born through the Opera, The Ballad of Baby Doe. Their story is often told and retold on the History / Discovery / Smithsonian TV channels from time to time.

Why would a wealthy man in his own right be boarding with a millionaire family?? An intriguing question we'd like to know. My suspicion is that Erastus was involved with Tabor as a business associate - providing lumber for his mines and other interests.

You can read more about Horace Tabor here:

And Baby Doe, here:


This is an extract of the census entry:

1880 United States Federal Census

Name: Erastus F. Hallack
[Erastus F Hallock]
Age: 48
Birth Year: abt 1832
Birthplace: New York
Home in 1880: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado
Race: White
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Married
Father's Birthplace: New York
Mother's Birthplace: New York
Occupation: Lumber Dealer

Household Members: Name Age

Horace A. W. Tabor 49 <<< The Silver King, CO Lt Governor, CO Senator
Augusta L. Tabor 47 <<< First wife (second wife was the famous Baby Doe)
Maxcy N. Tabor 22
Hattie Fletcher 20
Christina Anderson 20
Erastus F. Hallack 48
Catharine Hallack 31
Minnie Hallack 10
Thomas O'neill 33

Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado; Roll: 88; Family History Film: 1254088; Page: 174D; Enumeration District: 008; Image: 0171.

Erastus Hallack Mansion - One of Denver's Most Successful Businessmen

Posted: 1328030421000
Classification: Biography
Edited: 1330047408000
The mansions of Denver: the vintage years
By James Bretz
Pg 126, Chapter 33 - The Horace Tabor House
Pg 132, Chapter 34 - The Erastus Hallock House

These sketches in this book of photos and sketches of the famous old mansions of Denver give biographies of both the owner / builders and the mansoins themselves.

The Erastus Hallack House

This article also discloses that Erastus owned some of his businesses with a brother named Charles.


Google Books also shows this affidavit, where Erastus Hallack affirms his personal assets exceeds his liabilities by $300,000.

Arapahoe County

Erastus F. Hallack and Mortimer J. Lawrence, being duly sworn, depose and eay, each for himself, that he is the identical Erastus F. Hallack and Mortimer J. Lawrence who signed his name as one of the sureties on the bond of William Ford Geddis and David Duff Seerie, to which this affidavit is attached; that he is the owner and possessed of property in the State of Colorado in the sum of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) over and above all liabilities, incumbrances and exemptions allowed by the laws of the State of Colorado.
Erastus F. Hallack.
Mortimer J. Lawrence.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 26th day of June, 1889,
Carlos Wood, Notary Public.
My commission expires May 18,1893.

There is more material on Google books about him, but this biography in the book on early Denver houses is one of the more detail biographies of him that I have found.

Erastus Hallack Biography from "Colorado Sketches"

Posted: 1328032673000
Classification: Biography
Edited: 1328449267000
Sketches of Colorado: being an analytical summary and biographical ..., Volume 1
By William Columbus Ferril, Western Press Bureau Company
P 136

Note - the Google Book has a photo of him.


HALLACK, ERASTUS F., lumber merchant and manufacturer, was born in Bethany, Genesee county, N. Y., May 30, 1832, remaining there until 21 years of age, and receiving his education in the local schools. Then starting west, he located in St. Charles, Kane county, Ill., where he engaged in the carriage manufacturing business in company with Stephen March, continuing for ten years, and in which he was successful and prosperous. Removing to Highland, Doniphan county, Kansas, in 1863, he there established himself in the same business, which he closed out in 1865. He then started for Denver, in charge of an ox train of twentyfive wagons, loaded with corn, each drawn by three yoke of oxen. Selling the corn on commission, and returning to Kansas, he came again to Denver in 1866, with a mule train of corn, this time owning the corn, which he sold at a good profit. Soon after, he engaged in the lumber business with Dr. J. H. Morrison. The latter retiring in 1868, Mr. Hallack, with his brother Charles, formed a partnership under the name and title of the Hallack Brothers Lumber Company.

In 1877, Charles and J. H. Howard became members of the firm, and the business was continued under the name of Hallack & Howard. E. F. Hallack retired from the firm in 1879, and organized "The E. F. Hallack Lumber & Manufacturing Company." In 1886 he purchased the land and opened a branch lumber yard called the Texas Lumber Company at 40th and Franklin Streets. The E. F. Hallack Lumber & Manufacturing Company, in 1890, erected a large mill at 23rd and Blake Streets. The year previous (1889) he started the Hallack Paint, Oil & Glass Company, which in 1905 was sold to J. G. McMurtry, and is now known as the McMurtry Manufacturing Company.

In 1891, The E. F. Hallack Lumber & Manufacturing Company was consolidated with the Sayre-Newton Lumber Company, and operated under the name of the HallackSayre-Newton Lumber Company, until 1898, when the Hallack interests were sold to the Sayre-Newton Lumber Company. In 1898, the Texas Lumber Company was enlarged and the name changed to the Hallack Lumber & Supply Company. Mr. Hallack passed away Dec. 6, 1897, and in his death, the community lost a valued citizen, a man of deep sympathies and generous charities. He was one of the incorporators of the Rocky Mountain Construction Company, which was later merged into the Denver Union Water Company. He was broad and liberal in his views, and the Unitarian Church was his special interest.

Mr. Hallack married in 1868, Miss Kate Gray of Bethany, New York. Three children were born to them, but only one, Minnie Gray Hallack, now Mrs. W. N. W. Blayney, grew to maturity. Mrs. Hallack, a descendant of a prominent colonial family, is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and has been Regent of the Colorado Chapter D. A. R. From the pioneer days to the present, she has been a leader in the social life of the city. She first came to Denver in 1868. The Union Pacific was finished only to Cheyenne, and from there to Denver she made the trip in a stage coach, with hostile Indians on all sides. The first pretentious residence in Denver was the old Hallack home at 19th and Lincoln Streets, then outside the town. It had the first bay window and the first winding stairway in the city. It was then the show-place of Denver with its two fountains on the lawn, but is best remembered by the old-time hospitality that was here dispensed, and where were wont to gather those prominent in the early life of the city."
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