Helen Mosgrove Collection
Helen Mosgrove, poet and teacher, was a member of the Tuesday Evening Club, the organization that founded the Salida Library. She and her mother lived at 525 G Street, and Helen taught at Salida High School for 29 years before her death in 1952.
Her mother, Lillian (or Lily) Deen Mosgrove, was married to James Mosgrove, who died in 1898, leaving her with 2 year-old Helen. Lily Deen Mosgrove was a charter member and president of the Tuesday Evening Club, and she was sister to James Work Deen, civil engineer for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, and a giant in the railroad building of Colorado. James surveyed most of the railroad lines west of Leadville and Gunnison. According to his obit, he camped several winters in the mountain before settlers arrived and walked over every foot of the D&RG rail system in Colorado.
This album was found in the Salida Library’s archive and is believed to have been the property of Lily and Helen Mosgrove. It contained the image of Helen and also a Christmas card to Lily and Helen from Fannie Martin. Many of the images are believed to be of the Deen family from Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. This is primarily where Lily’s family was from. She also may have had kin in Manhattan, Kansas and Ohio. Lily was also sister to Clara Deen, who was mother to Edith Lantz. Edith married Newt Simmons, an early member of Salida’s Wheelmen, a bicycling club in town.
The only labeled images in the album are of Darwin Deen (another brother of Lily’s), Winfield Scott Hulslander and his wife, Mamie (Amanda) Coyle Hulslander, and John Patterson Coyle, a brother of Mamie’s. The back of images are provided when they contain useful information and may provide clues.
Charles Stratton, known professionally as Tom Thumb, was a performer in P.T. Barnum’s Circus. In 1863, he married Lavinia Warren, in a show-business wedding that was the event of the season.
In later years, small town America would put on Tom Thumb weddings, where small children were set up in the roles of Charles and Lavinia. Some of these were used as fundraisers, and Salida did indeed participate. Tom Thumb weddings were advertised in the Salida Mail in the early 1900s.
The following images were taken of Helen with a group, possibly family, during an outing up to Poncha Pass. On the backs of one of the images was written: ‘These were some shots taken less than month before I was taken ill.’ They were found loose in the album.
Helen is wearing the white hat with riding trousers.