1900 — The Price of Gold: Gravestone, Inscription, and Notes
This stone was photographed in Seattle, Washington State, in the winter of 2014.
The Transcribed Inscription
Marie Hayden, wife of Wilford B. Hoggatt, died December 31 1900, aged 30 years.
Notes about Research & Invention
This story focuses on the husband of the deceased for two reasons. First, because of his poetic choice of those three words describing Marie. Second, because the only bits of history found about her were mentions of her childless marriage to him, but he left a thick and interesting history.
Multiple sources inform us that Wilford Bacon Hoggatt was born in 1865, in Indiana. He graduated from the Annapolis Naval Academy in 1884, and began his career as a naval officer. He spent several years surveying the coast of Alaska, then moved to Washington DC, where he attended the Columbia University Law School, and married Marie Hayden in 1893. He returned to surveying the coast of Alaska, and started making claims for gold in 1897.
A year later he was ordered to return to Washington DC, where he served on the naval strategy board during the Spanish-American war. He put his brother in charge of the gold mines in Alaska, and attended the Columbia University School of Mines in Washington DC while he was working on the Spanish-American war strategy board. He resigned from the Navy in 1899, returned to Alaska and took over as the superintendent of the Julian gold mines.
Marie died in Seattle the next year.
Wilford Hoggatt was one of the few people who actually made a fortune mining gold in Alaska, but in 1906 he relinquished all his shares of the mines and Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to be the Governor of Alaska. He remarried that year. He and his new wife eventually became the parents of three daughters, and moved to New York City, where Governor Hoggatt died in 1938. He was buried in the Bronx.
Susan Marie Brown, © 2014