person in a love triangle is usually the long-forgotten one.
This is the fate of Harvey Doe. Harvey Doe’s chief claim
to fame – the only claim, really – is that he bestowed
the “Doe” on “Baby Doe.”
Nonetheless Harvey Doe is an
integral part of the whole saga of the woman who became the
colorful, legendary Mistress of the Matchless. Not only did
Harvey give his name to hometown sweetheart Lizzie McCourt,
he brought her as his bride in 1877 to the then adventurous
mining areas of Colorado.
They came because Harvey’s father had previously secured
mining interests in the region and hoped to set up the couple
for a successful life. It didn’t work out. Not for Harvey
and his bride, nor for Harvey’s father and mother who
also left Oshkosh and Wisconsin in hopes of a new beginning
for themselves after his lumber mill burned down just before
The breakup of Harvey and Lizzie’s marriage led, of course,
to the events that put Lizzie “Baby” Doe on track
to becoming Mrs. H. A. W. Tabor and a storied personality in
For Harvey the breakup left
him devastated and churning about for a time to make ends meet
in Colorado. He never got beyond being a day laborer. His father
died in Colorado in 1884 – after Baby Doe had succeeded
in becoming Mrs. Tabor – and Harvey’s mother soon
moved back to Oshkosh. Not long after, Harvey also returned
to Oshkosh and became a cigar maker.
True Love II took a long time
to find Harvey Doe. But in 1893 he married Ida Kingsley in Oshkosh.
Ida had fled an abusive marriage with George Kingsley in northern
Wisconsin whom she divorced the year before when she came to
Oshkosh. She brought to her new marriage two sons and a daughter.
Harvey and his second bride moved to Milwaukee and Harvey became
timekeeper at the Plankinton House, a well-known Milwaukee residence
hotel whose best-known residents would be a woman, Mrs. Arthur
MacArthur, and her son until the son, Douglas, secured an appointment
to West Point.
Harvey Doe was well-acquainted
with the fortunes of his first wife and of the sad fate which
was even then overtaking her. There was no more anguish in his
heart nor rancor against her. He felt sympathy for her in her
efforts to turn the Matchless into a producing mine once more.
He knew personally the harshness of such an effort.
By 1911, when Baby Doe Tabor
and daughter Silver apparently came to Milwaukee where daughter
Lily was living, Harvey and Ida Doe met them. There was sporadic
but kindly correspondence between Baby and Silver with Ida and
Harvey for the next four years. At one point Harvey said he
would come out to Colorado to help Baby except that Ida was
very sick and needed his attention.
But they did not again get
together. Ida died about 1920, and on June 1, 1921, Harvey Doe
died at the home of his step-daughter in Milwaukee. He was 68.