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Golden Colorado was the gateway to the gold fields of the Rocky Mountains during the Pipe’s Peak gold rush. Thousands of men, but very few women converged on these mountains seeking the riches of a life time.

With so few women, men gathered at the local saloons to get their turn with one of the working girls. Gilbert Burns, half owner of the Golden Nugget Saloon and Gambling Hall was a well known shyster. With the girls all worked to a frazzle every night, he and his woman, big Ruth McDougal, got the idea of mail order brides.

They hired men and wagons sending them back east to the big cities rounding up lonely women and girls. The rag-ah- muffins off the streets were bought new clothes with a promise of a good life out west. Rich miners and lonely cowboys were waiting by the hundreds to marry lovely young healthy women.

After the first two wagons came into Golden loaded with very young girls, Sheriff Ted Mink wanted to assign Deputy Sheriff John Dunow to go undercover and investigate making sure all of this was on the up and up.

“John you know this just doesn’t look right. Some of those girls are just babies and not old enough to even develop breast yet. You have free rein, but be mighty careful. There’s a lot of money involved in those brides.




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