The Brind Mansion, 1000 Logan
The house at 1000 Logan was J. Fitz & Mary Evaline Brind’s second house on Capitol Hill. Originally they had a mansion at 825 Logan. Brind was a moving target, he held many business titles, lived at a variety of residences and was married three times. His first wife Mary was a member of high society in Denver. The house at 1000 Logan was changed to offices after his death and was occupied by a famous architect, S. Arthur Axtens. J. Fitz’s minor fame had more to do with his visits to court than other endeavors, one of which was artist and lithographer.
Brind was a mine owner. He owned the Butterfly-Terrible mine in Ophir, about 20 minutes south of Telluride. He was a printer and lithographer that made a birds-eye view map of Leadville. In 1887 he was doing investments under the name of Mattler Brind & Company. In 1890 the Denver City Directory lists his occupation as real estate. In 1893 he was the general agent for the Judson Dynamite & Powder Co and Western Fuse & Explosive Co. of California. In 1896 he is listed as stockbroker.
Brind was no stranger to the court system. In 1892 he is listed in the Pacific [law] Review in a suite brought against him by his real estate partner John Mattler. Like his business discord, his personal discord brought him to the scales of justice. After his first wife died he was in court to protest the meager inheritance she left him, $2000.00 to buy an automobile. Then, again, he was in the spotlight of the courtroom and national newspapers when he divorced his second wife and she demanded maintenance of $400 a month.
This amount was meager compared to the gift he bought for his first wife, Mary Evaline. A diamond, once owned by Baby Doe Tabor and supposedly from Queen Isabella of Spain, was given to Mary by J. Fitz. It was valued at $75,000. The diamond was forfeited by Horace Tabor when the price of silver collapsed in 1893. The gem was part of a lawsuit J. Fitz Brind brought against International Trust. The institution was holding Mary’s jewelry, including the Isabella diamond, when Mary died of a tumor that was too large to remove by surgery. Mary E. Brind arranged that friends would inherit her gems if she died in surgery. After the doctor made the first incision he decided he could not remove the tumor. Mary died two and half months later, not from the surgery but the tumor. J. Fitz claimed since Mary did not die of the surgery the gems should be returned to him. The Isabella Diamond was never found. Who has it, where it is, and even if it was the true gem of Spain is all debated.
Did Horace Tabor, and J. Fitz Brind really have the jewel owned by Queen Isabella and Ferdinand II of Aragon, sponsors of Christopher Columbus?
Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain
If J. Fitz Brind had a bit of the scoundrel in him, his first wife Mary Evaline had the antidote, she was noted as society matron of Denver. Mary was president of the Old Ladies Home and the Denver Orphans’ home. She was the first women on the Executive Board of the Denver Organized Charities. She was also a member of the Ladies’ Auxiliary Board of Mercy Hospital. She also know as a philanthropist.
Mary, also known as Maria, E. Brind was listed as grantee on the city records at 1000 Logan in 1908, the house we view on the tour. Perhaps wanting to downsize, the Brinds moved from the 9,100 square foot mansion at 825 Logan to the 6,400 house at 1000 Logan. Like his job tittles, J. Fitz had many residences. He moved frequently, his residences listed as the King Block in 1887, 826 Pearl in the Highlands and 1420 Logan in 1893, in 1896 he is listed at 825 Logan. Twelve years later, 1910 he was at 1000 Logan.
When Brind died in 1921 the house changed hands and uses. It was sold to Claude Staten who had an investment and real estate business. Then it was owned by CPA’s Arthur & Mathew Gmeiner. It’s next use was the Parks School of Business. It’s most accomplished owner was architect S. Arthur Axtens.
Arthur Axtens was born in Garden City, Kansas in 1895. He attended the Agricultural College of Colorado (CSU) and Colorado Teachers College (UNC). He was licensed as an architect in Colorado in 1924. In 1943 he attained his Engineer License. His most recognizable work is the apartment building across the street from the Brind house at 1000 Logan, the Dorset House, 1001 Logan.
Fitz Brind was connected to Horace Tabor by wanting to give their brides the famous Isabella Diamond. The famous gem is mentioned in the home spun Colorado opera, Ballad of Baby Doe in Scene 6. Brind was also like Horace and other miners, they never stopped looking for the next fortune. The story of the west is the story of those who found riches and those that never stopped looking. Like Tabor, Brinds second wife filled the desire for the glamorous life. Brind did not have the scandal of the “other women”, but he had to deal with the gold digger wife. Newspapers as far away as Washington D. C. wrote about his marriage problems. Maybe it was the artist in him that blurred the lines of proper social behavior.
Brind’s Litho of Leadville, picturing the Tabor Opera House on the left, middle.
The first Brind Mansion at 825 Logan. It is about 2600 square feet larger than the house at 1000 Logan.
I want to thank John Olson, Judy Stalnaker, Becca Dierschow, Arianna and William at DPL and Shannon Schaefer for all the help in researching this subject. The article by Nancy L. Widmann was a great help. Written 5-21-2017, posted 12-15-2019
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