Wednesday, September 18, 2019

EMMA LANGDON - and Power of Words

Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, text and outdoor

This is a re-posting

Entrance to the Gold Coin Mine, Victor, CO.
photo property of the author
Emma F. Langdon and the Power of Words

THE state of Colorado ceased under the administration of James H. Peabody, to be republican in its form of government, and became a military oligarchy. The expressed will of the people was ignored by their chosen representatives; thus bringing upon the state a series of calamities, the magnitude of which may now readily be seen.”

The above is taken from the introduction to Emma's book “The Cripple Creek Strike, A History of Industrial Wars in Colorado 1903-4-5”. Regardless of your belief in who was right or wrong during this tumultuous time, this book is considered the definitive work on the region and events of the time and area. That it is written by a woman makes it even more amazing.

Image result for emma F. langdon
photo from Wikipedia
Here then is the story of Emma F. Langdon.

Emma was born on September 29, 1875, in Tennessee. She married Charles Langdon, born June 9, 1870, in 1896. She also became a step-mother to Lucille M. Lockett with this marriage. In 1900 the family was residing in Junction City Kansas.

In 1903 Emma and her husband moved to Victor, Colorado and worked at the Victor Daily Record. Although Emma had said a woman belonged at home and not in public life, her sentiment was not to be.

On May 15, 1893, in Butte Montana, saw the birth of the Western Federation of Miners. It was comprised of forty delegates from fifteen unions from the states of Colorado, Utah, Montana, Idaho and South Dakota. Approximately six months later the unions were able to negotiate shorter workdays (eight hours) and an increase in pay ($3.25 a day) in the Cripple Creek-Victor area. In 1903 the tensions between miners and mine owners increased. The union supported the smelter workers who were working long hours and less pay.

The situation became so volatile that the mine owners censored and arrested anyone who opposed their edits. This resulted in the workers at the Victor Daily Record being rounded up so that this pro-union newspaper could not put out the next issue. When Emma was told of the 'arrest' she went to the paper and that night barricaded herself in, set type and put out the paper on schedule. When she delivered the issue to the men who had been taken to the 'bullpen' the laughter of the captors changed and the incarcerated rejoiced.

Victor, CO
photo property of the author
In 1904 when the strike ended those who had supported the union were requested to leave. Emma moved to Denver Colorado where she remained until her death on November 30, 1937. She continued her work on behalf of the union.

The story of the Labor Wars in Colorado is full of people from both sides that made their mark on the history of the region. From 1893-1914 and the Ludlow massacre, Colorado was a hotbed of conflict between the haves and have-nots with errors in judgment on both sides. Not an easy read, but a fascinating one.

In "The Outlaw's Letter" Hetty Osgood is also an independent woman who follows her calling, to unexpected consequences. Below is a short excerpt and the book is on sale, with other Lockets N Lace 2019 stories through Sept 20, 2019.

      She'd seen him before, but not the way he looked now. It had been twelve years ago, back in Kentucky. Her stomach clenched, her hand started to shake. Fear made her grasp the beer she'd put down when she was preparing to leave. Hetty looked down at her drink. Out of the corner of her eye, Hetty saw the man turn her way. The look in his eye was like a snake getting ready to strike. He started her way, effectively blocking her from escaping. Well, if I can't get out of here, then acting scared will do me no good, Hetty thought.

     Taking a big swallow, Hetty turned and stared at the man, holding her ground by sheer will.
     "Frank, where's my drink?" he shouted as he reached the small space along the bar where Hetty stood. Glancing her way, he smiled, really more like a sneer. Reaching to grab the drink the bartender placed on the bar. "Kid, you look familiar," the man commented, looking Hetty over from head to toe. "Don't know where I've seen you before, but I'll remember," he threatened as he walked toward the poker table at the back of the room.
     Now what are you going to do? Hetty thought. She was torn between staying and leaving. If she stayed and the man kept staring at her, he would soon remember. 

Purchase on Amazon

Doris Gardner-McCraw -

Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Member of National League of American Pen Women,
Women Writing the West,
Western Writers of America

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 


  1. I enjoyed reading this post, Thank you so very much for sharing the pictures also. like usual I always learn something on these posts, Thank you. God Bless you.

    1. Thank you, my friend. I love the town of Victor, CO. and it has such a rich history. When I get a chance to share pieces of it, I jump at the chance. (Smile) Doris