In June of 1862, when Jack Slade and his wife Virignia rode into Northern Colorado to build a new home station for the Overland Trail, he named it "Virginia Dale" in honor of his wife. Virginia is reported to have been "a voluptuous and lively woman of handsome features, even though she weighed 160 pounds."
Very little is known about Virginia, but from all accounts, she seemed to have been a devoted wife to Jack, as well as having an interesting life--both prior to marrying Jack while they were in Texas, and after his death. There are references to her having been a prostitute prior to her marriage to Jack.
In Virginia City, Montana, a vigilante committee ordered Slade to be hung. Jack was taken out to the street. There were a few tense moments while an argument ensued between Jack's few friends, and the vigilantes. The vigilantes won, and Jack was promptly hung. They were not even going to allow him to see Virginia, who was at home on the ranch, a few miles out of town.
Hearing about the hanging, Virginia came racing into town on horseback. She promptly cursed the entire lot. The crowd was in no mood to put up with anymore nonsense, so they told Virginia to get out of town, with Jack's body, and within ten minutes, and never come back, or she would be strung up too!
Virginia took Jack's body back to her ranch where she pickled it in alcohol and kept it under her bed. After several months, she took the coffin by stage to Salt Lake City where Jack remains buried to this day.
Virginia returned to Virginia City, and in March 1865 she married a James Kiskadden. Unfortunately, they soon separated. Virginia moved to St. Louis. Missouri where she was granted a divorce in 1868. Returning to Virginia City in 1883, she met and married a Elhener Crosby.
She was living in Chicago in 1890 where she tried unsuccessfully through a series of lawsuits to regain control of a ranch purchased by Slade in 1863 in Virginia City. Her final years have been described as "quiet ones in Missouri," or a "return to prostitution," take your pick.
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