Molly (Tobin) Brown

Margaret (Tobin) Brown (1868 - 1932)

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Margaret (Molly) "Unsinkable Molly Brown" Brown formerly Tobin
Born in Hannibal, Marion County, Missouri, United Statesmap
Wife of — married in Leadville, Coloradomap
Descendants descendants
Died in New York City, New York, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 4 Nov 2015
This page has been accessed 996 times.

Categories: Survivors of the Titanic | 1st Class Passengers on Titanic | RMS Titanic.

The RMS Titanic.
Molly (Tobin) Brown was a passenger on the RMS Titanic.
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Birthplace Margaret Tobin, Hannibal, MO

Margaret Tobin was born in a three bedroom cottage near the Mississippi River in Hannibal, Missouri. The area is now known as Denkler's Alley. Her parents were Irish immigrants, John and Johanna Tobin. Born also to this union were Margaret's siblings: Daniel, Michael, William, and Helen. She had two half-sisters: Catherine, from her father's first marriage, and Mary Ann, by her mother's first marriage.[1]

At age 18, Margaret relocated to Leadville, Colorado, with her siblings Daniel, Mary Ann, and Mary Ann's husband John Landrigan. Margaret shared a two bedroom log cabin with her brother Daniel and worked in a department store.[1]

In Leadville, Margaret met and married James Joseph "J.J." Brown. He was an enterprising, self-educated, rich man; but Margaret claimed she married for love. They were married September 1, 1886, and had two children, Lawrence and Catherine.[1]

In 1893, the Brown family acquired great wealth when J.J's mining engineering proved instrumental in the production of a substantial ore seam for his employers, Ibex Mining Company. He was awarded with 12,500 shares of stock and a seat on the board. Margaret helped by working in soup kitchens to assist the miner's families.[1]

Molly Brown House Denver, CO
In 1894, they bought a 30,000 dollar Victorian mansion in Denver, Colorado and in 1897, they build a summer house, Avoca Lodge, in Southwest Denver near Bear Creek.[1]

In 1909, Margaret and J.J. privately signed a separation agreement. This agreement gave Margaret a cash settlement and she maintained possession of the house on Pennsylvania Street, in Denver, and the summer house. She also received a $700 monthly allowance (equivalent to $18,436 today) to continue her travels and social work.[1]

Brown assisted in fundraising for Denver's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, which was completed in 1911. She also worked with Judge Ben Lindsey to help destitute children and establish the United States' first juvenile court, which helped form the basis of the modern U.S. juvenile courts system.[1]

Brown ran for Senate in 1914 but ended her campaign to return to France to work with the American Committee for Devastated France during WWI.[1]

At the time of J.J. Brown's death on September 5, 1922, Margaret and her two children had five years of disputes over the estate. In the end, Maggie was to receive $20,000 in cash and securities and the interest on a $100,000 trust fund in her name. $118,000 was to be divided between her two children, who each received a $59,000 trust fund. Margaret and her children were reconciled at the time of Margaret's Death in 1932.[1]

Before her death, she was an actress.[1]


Margaret was conveyed to the passenger liner RMS Titanic as a first class passenger aboard the tender SS Nomadic at Cherbourg, France. Some of the other first class passengers disliked her because she was "new money".[1]

The Titanic sank early on April 15, 1912, at around 2:20 AM, after striking an iceberg at around 11:40 PM on April 14. Brown helped others board the lifeboats but was finally persuaded to leave the ship in Lifeboat No. 6. Brown was later called "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" by authors because she helped in the ship's evacuation, taking an oar herself in her lifeboat and urging that the lifeboat go back and save more people.[1]

People who have portrayed her

  • Thelma Ritter (1953 in Titanic)
  • Cloris Leachman (1957 in Telephone Time)
  • Tucker McGuire (1958 in A Night to Remember)
  • Tammy Grimes (1960 in The Unsinkable Molly Brown)
  • Debbie Reynolds (1964 in The Unsinkable Molly Brown)
  • Cloris Leachman (1979 in S.O.S. Titanic)
  • Fionnula Flanagan (1983 Voyagers!)
  • Marilu Henner (1996 in Titanic)
  • Kathy Bates (1997 in James Cameron's Titanic)
  • Judy Prestininzi (2003 in Ghosts of the Abyss)
  • Linda Kash (2012 in Titanic)


Birth: :: Date: July 17, 1868
Place: Hannibal, Marion County, Missouri
Spouse: James Joseph Brown
Date: September 1, 1886
Place: Leadville, Colorado
Date: October 26, 1932[2]
Place: Barbizon Hotel, New York City, New York
Place: Westbury, New York
Cemetery: Cemetery of the Holy Rood
Plot: Benziger, Sec 15, Row St Quentin, Plot 2


Father: John Tobin
Mother: Johanna Tobin
  1. Daniel Tobin
  2. Michael Tobin
  3. William Tobin
  4. Helen Tobin
  5. Catherine Bridget Tobin
  6. Mary Ann Collins
Spouse: James Joseph Brown
  1. Lawrence Palmer Brown
  2. Catherine Ellen Brown



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Margaret Brown
  2. Find a Grave
  1. 1870 Census Hannibal, Missouri

See Also

  1. Molly Brown House Museum

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No known carriers of Molly's mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 5
Molly Brown Image 1
Molly Brown Image 1

Tombstone of James and Margaret Brown
Tombstone of James and Margaret Brown

Margaret Tobin Birthplace
Margaret Tobin Birthplace

Molly Brown House
Molly Brown House



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