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Becoming a successful businessman during frontier days was a daunting task. For a single woman to succeed in this environment she required an extra measure of smarts, spunk and sometimes straight-shooting. Ruby had all these attributes in addition to being outspoken and a nonconformist.
Ruby married her father’s hired man, who was afflicted with a drinking problem and a vacant libido. One swing with a castiron skilled made her a virgin widow.
With only an eighth grade education she became a country school-marm and sparked a legend for parting the hair of an unruly student with a pistol bullet. Later she sent a scam artist packing when she blew away his contract through a cloud of cigar smoke.
While managing a commercial warehouse, Ruby became an attorney and proved her mantle as a trial lawyer when she proved a friend innocent of murder and sent a crooked town marshal to the gallows.
On her way to San Francisco, during a short layover in Portland, she became a complete woman in the arms of a man more interested in his career than becoming a husband. Aboard ship she learned the fine art of poker and later put this skill to use collecting inside business information.
Arriving in San Francisco Ruby found disappointment in a man she thought a friend. Using information gleaned while playing poker she and a former cab driver successfully carried out a sting operation on a greedy San Francisco businessman by sabotaging his planned lumber monopoly and setting off a wine war.
Ruby retired to a Sonoma Valley estate she purchased during the wine war, spent her time traveling and being a hobby vintner.