Nonie Irene de Belote married John Osgood, who her friends called Cleve, in 1877. He was ten years older but he was, of course, a multi-millionaire. Irene was born on a plantation in Virginia, even though she also claimed on occasion that she was born in England. There was no record of her home plantation or of a family name of Belote in England during that period.
One of her passports showed that she was born in 1861. She later changed her birthdate to 1866, then 1869, then 1875. She was a young socialite writer of purple prose. John created a publishing company to publish her books and those of her friends. She prided herself on being an author of poetry and a novel named Shadow of Desire. Her novel was reviewed by the New York Times and they concluded that, “The book is as unwholesome as any they have had the bad fortune to read.”
She was high-spirited and after refusing to move to the “Wilds of Colorado”, she consented to be housed in the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs. The Hotel was one of the finest anywhere and she was relatively satisfied. However, the Hotel thought differently and she was invited to leave the hotel bar for being “rowdy and obnoxious”.
She did not let her marriage interfere with her lifestyle, which involved traveling in Europe with her author friends. At about the time that Cleve began planning the construction for their mansion, Irene chose to run off with a Captain Charles Harvey. John circulated the story that she had been killed by a runaway horse in Central Park in New York. They divorced in 1899 and had no children.