|Josephine Airey - from Wikipedia
she married James T. Hensley, and together they built a stone,
fire-proof dance hall as well as the "Red Light Saloon". She began to be
known by the nickname of "Chicago Joe" Hensley. Josephine began to rent
her numerous properties to other businesses, making her the most influential
landowner in Helena. Her wealth and influence enabled her to donate to
charities and political campaigns. Josephine and her husband later built
a large vaudeville-style variety theatre called "The Coliseum", which proved
greatly successful, due to its rich furnishings and the beautiful girls
Josephine hired to perform. Josephine was famed for her lavish style of
dress, lifestyle and parties she and her husband regularly gave.
|Josephine "Chicago Joe" Airey (1844 – October 25, 1899),
was an Irish-born American prostitute, madam, and proprietor of brothels,
dance halls, a variety theatre, and saloons in Helena, Montana. She eventually
became the most influential landowner in Helena. She was known as "Chicago
Joe" Hensley following her marriage to James T. Hensley.
Josephine was born Mary Welch in Ireland in 1844. When
she emigrated to New York City in 1858, she changed her name to Josephine
Airey. She held a menial job, but this soon bored her, so she moved to
Chicago where she took up prostitution. In 1867, she quit Chicago and moved
out west to the newly established gold mining town of Helena, Montana.
There she opened a hurdy-gurdy house, which quickly became a success due
to its appeal to the local miners. She left behind two sisters in Chicago
who she supported throughout her career.
She soon expanded her business; a fire in 1874 provided
her with the opportunity of buying up property from those who could not
afford to rebuild which made her the richest landowner on Wood Street.
She was the owner of the "Grand", a large brothel on the corner of State
and Joliet streets. In 1878,
Although prostitution was legal at this time in the United
States there was still much controversy surrounding Josephine's business
practices. An article in 1884 claimed that Josephine had tricked girls
into leaving Chicago to come work for her brothels. The idea was that she
told them they would be working in a hotel, but never specified what their
job would be exactly. This allegation was false, but Chicago Joe was known
for paying the fare from Chicago to Helena, which essentially meant she
was importing employees.
In January 1883, she placed a notice in Helena's newspaper,
the Daily Independent, ordering local saloon owners and gambling houses
not to serve her husband liquor, allow him to gamble or loan him money
on pain of prosecution. Later that same year, on 24 December 1883 she advertised
that she was holding a Grand Masquerade Ball at the "Red Light Saloon"
and issued invitations to all the citizens of Helena.
Then in 1885 legislators in Montana passed a law that
made the "hurdy gurdy" house illegal. These dance halls got their name
from the stringed instrument often found in them. Josephine's attorney
was able to keep her out of legal troubles, but she was forced to reorganize
her business and be less prominent in the town. After a few years, she
re-opened the Coliseum and converted part of the building into a brothel.
"The Coliseum" began to lose its popularity in 1890, as Helena became more
respectable. In the Panic of 1893, Josephine lost all her property apart
from the "Red Light Saloon". Soon she and her husband were forced to live
in the small rooms above the saloon.
At the height of her success Chicago Joe owned the Red
Light Saloon, The Grand Bordello, The Coliseum Variety Theater, and various
other businesses in the town. At one point she was the largest landowner
in the entire Red Light district. These buildings she owned were not shacks,
but large event centers that could host parties as well as serve their
intended purposes. For example, the Coliseum cost Josephine over $30,000
to build in the 1880s. The panic of 1893 claimed all of her holdings but
the Red Light Saloon and she lived the last few years of her life in a
room above it.
Josephine's business model began to rub off on her employees
and in 1875 Mrs. Lou Couselle started her own brothel in Bozeman, Montana.
Much like her former boss she used mortgages to make money and at the time
of her death she had an estate worth over $20,000. Again much like Josephine,
Mrs. Lou used the profits of prostitution to expand her business empire.
Mollie "Crazy Belle Crafton" was another woman who followed the path blazed
by Josephine. Mollie built the Castle Bordello, which cost over $12,000
in the early 1880s. Josephine's success clearly had a profound effect on
the minds of other women in the area at this time.
Josephine died of pneumonia on October 25, 1899. The citizens
of Helena gave her a magnificent funeral with many speeches praising her
accomplishments. In the final years of her life she lived under meager
conditions. The glory of her early days had been dried up in the panic
of 1893. Her death saddened the community and made front-page news. Her
generosity was noted and she was buried in the cemetery at a Catholic church.
|Susan Anderson from Wikapedia
patients, Anderson never owned a horse or car, and she was
usually paid in food or firewood rather than money.
|Susan Anderson (January 31, 1870 – April 16, 1960) was
an American physician and one of the first women to practice medicine in
Anderson was born in 1870 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and
later moved to Kansas. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she
lived with her father, younger brother, and grandmother. After she graduated
from high school in 1891, her family moved to Cripple Creek, Colorado after
gold had been discovered there. Although she originally wanted to work
as a telegraph operator, she was encouraged by her father to attend medical
school at the University of Michigan.
Anderson became a licensed physician after graduating
from medical school in 1897. She returned to Cripple Creek before moving
around Colorado in attempt to practice in Denver, Greeley and Eaton, but
found it difficult to find work. She was briefly engaged but was left at
the altar by her fiancé in 1900. In 1904, she was appointed Coroner
of Grand County, Colorado, during which time she investigated many of the
deaths involved in the construction of the Moffat Tunnel railroad.
After contracting tuberculosis in 1907, Anderson relocated
to Fraser, Colorado, where residents affectionately nicknamed her "Doc
Susie"; for 49 years, she was the only physician in Fraser. She tended
to a range of patients and medical conditions including childbirth, skiing
injuries, and particularly pneumonia during the 1918 flu pandemic. Although
most of her work involved making house calls to
During the 1950s, Anderson was the focus of several newspaper
and magazine stories. Actress Ethel Barrymore offered to make a film about
Anderson's life, but the latter declined. Anderson retired in 1956 and
was admitted to Denver General Hospital with poor health in 1958, where
she stayed until her death; she died in 1960, aged 90, and was buried in
Anderson was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of
Fame in 1997.
|Julia Bulette from Wikapedia
Virginia City's entertainment district. An independent operator,
she competed with the fancy brothels, streetwalkers, and hurdy-gurdy girls
for meager earnings. Contemporary newspaper accounts of her gruesome murder
captured popular imagination. With few details of her life, twentieth-century
chroniclers elevated the courtesan to the status of folk heroine, ascribing
to her the questionable attributes of wealth, beauty, and social standing.
In reality, Bulette was ill and in debt at the time of her death. The brutal
attack that ended her life pointed to the violence that surrounded the
less fortunate members of Victorian-era society.
|Julia Bulette (1832 – January 19/20, 1867), was an English-born
American prostitute and madam in Virginia City, Nevada. After her violent
death, she has been described as a beautiful, educated and independent
prostitute who never worked in or owned a brothel of her own in Virginia
City, NV. Various films and books took inspiration of her real or purported
biography. She was said to be the first unmarried white woman to arrive
in the mining boomtown following the Comstock Lode silver strike in 1859,
but that is highly unlikely; she probably arrived in 1863. Bulette was
a popular figure with the miners, and the local firefighters made her an
honorary member of Virginia Engine Company Number 1. She was murdered by
the accused John Millain, a French drifter and jewel thief, in 1867. He
was convicted of her murder but the case was very circumstantial. The townspeople
honored her with a lavish funeral and a speedy hanging of her assailant.
Julia Bulette, whose real name was Jule, was born in 1832
in Mississippi of French ancestry. In about 1852 or 1853, she moved to
California where she lived in various places until her arrival in 1859
in Virginia City, Nevada, a mining boomtown since the Comstock Lode silver
strike that same year. As she was the only woman in the area, she became
greatly sought after by the miners. She quickly took up prostitution, Jule,
or Julia as she became known, was described as having been a beautiful,
tall, and slim brunette with dark yes, she was refined in manner with a
humorous, witty personality.
"Jule" Bulette lived and worked out of a small rented
cottage near the corner of D and Union streets in
She was also a good friend to the miners, who adored her.
One described her as having "caressed Sun Mountain with a gentle touch
of splendor". Julia stood by her miners in times of trouble and misfortune,
once turning her Palace into a hospital after several hundred men became
ill from drinking contaminated water. She nursed the men herself. Once
when an attack by Indians appeared imminent, Julia chose to remain behind
with the miners instead of seeking shelter in Carson City. Julia also raised
funds for the Union cause during the American Civil War.
Julia's greatest triumph occurred when the firefighters
made her an honorary member of Virginia Engine Number 1. On 4 July 1861,
the firemen elected her the Queen of the Independence Day Parade, and she
rode Engine Company Number One's fire truck through the town wearing a
fireman's hat and carrying a brass fire trumpet filled with fresh roses,
the firemen marching behind.
She donated large sums for new equipment and often personally
lent a hand at working the water pump.
On the morning of January 20, 1867, Julia's partially
nude body was found by her maid in her bedroom. She had been strangled
and bludgeoned to death.
Virginia City went into mourning for her, with the mines,
mills and saloons being closed down as a mark of respect. On the day of
her funeral, January 21, thousands formed a procession of honor behind
her black-plumed, glass-walled hearse; first the firemen, who were followed
by the Nevada militia who played funeral dirges. Julia was buried in the
Flower Hill Cemetery.
A little over a year later, Julia's murderer was caught
and hanged for the crime. He was a French drifter whose name was John Millain;
and on April 24, 1868 he went to the gallows, swearing he was not guilty
of having killed Julia, but had been only an accomplice in the theft of
her meager belongings. Millain's hanging was witnessed by author Mark Twain.
Julia's legend continued after her death. The Virginia
and Truckee Railroad honored her memory by naming one of its richly furnished
club coaches after her. Her portrait hung in many Virginia City saloons,
and author Rex Beach immortalized her as Cherry Malotte in his novel, The
Spoilers. Oscar Lewis in his book Silver Kings reported that Julia Bulette
was written about more than any other woman of the Comstock Lode.
Only about two authentic portraits exist of Julia; one
is a photograph which shows her standing beside an Engine Number 1 fireman's
hat. A third photograph, previously identified as Julia Bulette, was most
likely that of her maid, who was also named Julia.
In October 1959, an episode of the television series Bonanza
titled "The Julia Bulette Story" featured the character of Julia, and showed
Little Joe falling in love with her to the chagrin of his father. She was
played by actress Jane Greer.
|Lottie Deno from Wikapedia
Carlotta J. Thompkins, also known as Lottie Deno (April
21, 1844 – February 9, 1934), was a famous gambler in the US state of Texas
during the nineteenth century known for her poker skills as well as her
She was born in Kentucky and traveled a great deal in
her early adulthood before coming to Texas. Much of her earlier life and
even her real name at birth are a matter of debate among historians, but
her fame as a poker-player in the Southwest is not. According to author
Johnny Hughes, "In the late 1800s Texas' most famous poker player was Lottie
Deno (shortened form of 'dinero' - Spanish for money)."
Carlotta J. Thompkins (her presumed real name) was born
on April 21, 1844 in Warsaw, Kentucky. Her family was reportedly quite
wealthy and her father, a racehorse breeder and prominent gambler, is said
to have traveled extensively with Lottie, teaching her the secrets of winning
at cards at some of the finest casinos. After her father's death in the
Civil War, Lottie's mother sent her to Detroit to find a husband. She was
accompanied by Mary Poindexter, her loyal slave and nanny. After running
out of money in Detroit, Thompkins fell into a life of gambling, traveling
the Mississippi River. Poindexter, reportedly seven-feet tall and formidable,
acted as Thompkins' protector during their travels.
Gambling days in Texas
Lottie arrived in San Antonio in 1865. She became a house
gambler at the University Club working for the Thurmond family from Georgia.
It was during this time that she met and fell in love with Frank Thurmond,
a fellow gambler.
After being accused of murder, Frank fled San Antonio
and Lottie followed. The pair traveled for many years throughout the frontier
areas of Texas, including Fort Concho, Jacksboro, San Angelo, Denison,
Fort Worth, and Fort Griffin. Their travels occurred during a local economic
boom on the Texas frontier as demand for bison hides spiked in the mid
and late 1870s. Cowboys and traders flush with cash during the period became
targets for gamblers in frontier communities. It was at Fort Griffin, where
Lottie lingered for some time, that her notoriety and legend became most
established. Fort Griffin, which was a frontier outpost west of Fort Worth
near the Texas Panhandle, was known for its saloons and the rough element
it attracted. Gaining fame as a gambler Lottie became associated with various
old west personalities, including Doc Holliday.
During her travels she gained numerous nicknames. In San
Antonio she was known as the "Angel of San Antonio." At Fort Concho she
became known as "Mystic Maud." At Fort Griffin she was called "Queen of
the Pasteboards" and "Lottie Deno." It was this last moniker by which she
became best known. Her escapades during this period became part of the
folklore of the American Wild West.
Lottie and Frank moved to Kingston, New Mexico, in 1877,
where they ran a gambling room in the Victorio Hotel. Lottie later became
the owner of the Broadway Restaurant in Silver City.
In 1880, Lottie and Frank were married in Silver City.
In 1882 they moved to Deming, New Mexico, where they settled permanently
and gave up their gambling life. They became upstanding citizens in the
community, with Frank eventually becoming vice president of Deming National
Bank and Lottie helping to found St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Lottie died
on February 9, 1934 and was buried in Deming as Charlotte Thurmond.
Miss Kitty Russell, a character from the long-running
American radio and television show Gunsmoke is based on Lottie Deno.
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