Brothel and Madam Books

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Madam Millie

Madam Millie $ 24.95

Bordellos from Silver City to Ketchikan

By Max Evans

Mildred Clark Cusey was a whore, a madam, an entrepreneur, and above all, a survivor. The story of Silver City Millie, as she referred to herself, is the story of one woman’s personal tragedies and triumphs as an orphan, a Harvey Girl waitress on the Santa Fe railroad, a prostitute with innumerable paramours, and a highly successful bordello businesswoman. Millie broke the mold in so many ways, and yet her life’s story of survival was not unlike that of thousands of women who went west only to find that their most valuable assets were their physical beauty and their personality. 

Born to Italian immigrant parents near Kansas City, she and her sister were orphaned early and separated from each other. Millie learned hard lessons on the streets, but she never gave up and she vowed to protect and support her ailing older sister. Caught in a domestic squabble in her foster home, Millie wound up in juvenile court with Harry Truman as her judge. This would be only the first of many brushes in her life with prominent politicians.

When physicians diagnosed her sister with tuberculosis and recommended she move west to a Catholic home in Deming, New Mexico, Millie moved with her. Expenses ran high and after a brief stint waiting tables as a Harvey Girl, Millie found that her meager tips could easily be augmented by turning tricks. Thus, out of financial need and devotion to her sister, Mildred Cusey turned to a life of prostitution and a career at which she soon excelled and became both rich and famous.

Sadie Orchard

Sadie Orchard; Madam of New Mexico’s Black Range $ 20.00

By Hillsboro Historical Society

Arriving in the silver mining boomtown of Kingston in 1886, Sadie Jane Creech Orchard is arguably the most colorful woman in New Mexico history. Sadie opened brothels, worked as a prostitute, built and operated hotels, restaurants, and co-owned and drove for a regional stagecoach line. During World War I she tended to the less fortunate, and in the 1918 flu pandemic nursed children and cared for the sick and dying. Herein is a great new biography!

Bedside Book of Bad Girls

Bedside Book of Bad Girls 

Outlaw Women of the American West $ 14.95

By Michael Rutter

Drawing on fact and folklore, Rutter brings these gun-slinging “bad girls” to life and explores their motives, hopes, and dreams. He dispels many of the myths about these female outlaws, for sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Featuring forty-two historical images, Bedside Book of Bad Girls sheds light on figures and events often shrouded in fabrication and fantasy. Meet these fascinating characters, complete with their pistols and petticoats, their knives and knaves, their vices and victims.

Boudoirs to Brothels

Boudoirs to Brothels

The Intimate World of Wild West Women $14.95

By Michael Rutter

Come peek between the covers for an intimate look at the lives of women of the Old West. Once “fallen” or widowed, a woman had few options and almost none that were socially acceptable. Many turned to the red light district to survive.

Mary Elizabeth Haley was born into a wealthy Texas ranch family, but she was kidnapped in a Comanche raid at age ten. Three years later, her father paid a ransom for her return. Fearing Mary had been defiled, the family shunned her. When she brought home a suitor, her father shot him dead. Mary fled to Kansas…and into a life of prostitution.

Maggie Hall was a gorgeous Irishwoman who married soon after arriving in New York City. But her gambler husband was drowning in debt, which he paid off by pimping his own wife. Excommunicated from her church and betrayed by the love of her life, Maggie made her way West as one of the most popular—and well paid—harlots of the mining camps.

As a child in the 1890s, Thelma Dolly Copeland suffered repeated sexual abuse and ran away at thirteen. She worked in restaurants and bars, but soon realized she could “make more money from the attention of men than by waiting on tables.” Settling in Ketchikan, Alaska, Dolly soon enjoyed a thriving trade. She finally closed her door at 24 Creek Street in 1954.

Illustrated with rare historical photographs, Boudoirs to Brothels: The Intimate World of Wild West Women takes you inside the dark, dangerous lives of 18 madams and working girls.

Good Time Girls

Good Time Girls of Arizona and New Mexico $ 19.95

By Jan MacKell Collins

As settlements and civilization moved West to follow the lure of mineral wealth and the trade of the Santa Fe Trail, prostitution grew and flourished within the mining camps, small towns, and cities of the nineteenth-century Southwest. Whether escaping a bad home life, lured by false advertising, or seeking to subsidize their income, thousands of women chose or were forced to enter an industry where they faced segregation and persecution, fines and jailing, and battled the other hazards of their profession. Some dreamed of escape through marriage or retirement, and some became infamous and even successful, but more often found relief only in death. An integral part of western history, the stories of these women continue to fascinate readers and captivate the minds of historians today.

Arizona and New Mexico each had their share of working girls and madams like Sara Bowman and Dona Tules who remain notorious celebrities in the annals of history, but Collins also includes the stories of lesser-known women whose roles in this illicit trade help shape our understanding of the American West.

Wicked Women New Mexico

Wicked Women of New Mexico $ 16.99

By Donna Blake Birchell

New Mexico Territory attracted outlaws and desperados as its remote locations guaranteed non-detection while providing opportunists the perfect setting in which to seize wealth. Many wicked women on the run from their pasts headed there seeking new starts before and after 1912 statehood. Colorful characters such as Bronco Sue, Sadie Orchard and Lizzie McGrath were noted mavens of mayhem, while many other women were notorious gamblers, bawdy madams or confidence tricksters. Some paid the ultimate price for crimes of passion, while others avoided punishment by slyly using their beguiling allure to influence authorities. Follow the raucous tales of these wild women in a collection that proves crime in early New Mexico wasn’t only a boys’ game.

Soiled Dove

Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West $ 12.95

By Anne Seagraves

Soiled Doves tells the story of the grey world of prostitution and the women who participated in the oldest profession. Colorful, if not socially acceptable, these ladies of easy virtue were a definite part of the early West--wearing ruffled petticoats with fancy bows, they were glamorous and plain, good and ad and many were as wild as the land they came to tame.

Women like "Molly b’Dam," Mattie Silks, and "Chicago Joe" blended into the fabric of the American Frontier with an easy familiarity. Others, such as "Sorrel Mike," escaped through suicide, Lottie John chose marriage and the Chinese slave girls lived a life without hope.

Pistols and Petticoats

Pistols, Petticoats, & Poker

The Real Lottie Deno: No Lies or Alibis $18.95

By Jan Devereaux

Gambler, Prostitute, Lady of the Town. Battered by the hard times of some of the roughest towns in Texas, Lottie Deno in her youth earned a reputation as a stalwart survivor in a particular locale of a man s world the frontier saloon. She reportedly bested none other than Doc Holliday at poker and was otherwise competent, in demand, and profitable after hours. But where other ladies of the night faded sadly, and prematurely, into penury and sad obscurity, Lottie Deno would in time marry well and reinvent herself as a respected lady of the towns of Silver City and Deming, New Mexico. Not persuaded by the myth-makers of the past, author Jan Devereaux presents and annotates the facts and tells a good story to give us the real Lottie Deno, one of the Wild West s most fascinating characters.