Boudoirs To Brothels

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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.

  • 193 pages