Tombstone’s Madams and Working Girls

Crazy Horse Lil of Tombstone

Tombstonians bragged with civic pride their prostitutes were superior in charity, decorum, honesty and manners than those in towns like Bisbee, Charleston and Tucson.

Some madams were honest and good businesswomen. Most notable was Cora Adams, about thirty-five, good looking with good manners and bearing. What set her house apart was the strict rule on honesty when it came to money. When a gentleman became noticeably drunk his valuables were taken from him and two invoices were made, one for him and one for Ms. Adams. When he called it a night and got ready to leave his valuables were returned.

Others were quite the contrary to Ms. Adams. Crazy Horse Lil was tall, mean and tough. She loved to fight and her pugilistics kept her in jail much of the time.

During a party at her place one night with some of the high-class citizens three men pulled a robbery taking hundreds of dollars in cash from the partiers. The same thing occurred two more times in close succession. Since the revelers were attending the party without their spouses they preferred not to go public so nothing was done with the police. The robbers also extorted money from some to not tell the press or have their names leak out. One victim however, became suspicious. He was told to leave $100 at a predetermined spot but instead had a constable meet the pickup man. The thief squealed and the police learned Lil and O’Shea were getting 50% of the take. The two pulled up stakes and left town before authorities arrived. They headed to Bisbee where she opened a parlor house in Lowell.

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