Lottie Deno’s Gambling Past

Lottie Deno

Lottie Deno was an Old West success story. Born in 1844, she became a professional gambler in the 1860s—a rarity for a woman.

She and her paramour/husband Frank Thurmond gambled in various Texas locales from the ‘60s, through the early ‘80s—occasionally falling afoul of the law.

They moved to Deming, NM in 1882 and folded their sporting cards.  Frank became a banker; Lottie became a society lady who helped found St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.  By the time she died in 1934, she was one of Deming’s outstanding citizens—and most had forgotten her gambling past.

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.