Ladies of the Night

deadwood history

Many prostitutes died in obscurity under assumed names, but a few became well known, if not respected. Madam Dora Dufran, who ran “houses” in several cities, is remembered for her kindness to her girls. Calamity Jane worked on and off as a prostitute throughout her life. Poker Alice Tubbs gained fame as a faro dealer and madam in nearby Sturgis.

Pam Holliday, Dixie Fletcher and Elsie Irwin were the last madams in town. When the State’s Attorney General closed the brothels down in 1980, city residents staged a protest on their behalf, echoing the miners who had once lined the streets in welcome a century earlier.

Editors Note:

Dan Greywolf Leggett My Family from both sides knew and respected Calamity, both in Deadwood and along the Bozeman Trail and Towns. Livingston and just West of Laurel Montana. She was never known as a Lady of the Night person. My GreatGranddad was a stage driver from Deadwood to Lusk Wy. Talked about how good of a cook and baker she was. Especially the Pies. Her cabin was just to the North of our little ranch, still there I might add. She sent baked goods to Laurel and Billings, also in Livingston. Her and my Great Uncle, a railroader conductor often times had a spitting tobacco match to see who could hit the spittoon. Calamity missed on purpose even after the Cafe owner asked her not to. She would just laugh. The conductor was mentioned in her latest book, never mentioned his Name as the author didn’t know. Lady of the Night? Never known to be that way. People who knew her had a lot of respect . I know I sure do.

The two best books on Calamity Jane are: Calamity Jane The Woman and the Legend by James D. McLaird and The Life and Legends of Calamity Jane by Richard W. Etulain. Both are well researched and well written.

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