Large Ladies Living Large (updated)

One of the main comments made about the early OKC prostitute, Big Annie Wynn was she was , well, big. The inference is she was a large boned woman as the saying goes. She may have been taller and larger or just more forceful of character.

It is interesting to note that it is claimed she had come to OKC  on the day of the run in 1889. She had been working the previous  years in the Leadville mining brothels. In the book, "Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West, 1865-90," (Univ. of Illinois, 1985) there are some decidedly "big" women pictured. Images of houses in Creede and Denver, reveal more ample women in the trade.

Noteworthy is the family of Jane Elizabeth Ryan, Julia Helen Wallace, Mona and Annie Ryan. Annie is interesting because her proportions in a saloon photo show her to be both taller and larger than some of the men.

Lou Bunch of Cripple Creek, however, would take the prize as a large, large woman running a brothel there. Denver's Jennie Rogers was described as 6ft tall, statuesque, and given to always wearing her emerald earrings. She was a stylish woman who would fit into mainstream society well.

So apparently there was a place in the Old West for women of all shapes and sizes - at least for the comfort ladies who lived upstairs.

Although size is not noted, there are some names mentioned in the 1900 Census of Oklahoma Territory in the area of Oklahoma City.

In Block 37 was a house headed by Annie Wynn (known as Big Ann, Big Annie, Annie Bailey) she said she had been born in July of 1865 in Illinois making her 34. She listed her occupation as "prostitute" and with her were her "girls":

Girtie Anderson, 21 from Illinois
Gracie Maxwell, 23 from  Illinois
Lulu Little, 18 from Kentucky
Dora Goodwin, 22 from Illinois
Mattie Probo, 33 from Kentucky
Maggie Roberts, 20 from Illinois
Viola Harris, 25 from Illinois
Girtie Hodge, 18 from Kentucky
Effie Fisher, 25 from Illinois (she will be murdered in 1904 under questionable circumstances)
Harry Anderson, 22, Kansas was a musician, a common feature in such establishments and he was white.
Ed Roberts, 32 from Kentucky rounded out the residents.

Next door was another "house" with head listed as one Susie Fields, 27 from New Mexico and her residents were:
Gertie Sawyer, b 1880 in Illinois
Laura Evans, b 1872 in Kansas
Harry Brown, a barber
Myrtle Moore, born in Texas
Bessie Moore, born in Texas

These may, or may not be their real names, as if was custom for some 'girls' to change their names when they moved somewhere new.

[Marilyn A. Hudson, is a storyteller and author in Oklahoma. She is preparing a solo performance show, "Big Annie Takes a Town", centered on events in the life of an early and powerful Oklahoma City madam.]

No comments:

I Write Like...

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Expanded and Revised Edition

Expanded and Revised Edition
Coming Soon!