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For many, nightlife during El Paso's infancy was as raw and rugged as the men who rode in with the railroad. Before the tracks were laid inthe only social center had been Ben Dowell's place in the s. Dowell, El Paso's first mayor, entertained men only with billiards, poker and whiskey where the Paso del Norte Hotel now stands. When the railroad boom hit, every other building Downtown was a saloon. El Paso was two towns from the s to the early s; one, a city of legitimate businesses, churches, schools and theatrical or musical productions; the other, of gamblers, prostitutes, cutthroats and con men.
The two rarely met. It was the latter, seamier side of El Paso that brought in the money.
And it was the red-light district — affectionately known as the "Tenderloin District" El paso whores com that brought some of El Paso's biggest notoriety during those years. Keep up with El Paso news. Get a digital subscription to the elpasotimes.
All were charming, shrewd businesswomen. The others followed shortly behind, each one outdoing the others in the elegance of their parlor houses on Utah Street. These women displayed their charms in open carriages on Sundays and sometimes were linked to some of El Paso's more prominent businessmen.
Sin was so profitable that prostitutes and gamblers funded the city administration. Of the five madams, Mathilde Weiler — Tillie Howard to her customers — was the last and best known. Her generosity and well-kept parlor house made her a legend throughout the Southwest. A year later, a young Texas Ranger described Tillie in his diary: "She is tall, and Imagine she doesn't need those artificial bosoms the ladies are using now; hers look natural enough — I'll ask her when I know her better. She seems to take a shine to me.
She has the blackest hair, and she is one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. He also wrote that Tillie's girls were not allowed to talk loud or in vulgar tones and they could not get drunk. Tillie left El Paso inapparently to open shop near the Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa. She returned two years later, with one objective: to build the biggest and best parlor house in El Paso. The address — Utah St. The roof was solid copper ant the finest of hardwood was used throughout.
Oriental rugs, velvet drapes and fine art objects pleased any visitor's eye.
More: Gunfight at Central El Paso drive-in theater in left one officer dead, another injured. The city's infamy grew to the point that President Benjamin Harrison chastised El Paso during his visit here. When Harrison visited, the city's anti-gambling ordinance was a year old and police were starting to enforce the reform movement by frequently arresting prostitutes. Bythe reformers were in full swing. But politics let the movement die without much change in El Paso's nightlife. Prostitutes were told to leave the district in and The times reported the move as "a perfumed exodus from Utah Street.
Ina grand jury sent men and women undercover agents to Utah Street to once again clean up the city. However, not much was done after the agents counted prostitutes and wrote their report. The days of elegant parlor houses and fancy women showing off their wares on El Paso's streets ended in The reformers elected attorney Tom Lea mayor.
However, their business acumen didn't match that of the 'famous five," and the prostitutes in the newly located red-light district operated without the flare of their predecessors. Tillie Howard never made the move. She became ill with a malignant uterine tumor and died in at Providence Hospital.
The grand dame of El Paso's parlor houses was buried without notice in The Times. However, The Herald reported this under "Deaths and Burials": "Tillie Weiler, aged 42 years, died at a local hospital Saturday evening. The funeral was held at 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon. The body was interred in Evergreen Cemetery. The woman was better known as Tillie Howard and owned quite a bit of El Paso property.
She died from the effects of an operation. Another death, that of Hazel Kern — one of "the girls" at Ninth and Mesa — abruptly ended El Paso's red-light district in She died of a severe case of jaundice, having been sick for two weeks without any medical attention. Publicity about her neglected condition outraged citizens. Facebook Twitter. Sin City that was El Paso drew nightlife, red lights, madams. Trish Long El Paso Times.El paso whores com
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