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The Oldest Profession in Texas: Waco's Legal Red Light District

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From 1869 to 1918 more than 1,200 women lived as prostitutes in Waco, Texas—once known as "Six-Shooter Junction." When the city legalized its red light district, floozies flocked to Waco, where saloons and bordellos flourished.

The Oldest Profession in Texas: Waco's Legal Red Light District examines the city's complex stance on prostitution, debunks myths, and unveils—for the first time—the true identities of several early madams.

Authors James Pylant and Sherri Knight tell shocking true stories about several of these colorful characters, including:

* Matilda W. Davis, the first fully licensed madam
* Cora McMahan, who shot her mouth off until someone shot off her mouth.
* John and Mary Doud, a pimp and madam who trained their fourteen-year-old niece to run a brothel
* Mollie Adams, Waco's most successful madam
* Josie Tumlin, a boisterous harlot who had stints in both prison and an insane asylum
* Jessie Williams, the infamous "Chicken Ranch" madam

The Oldest Profession in Texas also tells the story of preacher J. T. Upchurch's crusade to reform prostitutes and abolish their profession.

Travel to a different time and place where the streets of the west were wild and the women were wilder. Waco was the only city in Texas to fully legalize the profession of prostitution. Find out how and why they did it. Explore the lives of many of the madams and the women who practiced Texas' oldest profession.

Illulstrated and fully documented.

380 pages, ebook

First published May 5, 2011

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About the author

James Pylant

8 books6 followers
An award-winning writer, James Pylant is the author of a family-authorized celebrity biography, In Morticia's Shadow: The Life & Career of Carolyn Jones. He has also interviewed several famous personalities, including Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street), Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal), Audrey Landers (Dallas), Ruth Buzzi (Laugh-In), Peter Mark Richman (Dynasty), Linda Purl (Matlock), Stanley Livingston (My Three Sons), Mother Dolores Hart (King Creole), Dr. Henry Louis Gates (Finding Your Roots), among many others.

Using his skill as a researcher, James extensively documented a case of identity theft and bigamy for the book Destiny in Texas. He is also the author of Blood Legacy: The True Story of the Snow Axe Murders, Sins of the Pioneers, and co-wrote The Oldest Profession in Texas. His book, Texas Gothic: Fame, Crime & Crazy Water, won first place in the 2016 North Texas Book Festival Book Awards for Adult Non-Fiction.

A former contest judge for the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, James wrote for The Bottom Line, Family Chronicle, and Ancestry. He currently serves as editor of GenealogyMagazine.com, a source utilized by wikipedia.org, the Texas Historical Commission, and Learning and Teaching Scotland’s SCET.NET for History: A Virtual Department.

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