Soiled Doves of the Wicked City
Ron Chilston talks with Peggy Hicks
RC – We’re going to be talking about Belgian Jennie and her role in Jerome and some of her family history. I believe you just had some conversations with Jennie Bauters Family?
PH – Yes. I did, great-great-great-granddaughter to Jennie. She’s had already stopped over in Kingman looking for any kind of information. She could find about her great-great-great grandmother and she came to Jerome and she happened to pop into the store and was asking questions and looking around. She was unaware that I had just finished a book about Belgian Jennie. And so with that, we got to talk and when she went back home she sent me all kinds of lineage and photos and things of her great-great-grandmother, Jennie Bauters.
PH – I have a photo of her in front of the Nellie Bly’s the kaleidoscope store.
RC – That’s great and amazing actually that perhaps someone that young would have stuff of their great . . .
PH – She had other members of her family that had been doing the geneaology. She herself is about 40 years old.
RC – That’s still young since I tell you good 60s full disclosure here. But anyway, Go ahead.
PH – You’ve seen this picture . . .
RC – Oh of course, yeah . . . PH – . . . and I’ll show you what I thought was very interesting that I found out. Of course they wouldn’t let them pass out calling cards and that kind of thing as the city started tightening down and I don’t know if you were.
RC – Well, I have a little story. I will interject after you tell your story about business cards since we happen to be sitting in Lil’s Place, which was an old Bordello in Jerome and we actually have some receipts from the town of Jerome from back in the day where Lillian Douglas. ‘Lil’ would go once a month in front of the magistrate and pay a fine.
PH – Rather pay a fine . . .
RC – Yeah that she paid a fine each and every month just and – now I’m trying to believe . . . I think it was vagrancy or somethingalong those lines and she gladly paid it.
PH – Yes
RC – Her way of being taxed I suppose but anyway . . .
PH – So she’s the woman in the middle, in the dark and she has advertising and her form of advertising is this: she’s holding her hand like this and her thumb like this.
RC – Ah yes horizontally. That’s her right hand. PH – So this is the sign for prostitution.
RC – Interesting.
PH – They did it in several ways.
RC – Wow, Belgian Jennie, who needs to pay for business cards? Well done, you don’t even need an elevator pitch actually long before elevators probably. So what else did you find out about . . .
PH – I found out that Clement Lee, C.C. Lee early, sometimes I think that it is pronounced Lee, I don’t know, it was French so somebody can decide that. He was the last person hung in Mohave County.
RC – Wow, how about that? What a distinction, clearing my throat for obvious reasons.
PH – But they say that her death was very controversial.
RC – Yeah . . .
PH – So, they allowed her to be buried in what was the Pioneer Cemetery at that time. So 15 years later, no about ten years later, the Pioneer Cemetery was taken over to build a school. So they moved everybody from the Pioneer Cemetery to the Mountain View Cemetery.
RC – So Belgian Jenny is in the Mountain View Cemetery?
PH – No, they missed her. In 2010, not that long ago, they were digging a trench on the back side of the football field, which would have been the back side of the grave and they dug up 11 walapai indians wrapped in blankets and also surprisingly a very fancy French coffin!
RC – Wow, so all of this information too are bits and pieces of stories from your book, “Are Ghosts Real”, the story of Belgian Jennie the richest Madam in the Arizona territory.
PH – They are available at Amazon and and Kindle and also in the rock shop in Jerome . . .
The full audio interview can be listened to here, in order to gain more of a context of the topics being discussed. Peggy Hicks is the author of 3 books;
“Are Ghosts Real? The Story of Belgian Jennie, the Richest Madam in the Arizona Territory”
“Ghost Stories and Wicked Legends” and
“The Ghost of the Cuban Queen Bordello, A Story of a 1920’s Jerome Arizona Madam”.