|BIG NEWS! After many moons, I have indeed finally completed the first draft of my Chicken Ranch book. There is still quite a bit of work to go with revisions and whatnot, but getting the draft finished is a significant milestone. Let me tell you, it's a load off my back!
elcome to Chicken Ranch Central, folks! Feel free to kick off your boots and take a load off. My name's Jayme Lynn Blaschke, and if you're here looking for information on the infamous Chicken Ranch of La Grange, Texas, then you've come to the right place. I'm writing a book about the brothel, and have probably learned more about the history of houses of ill-repute in Texas than is entirely healthy for one person to know.
Lots of people have heard of the Chicken Ranch, and no wonder--the Broadway musical and subsequent motion picture The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas have quite possibly made it into the most famous brothel in the world. Or rather, ex-brothel, since they've not been accepting paying customers since 1973. Despite its celebrity status, I've learned during the course of my research that a great deal of what passes for common knowledge about the Chicken Ranch is flat-out wrong, or at least wildly inaccurate. To keep up with my book progress, feel free to head over and "Like" the Chicken Ranch Central Facebook Page or follow me on Twitter.
Edna Milton (1928-2012)
Edna Milton Chadwell, otherwise known as Miss Edna, the last madam of the Chicken Ranch, passed away in February 2012 at the age of 84. My thoughts on her passing may be found here. Nobody supported my efforts to write a book on the history of the Chicken Ranch more than she did, and hope I'm able to live up to her expectations.
A (Very) Brief History of the Chicken Ranch
The Chicken Ranch's origins in La Grange date to 1844 during the time of the Republic of Texas, or to 1905, depending on which sources you give credence to. Either way, it became a long-established presence in Fayette County. From 1914 to 1961 Miss Jessie Williams ran the house, establishing respectful relations with Sheriff Will Loessin and cultivating goodwill in the community with generous philanthropy. During the Great Depression (so the story goes) cash was so scarce that the prostitutes began to accept livestock in exchange for their services--poultry, in particular, became the payment of choice. In short order the brothel had earned the euphemistic "Chicken Ranch" name. When Miss Edna Milton took over as madam in 1961, she continued the charity work Williams had started as well as the cooperative relationship with new Sheriff Jim Flournoy. In 1973 Marvin Zindler, a flamboyant consumer affairs reporter with KTRK-TV in Houston, received a tip from the attorney general's office that the brothel continued operations in defiance of Texas' anti-prostitution laws. Zindler's subsequent exposé led Governor Dolph Briscoe to order the permanent closure of the Chicken Ranch in August of 1973. One year later, Zindler and Flournoy would run into each other on the La Grange courthouse square, an encounter which left Zindler nursing several cracked ribs and shorn of his trademark silver toupée.
The story of the Chicken Ranch is as outrageous as it is improbable. My research has taken me to interesting places, introduced me to fascinating people and opened my eyes to an entirely unexpected era of Texas history. You're invited to come along for the ride...
Jayme Lynn Blaschke's books on Goodreads
|Copyright © 2012 by Jayme Lynn Blaschke.|
All rights reserved worldwide.
Most recent update: July 25, 2012