Here is another story I put together based on the facts I researched regarding two women in Jerome. I found it remarkable how two women of completely opposite lifestyles, living in the same small town in the same time period received such opposite treatment - but not as you would expect when comparing a prositute to a lady of respect.
Prostitution isn’t a pretty thing, but it happens. A part of community, it was, especially in remote mining towns full of scared and estranged men.
Here, it was business as usual. Madam Jennie had the biggest establishment in town. Despite burning down three times in a row, it was always the first building to go back up – the combination of Jennie’s cash and volunteer labor always made it so.
Jennie’s place faced Main Street, that was until the 20s when everybody started to get religion or religion got them. Then places like Jennies was something that everyone pretended didn’t exist – like poverty, depression and falling copper prices.
Jennie was not attractive. It was said she had the face of a mule and the laugh of a horse. But she was well respected and for that she knew her choices were right. Unlike the others, she did look at reality and knew it good and square. Women had little power or choice unless they came from money and men would sell their power in a second for what a woman could give him in fifteen. There was something to be said for power and although a proper lady never spoke of it, Jennie knew it for certain.
Anne Hopkins loved power and for that she spent five years in prison and lost everything she had. Anne and Jennie may not have known one another even though they shared the same town. Jennie lived in the Tenderloin District while Anne lived on Company Hill. Anne married and married well. Her husband was a mining Engineer. Although he was abusive and disrespectful, he provided her with a good home and a life off the streets. But Anne wanted more. She knew she had more to offer than just a face at those fancy dinner parties they attended. With extra money tucked away, Anne purchased a small home and put the deed in her name. She rented the home to men who worked in the mines. Once the house was paid off, she would buy another and another. She then began to invest in mining stocks and even had a bank account with her own name on it. The shame she brought upon her husband was nearly unspeakable – except the townspeople found plenty of time to speak about it.
Paybacks weren’t simple when you were a man of importance. Outbursts covered some of the shame but nothing, no nothing made Anne’s husband more angry than knowing his wife was doing what she did to embarrass him.
Anne didn’t see it that way. She knew she was important, intelligent, and she was generous in that she gave more than her share in every way to everyone around her. These were the things her husband knew he couldn’t take from her. But there was one thing he could take and that was himself and give it to another.
Anne discovered the affair shortly after it happened. She knew exactly who it was – that teacher down at the school who was always making appearances at the same social events as the Hopkins.
It was a long summer and Anne decided to go away and find rest in San Francisco. Arizona was too dirty and hot to stand any more. But rest she did not find. He had won. How was she going to fight this? Give in? Maybe he did love her. Maybe it was that whore of a teacher who seduced him. Yes, certainly it was this. Anne returned to Arizona but did not go directly to her home after departing from the train. No, instead she stopped in town. Inside the Connor Hotel was the other woman, sitting there so happy with a friend, eating. So happy while Anne was so miserable. She was beautiful, Anne felt old and ugly. This Arizona sun, three children and her age of thirty-two made her feel undesirable.
Anne crossed the street after leaving the Connor Hotel where she then entered the hardware store. There she purchased a jar of carbolic acid. Returning to the hotel, she dumped half of the acid into the sink and filled the rest with water. She thought of her actions, but something inside compelled her. It was that same something that motivated her to make the investments she had made even though a voice warned her not to or of the trouble it would cause. Stepping into the restaurant, she approached the table where the two women sat. Without pause, Anne grabbed the woman by the hair cursing her in god knows what words. The woman pushed Anne’s arm away and the acid splattered onto both of them – Anne’s hand and the other woman’s face. There were screams and then everything went numb.
They say a man at an adjoining table intervened. The stories Anne later heard were as scattered as her thoughts. Despite it all, she had no remorse. Women liked this deserved what they got. Surely the townsfolk would agree.
The trial wasn’t as indisputable as Anne’s recollection of events. Success and prosperity meant nothing toward a woman’s credibility – civilized behavior or the lack thereof was the death nail that sent Anne to Florence Prison for five to fifteen.
“You should have killed the bastard,” her cellmate later claimed. "You wouldn’t be in here if you had killed the cheating son-of-a-bitch."
It was too late now. Anne hadn’t been smart about this. The local newspapers repeated the account, just to make sure nobody forgot.
Jennie couldn’t have been smart about what was coming her way either. It had been ten years and she was out of the business now. She moved on to start a new life. With a large savings and a new home, she decided one man to love was enough. But she wouldn’t tolerate that man treating her as if she weren’t. That night she told him to leave. He did but he returned at 4 a.m. and shot Jennie once before having the opportunity to chase her down and shoot her three more times, this time in the head. The locals saw what had happened and left no time to reason before putting him out of everyone’s misery.
All the locals were filled with grief in the passing of Jennie Bauters – she was a smart and generous woman they said. We will miss her.The local newspapers repeated the account, just to make sure nobody forgot.