Jessie Williams, the legendary madam of the Chicken Ranch brothel in La Grange Texas

Nine years ago today we ventured down to La Grange, Texas. Inside the old Fayette County Jail we found a tribute to the Chicken Ranch, a long-shuttered brothel located in rural Fayette County. Faye Stewart aka Jessie Williams was the first madam of the brothel (est.1915). Ms. Williams was a no nonsense type who ran a clean house and forbade the use of alcohol.

During the Depression when money was scarce, Jessie allowed live chickens to be used as currency; one chicken per ‘encounter’. Soon enough chickens were so thick that the brothel became known as the Chicken Ranch.

Here’s an old photo of some of the prostitutes who worked at the brothel.

A Doll House Miniature Of A Prostitute And Her Client

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