Selling Sex in Utah

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Utah History Books

By Eileen Hallet

In the late 1840s, the new frontier west of the Missouri River opened its floodgates to opportunity and adventure. In a new land, where men were lonely and women scarce, prostitutes poured in to ply their trade wherever they could--under trees, in wagons or random shanties. Within decades, prostitution expanded into cities and towns. Red light districts, brothels and cribs sprouted like wildflowers. Ogden's notorious madam Belle London enticed Salt Lake Councilmen to hire her to oversee their one hundred fifty room crib stockade. Park City's Mother Urban successfully defended her sixteen row houses as "necessities" for thousands of miners. The ballyhooed brothels of Helper stimulated "hunting trips" for Salt Lake men willing to travel for sex. Award-winning author Eileen Hallet Stone combed newspapers, archives and court cases to examine the lives, equity and infamy of Utah prostitution.

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Published: 2023

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