Josephine was restless, however, and when she was 18 she hopped a train west. Although adventurous, she was naive and ill-prepared to make her own way. She ended up in a small Iowa town and became a prostitute. As soon as she had accumulated enough money, she continued westward to her goal - Helena, Montana, which was in the midst of gold rush fever. She knew that where the was gold there were miners, and where there were miners there was money to be made in a brothel. At 23 she opened Helena's first 'house' and was an instant success by virtue of her refinement, the orchestra she hired, the whiskey she sold and her stable of fresh young ladies recruited from Chicago. By all accounts her 'girls' were well-treated and shared in the house's profits from their own work as well as the earnings from drinks and dances.
Soon after opening her house, Josephine was dubbed 'Chicago Joe'. She was so successful that in 1874 she was opened a larger, more elegant brothel and invested her remaining profits in Helena real estate. She formed partnerships with several of the town's prominent businessmen and became the largest landowner in Helena's notorious red-light district. In 1875 the Montana legislature began a crusade to get rid of bawdy houses and their principal target was Chicago Joe. Their efforts failed when she was exonerated by the court on a technicality.
Chicago Joe shut up shop to avoid further legal entanglements but eventually opened a new venue, billed as a 'variety theater', which included the option of private entertainment. It was open until her death in 1899 from pneumonia, and her funeral was attended by much of Helena's leading society.
February 26, 2013: An amazing thing happened today - I have been announced as one of the five finalists for a Shorty Award in Art. The Shorty Awards are given to the producers of the best of online social media in a variety of categories and I am honored to be in the running.
August 2, 2012: I am honored to have been showcased in Official Feature Online Entertainment New Magazine in the article "Connecticut’s Artist Expressionist: RC deWinter" highlighting my work in the arts. My thanks to the editors and staff. You can read it here: http://bit.ly/N6z4Yl
May 1, 2012: I am proud and also humbled to have several poems and paintings prominently featured in the First Anniversary Issue of Pink Panther Magazine. See my work on pp 52-57: http://bit.ly/KoMryO Purchase this beautifully produced magazine of women's art and writing here: http://bit.ly/In88Eg Thanks and bright blessings to the marvellous editors of Pink Panther for this extraordinary validation of my work.
April 6, 2012: Thanks to editor/writer Dominic Richardson at ARTbracket for this article on me and my work. http://bit.ly/HrZmDd
January 21, 2012: I am honored to have two of my poems, imprecation and WomanRoots, published in the latest issue of Pink Panther Magazine. The magazine can be purchased here: http://bit.ly/yUcPOM
My October 2011 solo show at the Arts of Tolland Gallery in Connecticut was a great success. I am greatly honored to be the first digital artist invited to exhibit there. My thanks to the Board for all their help before, during and after the 5-week show.
April 29, 2011: I am proud to announce that ABC has licensed four more of my works for use as set decoration on the TV show Desperate Housewives.
I am happy to paint on commission. For more information, please email: email@example.com
If you enjoy my work, please spread the word, and thank you for stopping by.
All of my work on Imagekind and elsewhere is protected by copyright. No permission whatsoever to copy, appropriate, claim as one's own or otherwise distribute, display or sell any of my work is granted to any entity or individual.