Crime History: Chicago vice squad closes brothel to rich, famous

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, Oct. 25, in 1911, Virginia-raised sisters Ada and Minna Everleigh closed the Everleigh Club in Chicago, perhaps the most storied bordello in the world.

The sisters had been sent to the Windy City by Cleo Maitland, a madam in Washington, who suggested that Chicago had plenty of wealthy men but no high-society whorehouses.

During its 11 years of existence, the opulent club became famous for its beautiful and educated young "butterflies."

During one party, an attendant of Prince Heinrich of Prussia quaffed Champagne from a girl's slipper, creating a new fad.

The sisters, their employees and their clients partied during the police raid that shut down the club. Minna told the Chicago Tribune, "If the ship sinks, we're going down with a cheer and a good drink under our belts, anyway."

Said Ada: "From bawd to worse -- retirement."

- Scott McCabe

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