The Old West inevitably conjures certain images – a dimly lit saloon, a lone gunslinger, and bustling brothels. Old West prostitutes and madams caused as much havoc as any Wild West gang, and did as much good as any honorable, white-hatted sheriff. They did all this by using their wits and chasing their passions, whether those passions were matters of the heart, building an empire, or fighting for human rights.
With the growth of mining camps that were mostly populated by men, famous madams in the Old West took advantage of the opportunities presented to them and capitalized on their assets. Whatever your views on prostitution, you cannot deny that some of the women on this list were ambitious and extraordinary entrepreneurs who made the most out of the hand they were dealt.