The Belle Brezing Photographic Collection,

Descriptive Summary

Title
The Belle Brezing Photographic Collection,
Creator
Brezing, Belle, 1860-1940
Extent
1 cu. ft. (2 boxes): 277 items
Subjects
Brezing, Belle, 1860-1940
Thompson, Elmer Ira "Buddy", 1920-1996
Prostitutes--Kentucky-Biography
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: Jason Flahardy; machine-readable finding aid created by: Jason Flahardy
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Belle Brezing (aka: Belle Breezing, Belle Breazing)
Mary Belle Cox was born on June 16, 1860, in Lexington, Kentucky. She was the second illegitimate daughter of Sarah Ann Cox, dressmaker and occasional prostitute. A year later, Sarah Ann Cox married George Brezing, local saloon owner, and Mary Belle and her sister Hester's last name were changed to Brezing. The Brezing marriage was frequently abusive, with drunken rages and infidelity eventually leading to their divorce in 1866. George Brezing left Lexington a year later. After a short affair with a man named William McMeekin, Sarah Ann changed her and the children's names to McMeekin and began to refer to her self as a widow.
In 1872, a year after her sister Hester had married and moved out of the family home, Brezing was seduced by a 36-year-old man named Dionesio Mucci. Twelve-years-old was the age of consent at the time in Kentucky, and there were no legal ramifications for Mucci. The relationship lasted at least until 1874, when Brezing was given a scrapbook by Mucci for Valentine's Day. By age 15, Brezing was pregnant, and having sexual relations with at least three men: Dionesio Mucci, James Kenney, and John Andrew Cook. Brezing married Kenney, September 14, 1875. So notorious was Brezing's reputation at the time, the Lexington Daily Press ran a mocking wedding announcement. Just nine days later, Cook was found dead outside Brezing's back gate, shot in the head with Sarah Ann's derringer, and with love notes from Brezing and a photograph of her in his pockets. Shortly after Cook's death, a memorial poem written by Brezing appeared in the Lexington Daily Press.
James Kenney left town a few days later; there is no record of she and Kenney ever getting divorced, but there is no evidence they ever contacted each other again. Brezing's only child, Daisy May Kenney was born March 14, 1876. Two months later, Brezing's mother died, and she and Daisy May were evicted. Daisy May was placed with a neighbor, Mrs. Barnett. At some point during the next two years, Brezing became a prostitute.
On December 24, 1879, Brezing began to work for Jennie Hill, a madam who ran a brothel out of the Mary Todd Lincoln house at 578 West Main St. Brezing worked there for two years until she had saved enough money to start her own house and assume the position of madam. During this time, Daisy May continued to live with Mrs. Barnett, with Brezing supplying a stipend for her support.
Brezing opened her first brothel in a row house at what is now 314-318 North Upper St. Around this time, Brezing was indicted on the charge of "keeping a bawdy house." Kentucky Governor Luke P. Blackburn (1879-1883) pardoned Brezing and the indictment was dismissed. This was the closest Brezing ever got to serving jail time. Brezing miscarried a child during her first year at the house. It was also discovered that Daisy May was developmentally challenged and would have to be institutionalized for the remainder of her life. Daisy May Kenney entered a Catholic run institution under the name Daisy Barnett.
Brezing opened her second brothel in 1883. She purchased a free-standing house at 194 North Upper St., not too far from the row house. In the late 1880s, mounting public pressure began closing the brothels along North Upper St. With a loan from William M. Singerly, Brezing bought what would become her most famous brothel.
Brezing opened her third brothel at 59 Megowan St. (currently the southern corner of Wilson St. and Eastern Ave.). It was lavishly appointed and decorated in almost a parody of the cluttered Victorian style. The area around the house was referred to as "the hill," and Brezing wasn't the only brothel in the area, but certainly the most expensive and popular. Brezing attracted clientele from all over the nation who visited Lexington for its horse breeding and racing industries. During this time, William "Billy" Mabon entered Brezing's life. He became her male companion until his death in 1917. He worked for the Water Company in Lexington, and was the brother-in-law to Colonel Richard C. Morgan.
In 1895, 59 Megowan's attic space caught fire, and Brezing took the opportunity to expand the house to three stories and added a side entrance. The house was painted white to cover the fact that different colors of brick were used in construction. It was also around this time that Brezing became addicted to morphine.
During the Spanish-American War in 1898, soldiers billeted in Lexington visited Brezing's house and spread her reputation even further around the country. She eventually even appeared as the character Belle Watling in Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind. Margaret Mitchell's husband, John, attended Transylvania University and worked as a writer for the Lexington Leader. Although it was always denied, once even in writing, research after Mitchell's death proves that the stories she heard from John about Brezing were the models for Watling. Anne Edwards' 1983 work, The Road to Tara, discusses the link between Watling and Brezing. (1)
During World War I, U.S. Army again billeted and trained soldiers in the Lexington area. But this time, the temperance movement was in full swing and public opinion was focused on "vice." Under orders from the Army, the brothels on "the hill" were closed in 1915. In 1918, they slowly began to reopen, but Brezing never did. Classified an "incurable" and receiving morphine under a doctor's prescription, Brezing lived quietly in 59 Megowan St. She died August 11, 1940 of advanced uterine cancer, at the age of 80. Her fame was still wide-spread; her obituary appeared in Time magazine. Belle Brezing is buried in Lexington's Calvary Cemetery, beside her mother.
After Brezing's death, an estate auction was arranged for the benefit of Daisy May. Huge crowds attended the sale and it required three days to auction the contents of 59 Megowan St. (now 153 North Eastern Ave.) The house was sold some months later. In 1973, a fire gutted the third floor of the building. It was decided to demolish the house rather than rebuild. Another auction was held, to sell architectural details. Even the bricks were sold as souvenirs.
Note: The correct spelling of Belle's last name is "Brezing." During her lifetime, "Breezing" became an accepted spelling, and Belle used it herself from time to time. "Breazing" also slipped into usage. Some bank accounts also had her legal name as "Mrs. James C. Kenney," which was occasionally spelled "Kinney." When Brezing traveled, she often registered at hotels under the Kenney name. Her name and date of birth are both incorrect on her gravestone.
Note: The information for this biographical sketch was derived from E. I. "Buddy" Thompson's Madam Belle Brezing, the only full length work on Brezing.
1. Edwards, Anne. The Road to Tara: The Life of Margaret Mitchell. New Haven, CT: Ticknor & Fields, 1983.
Elmer Ira "Buddy" Thompson
"Buddy" Thompson was born in Maysville, Kentucky in 1920 and moved to Lexington as a child. Thompson was an aerial photographer during World War II, and recounts his experiences in his book, A Soldier Boy's Adventure. Thompson and Jim Riley opened the auctioneering company, Thompson & Riley. Through the auction house, Thompson became interested in local history, and formed his own publishing company, Buggy Whip Press, to print his work. Thompson produced work on the Mulligan Family of Lexington, and Pony Lady, a look at the life of Olivia Israel. Madam Belle Brezing, Thompson's most famous work, was published in 1983. He was a founding member of the Lexington-Fayette Historic Commission, the president of the Civil War Round Table, and a member of both the Kentucky Historical Society and The Filson Club. He was also very active in the community, serving as president for Big Brothers of Lexington, the Civitan Club, and the Sertoma Club. He died in 1996.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of two hundred and seventy-seven photographic prints collected or created by E. I. "Buddy" Thompson in connection with the writing of his 1983 book, Madam Belle Brezing. One hundred and fifty items were in the personal collection of Belle Brezing. They include albumen, tintypes, and chloride or bromide DOP/POP prints, all popular studio processes of the time. Nineteen black and white silver prints cover Brezing's estate auction in 1940. Sixty-one black and white and color snapshots document the 1974 architectural details auction that preceded the demolition of the house after a fire. The remaining forty-seven photographs consists of copy prints and original photographic materials collected and generated by E. I. "Buddy" Thompson for inclusion in Madam Belle Brezing.

Contents of the Collection

Belle Brezing Personal Collection

The series consists of one hundred and fifty items from the personal collection of Belle Brezing. They include albumen, tintypes, and chloride/bromide DOP/POP prints, popular studio processes of the time. Arrangement: Belle Brezing Portraits; Jennie Hill Portrait; 194 N. Upper St.; 59 Megowan St.; 59 Megowan St., 1890; 59 Megowan St., 1895; 1874 Scrapbook; Tintypes; Women (Undamaged); Women (Damaged, Reassembled); Women (Damaged, Partially Reassembled); Women (Damaged, Fragmentary); Men (Damaged); Children (Damaged); Buildings (Damaged)

Belle Brezing Portraits

Belle Brezing in a black gown, , 1880s

  • Box 1, item 1
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Belle Brezing, about eight years old, , 1868

  • Box 1, item 2
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Jennie Hill Portrait

Jennie Hill, Belle Brezing's first and only madam (1879-1881), ran a bordello out of the Mary Todd…

  • Box 1, item 3
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194 N. Upper St.

194 N. Upper St., Belle Brezing's second bordello, 1883-1889, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 4
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59 Megowan St.

59 Megowan St., Belle Brezing's third and most famous bordello, 1889-1917; Brezing occupied the…

  • Box 1, item 5
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59 Megowan St., Belle Brezing's third and most famous bordello, 1889-1917; Brezing occupied the…

  • Box 1, item 6
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59 Megowan St., 1890

59 Megowan St., Belle Brezing's third and most famous bordello, 1889-1917; Brezing occupied the…

  • Box 1, item 7
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59 Megowan St., Belle Brezing's third and most famous bordello, 1889-1917; Brezing occupied the…

  • Box 1, item 8
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59 Megowan St., Belle Brezing's third and most famous bordello, 1889-1917; Brezing occupied the…

  • Box 1, item 9
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59 Megowan St., Belle Brezing's third and most famous bordello, 1889-1917; Brezing occupied the…

  • Box 1, item 10
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59 Megowan St., 1895

59 Megowan St., Belle Brezing's third and most famous bordello, 1889-1917; Brezing occupied the…

  • Box 1, item 11
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59 Megowan St., Belle Brezing's third and most famous bordello, 1889-1917; Brezing occupied the…

  • Box 1, item 12
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59 Megowan St., Belle Brezing's third and most famous bordello, 1889-1917; Brezing occupied the…

  • Box 1, item 13
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59 Megowan St., Belle Brezing's third and most famous bordello, 1889-1917; Brezing occupied the…

  • Box 1, item 14
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59 Megowan St., Belle Brezing's third and most famous bordello, 1889-1917; Brezing occupied the…

  • Box 1, item 15
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1874 Scrapbook

Horse carriage, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 16
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 17
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 18
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Two African-American boys, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 19
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 20
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Unidentified infant, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 21
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General Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton) and wife, Lavinia Warren; wedding picture, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 22
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 23
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 24
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 25
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 26
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Tintypes

Two unidentified women, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 27
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Two unidentified women, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 28
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Two unidentified women, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 29
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 30
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 31
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 32
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 33
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 34
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 35
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 36
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 37
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Six unidentified men, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 38
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Three unidentified men, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 39
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Two unidentified men, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 40
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 41
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 42
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 43
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 44
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 45
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 46
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 47
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 48
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 49
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Unidentified infant, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 50
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Women, Undamaged

"Lottie Brown"; handwritten in pencil on the back of the photo, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 51
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Lottie Brown, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 52
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Fannie Davis (Fannie Parshall), , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 53
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"Georgia Lee"; handwritten in pencil on the back of the photo, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 54
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Zula Zelnick; The Circassian Queen, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 55
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Women, Damaged, Reassembled

Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 56
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 57
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 58
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 59
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 60
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 61
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 62
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 63
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 64
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 65
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 66
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Women, Damaged, Partially Reassembled

Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 67
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 68
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 69
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 70
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 71
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 72
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 73
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 74
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 75
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Women, Damaged, Fragmentary

Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 76
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 77
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 78
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 79
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 80
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 81
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 82
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 83
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 84
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 85
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 86
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 87
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 88
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 89
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 90
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 91
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 92
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 93
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 94
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 95
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 96
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 97
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Unidentified woman; handwritten in pencil on back of photo: "[FIVE OBSCURED WORDS] blue gray eyes…

  • Box 1, item 98
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 99
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 100
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 101
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 102
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 103
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 104
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 105
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 106
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 107
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 108
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 109
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 110
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 111
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 112
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 113
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 114
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 115
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 116
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 117
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 118
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 119
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 120
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 121
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Unidentified woman, , [n.d.]

  • Box 1, item 122
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Men, Damaged

Unidentified man, military uniform, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 123
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Unidentified man, same individual as #125, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 124
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Unidentified man, same individual as #124; handwritten in ink on the back of the photo: "you looked…

  • Box 2, item 125
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 126
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 127
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 128
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 129
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 130
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 131
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 132
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Unidentified man; printed on reverse of card stock sheet as #134, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 133
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Unidentified man; printed on reverse of card stock sheet as #134, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 134
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 135
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 136
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 137
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 138
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 139
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 140
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 141
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 142
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 143
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 144
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Unidentified man, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 145
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Children, Damaged

Two unidentified children, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 146
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Unidentified child, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 147
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Unidentified child, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 148
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Unidentified child, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 149
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Buildings, Damaged

Unknown house, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 150
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1940

The series consists of nineteen black and white silver prints that document Brezing's estate auction in 1940. Arrangement: House Tour; Estate Auction

House Tour

59 Megowan St.; cabinet with vases and statues, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 151
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59 Megowan St.; parlor, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 152
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59 Megowan St.; looking down the stair well, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 153
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59 Megowan St.; wine room, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 154
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59 Megowan St.; dresser, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 155
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59 Megowan St.; foot of stairs, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 156
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59 Megowan St.; bed in which Brezing died; variant of #158, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 157
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59 Megowan St.; bed in which Brezing died; variant of #157, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 158
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59 Megowan St.; parlor, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 159
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59 Megowan St.; foot of stairs, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 160
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59 Megowan St.; bookcase, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 161
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59 Megowan St.; side entrance to house, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 162
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Estate Auction

Crowd gathered for auction of Brezing furniture and personal memorabilia, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 163
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Crowd gathered for auction of Brezing furniture and personal memorabilia, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 164
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Crowd gathered for auction of Brezing furniture and personal memorabilia, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 165
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Crowd gathered for auction of Brezing furniture and personal memorabilia, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 166
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Crowd gathered for auction of Brezing furniture and personal memorabilia, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 167
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Crowd gathered for auction of Brezing furniture and personal memorabilia, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 168
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Crowd gathered for auction of Brezing furniture and personal memorabilia, , 1940

  • Box 2, item 169
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1973-1974

The series consists of sixty-one black and white and color snapshots document the 1974 architectural details auction that preceded the demolition of the house after a fire. 59 Megowan before 1973 Fire; Architectural details of 59 Megowan St.; Architectural details of 59 Megowan St., 2nd set; Architectural details Auction

59 Megowan before 1973 Fire

59 Megowan St., exterior from opposite street corner, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 170
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59 Megowan St., exterior from opposite street corner, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 171
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59 Megowan St., exterior from opposite street corner, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 172
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59 Megowan St., exterior, left corner, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 173
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59 Megowan St., exterior, rear of house, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 174
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59 Megowan St., exterior, rear of house, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 175
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59 Megowan St., exterior, rear of house, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 176
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59 Megowan St., exterior, right corner, includes store across street, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 177
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59 Megowan St., exterior, detail of wall, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 178
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59 Megowan St., exterior, detail of wall, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 179
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59 Megowan St., exterior, house adjacent to rear of building, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 180
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59 Megowan St., row of houses near building, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 181
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59 Megowan St., row of houses near building, , pre-1973

  • Box 2, item 182
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Architectural details of 59 Megowan St.

59 Megowan St., side entrance, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 183
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59 Megowan St., mantle, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 184
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59 Megowan St., mantle and mirror, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 185
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59 Megowan St., mirror over mantle, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 186
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59 Megowan St., mirror, mantle and window, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 187
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59 Megowan St., mantle, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 188
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59 Megowan St., mantle, removed from wall, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 189
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59 Megowan St., floor tiles, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 190
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59 Megowan St., window, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 191
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59 Megowan St., window and wall, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 192
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59 Megowan St., wall, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 193
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59 Megowan St., wall and door, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 194
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59 Megowan St., ceiling, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 195
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59 Megowan St., ceiling, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 196
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59 Megowan St., staircase, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 197
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59 Megowan St., staircase, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 198
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59 Megowan St., staircase, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 199
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59 Megowan St., window with colored glass, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 200
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59 Megowan St., stained glass, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 201
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59 Megowan St., wall, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 202
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59 Megowan St., wall, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 203
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59 Megowan St., wall and alcove, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 204
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59 Megowan St., ceiling and mirror, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 205
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59 Megowan St., windows and wall, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 206
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59 Megowan St., parquet floor, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 207
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59 Megowan St., front door, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 208
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59 Megowan St., side entrance, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 209
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59 Megowan St., side entrance, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 210
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59 Megowan St., side entrance with adjacent window removed, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 211
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59 Megowan St., side entrance with adjacent window removed, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 212
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59 Megowan St., side entrance with adjacent window removed, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 213
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59 Megowan St., side entrance with adjacent window and door removed, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 214
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Landscape, Hotel Lafayette in the distance, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 215
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Architectural details auction

59 Megowan St., outside front entrance, people gathered, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 216
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59 Megowan St., outside front entrance, people gathered, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 217
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59 Megowan St., outside front entrance, people gathered, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 218
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59 Megowan St., outside front entrance, people gathered, African-American children , 1974

  • Box 2, item 219
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59 Megowan St., outside front entrance, people gathered, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 220
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59 Megowan St., interior, Buddy Thompson, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 221
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59 Megowan St., interior, people touring house before auction, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 222
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59 Megowan St., interior, people touring house before auction, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 223
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59 Megowan St., interior, people touring house before auction, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 224
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59 Megowan St., interior, people touring house before auction, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 225
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59 Megowan St., interior, people touring house before auction, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 226
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59 Megowan St., interior, people touring house before auction, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 227
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59 Megowan St., interior, people touring house before auction, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 228
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59 Megowan St., interior, people touring house before auction, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 229
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59 Megowan St., interior, people touring house before auction, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 230
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Materials for "Madam Belle Brezing"

The series consists of forty-seven photographs consists of copy prints and original photographic materials collected and generated by E. I. "Buddy" Thompson for inclusion in Madam Belle Brezing. Arrangement: Belle Brezing Portraits; Houses; Belle Brezing's Schools; Belle Brezing Personal Effects; Gravestones; Reproductions from 1874 Scrapbook; Reproductions from Period Newspapers; Misc.

Belle Brezing Portraits

Brezing in a coat with an umbrella, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 231
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Brezing in a feathered hat; original photograph can be seen on Brezing's bedroom wall in image #15…

  • Box 2, item 232
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Brezing in a black waistcoat, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 233
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Houses

Mary Todd Lincoln House; the first and only bordello that Brezing worked in as an employee, 1879…

  • Box 2, item 234
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Mary Todd Lincoln House; the first and only bordello that Brezing worked in as an employee, 1879…

  • Box 2, item 235
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314-318 North Upper Street; location of Brezing's first bordello, 1882-1883, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 236
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59 Megowan St., the house covered in vines, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 237
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59 Megowan St., now on Eastern Ave. and Wilson St., 1973 fire that prompted the architectural…

  • Box 2, item 238
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Belle Brezing's Schools

Dudley School, Maxwell and Mill Streets, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 239
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No. 2 School (Harrison), West Main Street, , 1974

  • Box 2, item 240
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Belle Brezing Personal Effects

Account book, scrapbook, tintypes, silver cups and other various Brezing items, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 241
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Account book, open pages, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 242
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Silver sup and saucer set inscribed with "B. B." along with silver spoon inscribed to "Kitten June…

  • Box 2, item 243
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Closed account book set across two open pages from scrapbook, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 244
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Pardon from Kentucky Governor Luke P. Blackburn (1879-1883) for Belle Brezing from the charge of…

  • Box 2, item 245
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Gravestones

"Belle Breezing 1859-1940"; Brezing's last name is misspelled and her year of birth is incorrect…

  • Box 2, item 246
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Brezing headstone in the foreground with mother Sarah McMeekin's in the background, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 247
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"Sarah McMeekin Born May 5, 1836 Died May 19, 1876"; "Blessed are the pure in heart." is engraved…

  • Box 2, item 248
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Sarah McMeekin, detail of engraving: "Blessed are the pure in heart.", , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 249
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Headstone of John Andrew Cook, a boyfriend of Brezing when they were teenagers and who died under…

  • Box 2, item 250
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"Mary Mabon Born Mar. 28, 1821 Died Dec. 22, 1886 at rest William Mabon Son of Wm & Mary Mabon 1855…

  • Box 2, item 251
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William "Billy" Mabon headstone with Hunt family plot in the background, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 252
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Hunt family plot, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 253
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John Wesley and Catherine Hunt headstone, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 254
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Reproductions from 1874 Scrapbook

Set of open pages, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 255
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Set of open pages, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 256
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Illustration of two well-dress women, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 257
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Illustration of two well-dress women; a printed poem, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 258
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Various cards and illustrations, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 259
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Various cards and illustrations, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 260
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Two cards with religious poems, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 261
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Various cards and illustrations, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 262
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Five illustrated cards, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 263
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Five illustrated cards, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 264
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Various cards and illustrations, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 265
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Various cards and illustrations, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 266
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Various cards and illustrations, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 267
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Two illustrations, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 268
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Sketch of a bulldog, with Brezing's signature, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 269
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Reproductions from Period Newspapers

Lexington Daily Press article, September 24th, 1875; concerns the death of John Andrew Cook, , [n.d…

  • Box 2, item 270
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Lexington Daily Press article, September 25th, 1875; concerns the death of John Andrew Cook, , [n.d…

  • Box 2, item 271
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Lexington Daily Press article, September 28th, 1875; concerns the death of John Andrew Cook, , [n.d…

  • Box 2, item 272
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Misc.

Joe Jordan in a military uniform, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 273
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Joe Jordan in a suit, coat, and hat, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 274
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27" Regina Automatic Changer Music Box, originally located at 59 Megowan St.; seen here restored and…

  • Box 2, item 275
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Small bird in a gold-colored cage, , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 276
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I. E. "Buddy" Thompson; author photograph on back flap of "Madam Belle Brezing", , [n.d.]

  • Box 2, item 277
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Researchers are encouraged to request collections at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Questions? Contact us at https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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Researchers are encouraged to request collections at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Questions? Contact us at https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.