Once Madam and Owner of the Dumas Brothel
Born September 19, 1912 in
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Died February 7, 1955 in Butte, Montana
It is believed
that Elinore’s mother died giving birth to her, and her father
was an alcoholic who used to beat her when she was young and
blamed Elinore for his wife’s death.
It is not known for sure when Elinore arrived in Butte,
but it is thought she was very young.
She began working at the Dumas Brothel, and eventually
worked her way up to madam and owner.
In January 1955,
Elinore confided in a letter to her friend Liz who lived in
Spokane that she was selling the Dumas to Jean “Dirty Mouth
Jean” Sorenson, and leaving Butte with her boyfriend in
February. She told Liz that they would be traveling to Spokane
February 8th. She asked if they could stay with Liz for a few
days until they found a place of their own.
She would not say who her boyfriend was, but only that
Liz would be really surprised when she found out.
found dead in her room at the Dumas Brothel
on February 7, 1955.
The police said it was suicide. Rumor was that Elinore’s
boyfriend did not come for her as expected and she was so
distraught that she committed suicide. There are many people
that do not believe the suicide theory. Elinore’s death
certificate states the cause of death was
Elinore’s boyfriend was apparently was a well-known business man
in Butte and was married as well. It was never known who
this man was, but Elinore believed him when he said that he was
getting a divorce and they would go away together.
The coroner’s report says that she had only $40 in her possession and no other assets other than an old suitcase packed with her clothing. No mention of suicide in the coroner's report. In a letter to her friend Liz, Elinore said she had plenty of money. So what happened to her money she said she had? And, if she did indeed sell the Dumas, where was that money? It has been said that she owned a red Cadillac convertible and a Harley Davidson Motorcycle (that she had never learned to ride). She had jewels and furs too. Where were her possessions? These are a few of the reasons that some believed she was murdered.
To this day, the
talk around town is that her ghost resides at the
Dumas. There are stories of her ghostly appearance having
been seen throughout the building.
Elinore Knott was buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Butte, Montana, on February 9, 1955.
References: Coroner’s Report, Marriage License, Baptism Record,
Death Certificate, and
Venus Alley written by Rudy Giecek.
MTGenWeb County Coordinator
for Butte-Silver Bow County, MT
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