Marking NM’s Historic Women: Carlotta Thompkins Thurmond

Carlotta Thompkins Thurmond “Lottie Deno” (1844-1934)

Immortalized in literature and film, Kentucky native Carlotta Thurmond was the inspiration for Miss Kitty on television’s “Gunsmoke.” Having toured Europe’s best gambling houses as a child with her father, in Texas she called herself “Lottie Deno,” a play on “lotta dinero.” Fellow gamblers said she had ice water in her veins, yet when she moved to Kingston, New Mexico, she left many belongings for the needy. She gave up gambling upon moving in 1882 from Silver City to Deming where she co-founded St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Roadside Marker Location: Luna County, US Hwy 180/62, Mile Marker 144.7

You can view a county by county list of the Historic Women Mile Markers in this pdf.

You can view a map of the Historic Women Mile Markers at

March is Women’s History Month. During this month we’ll be highlighting some of the women featured on New Mexico’s Historic Women Roadside Markers. Text provided by our colleagues at New Mexico Historic Preservation Division

From the Collection

NMHM/DCA 01542.45 Gift of Josefita Manderfield Otero

Spanish Playing Cards, late 1800s
This deck of Spanish playing cards was donated to the New Mexico History Museum by Josefita Manderfield Otero.

Originally of Chinese origin, playing cards were adopted in Mamluk Egypt by the 14th century and then spread to the Iberian Peninsula in the latter part of that century. By 1380 naipero (card-maker), was a recognized profession. The four suits are bastos (clubs), oros (gold coins), copas (cups), and espadas (swords). Spanish suited cards are used in Spain, Southern Italy, France, Latin America, North Africa and the Philippines. Unlike the suits found in Northern Italy, the swords on Spanish cards are straight, and the clubs are knotty instead of being depicted as ceremonial batons. Several of the cards from this deck can be seen in the History Museum’s exhibition, Telling New Mexico.