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.
Arriving in the silver mining boomtown of Kingston in 1886, Sadie Jane Creech Orchard is arguably the most colorful woman in New Mexico history. Sadie opened brothels, worked as a prostitute, built and operated hotels and restaurants, and co-owned and drove for a regional stagecoach line. During World War I she tended to the less fortunate, and in the 1918 flu pandemic nursed children and cared for the sick and dying. New Mexico writer Erna Fergusson wrote of her, “For a bad woman, Sadie was one of the best.”