The Gilded Age Plains City

The Great Sheedy Murder Trial and the Booster Ethos of Lincoln, Nebraska


Explore the City

Spatial Narratives

Interpretation and Narrative

Ann(a) Tripp

Although no evidence has survived of the happenings inside the almost twenty or so brothels in Lincoln during the Gilded Age, court records and newspaper accounts indicate the city produced a handful of notorious madams who ran successful businesses for ten years or more. Anna Tripp was amongst those few women in Lincoln's sex business who rose from being an "inmate" in "a house of ill fame" to being a "keeper." Unlike the famed madam Lydia Stewart who maintained a brothel at 124 South Ninth Street for many years, Tripp moved about the city often and operated brothels in many locations.

Perhaps the most frequent place Tripp traveled in Lincoln was to the municipal police court. As was routine practice during the Gilded Age, police "pulled" Tripp's bordello routinely (about once a month), charged her with "keeping a house of ill fame" and fined her — usually around five to ten dollars. Unlike many of Lincoln's criminals, however, Tripp did not spend much time in jail as she was most often able to pay her fine and avoid jail time.

Tripp, Ann(a) [Narrative] [Brief Biography]

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Directed by Timothy R. Mahoney, Plains Humanities Alliance, in collaboration with the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities.
Funded by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, the Nebraska Humanities Council, and the Plains Humanities Alliance.
© 2007–2008, University of Nebraska–Lincoln