Annie Chambers

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Leannah Loveall, prostitution, Red Light District, Elmwood Cemetery


Illustration by Jimmy Grist


Annie Chambers, born as Leannah Loveall in 1842, grew up to become Kansas City’s most notorious madame. She started out with a happy life. She married an older gentleman with the name of Mr. William Chambers at a young age and soon had their first son, who unfortunately didn’t make it past his first year. Tragedy struck poor Leanne once again while pregnant with her second child. Leanne and her husband were involved in a terrible horse-and-buggy accident leaving Leanne in a coma and her husband dead at the scene. When she woke, she learned about her husband’s death and shortly thereafter her second pregnancy ended in a stillbirth. Heartbroken, worn down and distraught, Chambers changed her name to Annie Chambers and moved to Indiana to lead a life working in the “oldest profession in the world:” prostitution. After a few run-ins with the law, Chambers made her way to wild, cow-town Kansas City right when the Hannibal Bridge opened in 1869. Thanks to the constant flow of prosperous cattle and real-estate business men provided by the newly constructed railroad system, Chambers opened her very own brothel near the southwest corner of 3rd and Wyandotte Streets to cater to these needs in 1872. Her “resort” soon became the cornerstone of Kansas City’s “red light district.” Annie’s Resort, a two-story, 25-bedroom bordello was a top-of-the-line brothel with glass chandeliers, elegant furniture and the women were well-known around the nation for being beautiful and even well-mannered. Chambers ran a successful business for years despite the fact that the Kansas City Police Headquarters was merelyblocks away from the brothel. Now why wouldn’t the policemen shut her down? *hint hint* However, eventually the public outcry to end the brothel forced Chambers to close her prostitution business in 1923. At the ripe old age of 92, Chambers “found” God and peacefully died in her home on March 24, 1935. She rests her large frame in Elmwood Cemetery.