Edna Milton Chadwell – RIP – Shadow of an Era Fades

I never knew the lady well, but I was briefly acquainted with her when I was writing the piece for Men In Adventure Magazine, Vietcong Seductress, et al.  She was a lot more understanding about the slant the editors put on the piece than Sheriff Jim Flournoy.   But that was before the Texas news jumped onto the bandwagon.

Edna Milton Chadwell, Last Madam of ‘Chicken Ranch’ Bordello, Dies at 84

Edna Milton Chadwell, the last madam of the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel, died last week at the age of 84. The Chicken Ranch of La Grange, Texas, was the house of ill repute that inspired the Broadway musical, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” It later became a hit movie.

Chadwell’s passing inspired a surge of interest in the 1982 film starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds. The flick was an enormous success, taking in nearly $70 million. It was one of the biggest musical hits of the decade, despite mixed reviews. 

After the Chicken Ranch’s demise, Chadwell moved to Arizona where she met her husband and remained for the rest of her life. Her obituary from the Associated Pressquotes her nephew, Robert Kleffman.

“She was a hard-nosed lady. She was very straightforward, didn’t put up with no monkey business, no nonsense,” he said. “Hard-nosed. But with a spine of steel and a heart of gold.” Kleffman added that his aunt didn’t like to talk about her time in La Grange, but she also wasn’t ashamed of it.


Here’s wishing her the best in whatever she decides to do next.

Old Jules



9 responses to “Edna Milton Chadwell – RIP – Shadow of an Era Fades

  1. It would have been a good job, good for her.

    • elroyjones: I’d never given it any thought, but I suppose it probably was. I think if I’d been able to play the piano I’d have made a good piano-player in a whorehouse for my life work, but I’ve got a tin ear. And the Chicken Ranch had a jukebox. Gracias, Jules

  2. I love this »» » “Here’s wishing her the best in whatever she decides to do next.”

    Good post Old Jules

  3. Marvin Zindler, a guy on Houston TV had something to do with the closing down of that place.

    • DizzyDick: Yep. He had everything to do with it. He took up the story shortly after it appeared as a cover story for Men In Adventure Magazine. Thanks for coming by. J

  4. God bless her…may she RIP.

    I’ll bet she could teach a few people about what an Iron Lady is!

    • Good morning Mark. Thanks for the visit. I’d guess she could teach almost anyone something if she was in a talking mode and the almost anyone was in a listening mode. Gracias, J

  5. Thank you all for the kindness you have written towards my Aunt.

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