ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Legendary Brothel Madame Molly B'Dam

Updated on July 2, 2015

"Heart of Gold"

Molly B'Dam is probably the lady from which the stereotyped image of a Brothel Madame with a heart of gold was fashioned from. However, she was the real thing.

Molly was born as Maggie Hall in Dublin, Ireland on December 26, 1853. And how she came to be known as Molly B'Dam makes for an interesting story. She was a beautiful young woman with golden blonde hair, blue eyes and stood about five feet six inches tall.

Maggie Hall arrived in New York from Ireland in 1873 at the age of 20. She had had plenty of proposals of marriage before leaving but had turned them all down to come to America. She felt that was the place to fulfill her dreams. Her parents tried to talk her out of it but she had made up her mind.

Maggie’s story began like many other Irish women who had immigrated to this country in the 1800’s. She wasn’t able to find employment in New York. So she took the only job she could find…a barmaid in an establishment of questionable reputation. However, her Catholic upbringing, along with her wit and charm kept her in good stead and earned her the respect of her patrons.

New Occupation

Eventually she met a man by the name of Burdan, fell in love and married. Her new husband was from a wealthy family and fearing their disapproval of his marriage he kept it secret. He knew if they found out his allowance would be cut off. Burdan had never worked a day in his life, nor did he intend to.

Burdan persuaded his new bride to change her name to Molly and introduced her to a life of prostitution. He had a serious gambling problem and had Molly sleep with his debtors to off his debts. At first she refused but after his relentless pleading she changed her mind because she loved him. For this, she was later excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Feeling she was damned forever anyway, she continued her new occupation.

Finally she had enough and left her husband. She boarded a train and set out for the Western mining camps. While in San Francisco, she read of a gold strike in Murray, Idaho and decided that was where she might find her fortune.

Part of the trip to Murray had to be done by pack train. Along the way they were caught in a blizzard. One woman and her child could not keep up with the others and fell behind. Molly stayed behind to help. They spent a cold, snowy night on the trail. The news of her mercy reached Murray before her. Upon arrival, she received a hero’s welcome.

It was during this time her new name was bestowed upon her. An Irishman approached her and asked her name. She said Molly Burden. With her Own Irish accent on her former husbands’ name he thought she said Molly B'Dam and the name stuck.

Shortly thereafter, Molly's profession became public knowledge and when she asked for "cabin number one.” she got it. In a mining town this was the name usually given for the red light district’s madams’ residence. She liked Murray and vice versa. She treated her working girls well and could be counted on to help anyone in need.

There are many stories of Molly's contributions to the town. Perhaps she will be most remembered for the invaluable aid she dispensed when a Smallpox epidemic hit Murray in 1886. Molly never contracted the disease. Rather it was her untiring efforts to help those who did that lead to her death. She died of consumption, a disease with no cure.

The town gave her a simple but elegant funeral with thousands of people coming to pay their respects. On her tombstone in the Murray Cemetery it states simply: "Sacred to the life of Maggi Hall, Molly B'Dam"

Molly's life became legend in Murray and the Coeur d' Alene mining district. Many locals still remember the lady and her dedication and commitment to the citizens of Murray. Many still refer to her as "The patron saint of Murray.”


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)