- August 11
) was a nationally known madam
in Lexington, Kentucky
at the end of the 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th.
Belle Brezing was born Mary Belle Cox, the illegitimate daughter of Sarah Ann Cox. Ms. Cox then married George Brezing, whose name Belle adopted. Brezing had one daughter, Daisy May Kenney, who was raised by a neighbor.
Brezing is believed to have been the model for Belle Watling in Gone with the Wind. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Lexington.
Belle's first job in a brothel was 24, Dec. 1879 in a house maintained by Jenny Hill, which has the distinction of being the former residence of first lady, Mary Todd Lincoln.
Belle's "bawdy house"
Her "working house" remained standing in Lexington's downtown area at 59 Megowan Street until the entire neighborhood was razed in the early 1970s to make way for new government office buildings. The street has been renamed Eastern Avenue. Bricks salvaged from the two story corner lot home were sold to the public with the inscription: "Brick from the Belle Brezing Home - The most orderly of Dis-orderly Homes".
Still standing, one of her other former houses, is on the campus of Transylvania University, and houses a women's locker room.
- Brezing also spelled her name "Breezing," and it is occasionally misspelled as "Breazing."
- The defunct Lexington City Brewery produced a beer named for Brezing.
For more complete biographical information and numerous photographs see the University of Kentucky Audio-Visual Archives
- Thompson, Elmer. I. ("Buddy") Madame Belle Brezing (1983)