|Death: ||Jan. 20, 1867|
One of pioneer Nevada's more colorful, and controversial, figures, was the Virginia City prostitute, Julia Bulette.
Although the legends that have grown up around her have by now obscured the precise details of Bulette's life, there is a general consensus among Nevada History buffs that in her heyday in the 1860s she was remarkably popular--Bulette's reputation as an "accommodating woman" grew over time with the mostly single male population of the Comstock. However, testament to her acceptance by many men in the community was her successful election as an honorary member of the Virginia Fire Company No. 1. Since the firefighters of Company 1 were mostly the elite of Virginia City, despite Julia's profession, she had achieved a considerable degree of respectability.
On January 19, 1867, Julia Bulette dressed and went to see a performance at Piper's Opera House. As the story goes, when Ms. Bulette refused to sit in the section reserved for women of the red light district, she was escorted out of the theater and returned home to enjoy a late dinner.
The following morning Julia's neighbor found Bulette brutally murdered. She had been struck with a pistol, bludgeoned with a piece of firewood and strangled. Most of her costume jewelry and belongings were missing.
On Monday, January 21, Julia Bulette's funeral was held at Engine House No. 1. Hundreds turned out to her funeral. Her fellow firefighters in Engine Co. No. 1 took up a collection and purchased a handsome silver-handled casket. The Metropolitan Brass Band led about 60 members of the fire department on foot, as well as 16 carriages of mourners, to the Flowery Hill Cemetery.
Although a funeral occured, the "decent" populace could not let a women of easy virtue be buried in consecrated ground. She was entombed in a lonely grave half a mile east of town. A simple wooden plank with the name "Julia" painted on it was all that marked her final resting place. As the mourners slowly filed back into town, the men of Engine Co. No. 1 sang "The Girl I Left Behind." Virginia City was draped in black, and for the first time since President Lincoln's assassination, all the saloons were closed in respect for the somber mood.
Her killer was identified a year later as John Millian, a French baker and drifter. Millian was arrested and thrown in jail for petty theft after a "sister" prostitute was assaulted by Millian when she discovered he was attemptign to sell a dress once belonging to Bulette. Alllegedly, a search of Millian's house proved to discover some of Julia Bulette's possessions including jewelry and a trunk. Millian was hung for the brutal murder and subsequent robbery.
Although Comstock lore dictates that Bueltte was a native of England, recent historical research has discovered that Bulette was born in Mississippi.
Flowery Hill Cemetery
Created by: Angel M. Brant
Record added: Aug 23, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21102708