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25 April 2015

Lucy Lawson (Hicks) (Anderson) (1886 - 1954) cook, madam

Tobias Lawson was born in Waddy, Kentucky. By the time she started school, she was insisting on wearing dresses, and called herself Lucy. Her mother took her to a physician and was advised to raise the child as a girl.

Lucy Lawson left school at fifteen, and worked as a domestic servant. In her twenties, Lucy moved to Pecos, Texas and worked in a hotel for a decade. In 1920 Lucy married Clarence Hicks in Silver City, New Mexico, and then moved to Oxnard, California.

Mrs Hicks worked as a cook and nanny, in particular for the Donlon family. She won prizes in cooking competitions. She saved her money and purchased a downtown property. In 1929 she divorced Mr Hicks. There was less work available during the Depression years, and by the Second World War, Lucy was running a bordello, and was frequently arrested for being a madam.

One of her girls contracted a venereal disease, and the entire house was medically examined, which led to the discovery that Lucy was male-bodied. In 1944 Lucy married Reuben Anderson, a soldier stationed in New York.

In 1945 Mrs Anderson was convicted of perjury in that in applying for a marriage license she had sworn that there were “no legal objections to the marriage". She was sentenced to ten years probation. Challenging the doctors who had proclaimed that she was male, She insisted: “I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman. I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman".

In 1946 both Lucy and Reuben were convicted and imprisoned for fraud in that Lucy had received payments as the wife of a soldier. After release Lucy attempted to return to Oxnard, but the local police chief warned her to stay away.

Lucy Anderson spent the remainder of her life in Los Angeles until her death in 1954, at age 68.

* not the parliamentarian

It is very noteworthy that a doctor in the 1890s suggested that a trans girl actually be raised as a girl.

Lucy was quite a woman. She was 58 when Reuben married her.

There is no mention of whether Lucy was allowed to sell her house in downtown Oxnard, or was otherwise compensated for its loss.

Was she sent to a women's prison?
p89 of Oxnard: 1941-2004.

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