Monday, November 1, 2010

WANTED: HUSBAND

With the invention of internet dating, finding a romantic interest in today’s world isn’t all that difficult.  You can meet people who live in your town, or people who live across the world.  You can scan a profile page to decide if a stranger seems like someone you’d want to meet.          
            Do you ever wonder what people did, before internet dating?  What about before computers, before telephones, before widespread technology?  What could people do 100 years ago to find a suitable companion, when there were no prospects in their town?
            One solution was to print a wanted ad in the newspaper.  In this clip from the C.P. Herald, printed on May 9, 1907, a Klamath Indian who lived on the Klamath reservation placed an amusing request to find a husband for his daughter:

Here’s Your Chance, Boys!
            Henry Jackson, a wealthy Indian of the Klamath tribe, who lives on the reservation over the divide, has offered $50,000 cash bonus to any white man who will marry his daughter.  The girl is said to be one of the most beautiful young squaws in that tribe, and Jackson is said to be very wealthy—owner of more cattle than any ordinary Indian could count.  He has a son now languishing in the Multnomah county jail having been recently indicted for stealing a cow, and the old man refuses to furnish bail money to get the boy out because of his general worthlessness.  But it is different with the girl, and her father is willing to give $50,000 for the right kind of son-in-law.  Now, boys, don’t all speak at once, but here is your chance for a sure-thing get-rich-quick scheme.

            Mr. Jackson probably had to interview tons of eligible young men.  Who could resist a beautiful girl with $50,000, a considerable fortune in 1907?
            Do you have any funny examples of historic “Love Wanted” ads from past newspapers?  Please share your thoughts and examples in our comment box.

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