Monday, January 29, 2018

"Wanted: A wife between the ages of 30 and 50"

Advertising for a soulmate was nothing new in 1927, nor is it especially unusual now --- only the media change. But including the local weekly in the search, while sensible, is a bit daring, then and now.

A Lucas man submitted the following to Henry Gittinger at The Leader back in January of 1927: "I am wanting a wife between 30 and 50 years of age. Address Box 333, Lucas, Iowa."

And that gave Henry the opportunity for a front-page epistle under the headline, "A Lifetime Chance Right Here at Home: A Modern Xerxes in search of a Queen Esther and Advertises," reprinted in part as follows. Sadly, Henry did not follow up. So we don't know if happy-ever-aftering followed,

"Wanted --- a wife between the ages of 30 and 50, so a Lucas man advertises in the want ad department of the Leader, which if some lady is so inclined may turn to and read, as the address is given, and evidently the advertiser means business as he remitted in advance in payment for the same --- the advertisement --- not the wife. And why not advertise? The good book says, 'He that getteth a wife getteth a good thing?' When a person needs a farm hand, he advertises. Likewise, when he loses his pocketbook or desires to dispose of a herd of ewe lambs. Much better so for a wife of his bosom.

"No specifications are given, only that the wife must be between the ages of 30 and 50 years, which is a liberal latitude and conclusive evidence this husband when secured will not be hard to please. Yes, we know the gentleman's name, as he sent that along with his advertisement, and money as a guarantee of good faith, but we are in no position to recommend, but will say he went at this transaction in a frank manner by divulging who he was, and is honest and diligent in business, else he would have sent the ad to be collected for later. We infer from this that he would leave no grocery bills unpaid, or let his subscription to the county paper run behind a year or two, and then hand it back to the postmaster marked, "Refused." The Leader shall not go into details further only to say this preliminary transaction would indicate that he is diligent in business and would probably make a model husband ...."

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