James E. Bates, proprietor of Bates Studio in Chariton since 1916 and a talented self-promoter, had a bright idea during August 1931 --- offer anyone named "Helen" a free sitting and single photograph in the hope of course that the subjects would order more copies.
He got a bit more than he bargained for, according to a front-page report in The Leader of August 11 under the headline, "Goodness Sakes! Who'd ever Thought There Were So Many Helens Hereabout."
Helen is a popular name for the fair sex hereabouts and J.E. Bates, west side photographer, can testify to this fact.
In the Chariton Leader of last Tuesday, Mr. Bates advertised that on Monday, August 10, between the hours of 9 and 2 o'clock he would give a free sitting and one free photograph to all whose first name is Helen who came to his studio. The results far exceeded the hopes of Mr. Bates and during the hours specified 75 Helens took advantage of his offer.
All of which also proves that Chariton Leader advertising results will bring the same pleasant surprise to all who announce quality merchandise, just as they did for Mr. Bates. We thank you.
Just for the heck of it, I counted the number of Helens mentioned elsewhere in The Leader of August 11 and came up with 10 --- Helen Woodman, Helen Mulligan, Helen Lyman, Helen Clark, Helen Shore, Helen Niswender, Helen Nickolson, Helen White, Helen Peterson and Helen Ludwig.
I can't say if any of these Helens sat for Mr. Bates on the 10th, but perhaps one or two did.