Turn of the Century Matrimonial Ads

Today I bring you matrimonial ads from four eligible bachelors in St. Louis in 1897 and San Francisco in 1912.

Anyone care to make a choice between Bachelors 1, 2, 3, or 4?

1. This one is a bit hard to read but the amount specified is $800, which is the equivalent of $28,695 in 2022. 


2. This ad didn’t request a specific amount, but “of means” suggests that money isn’t exactly a non-issue. This fellow specifies he has life insurance. As someone who spends a lot of time researching true crime, I wouldn’t advise this strategy. 


3. This ad requests just $50, which is about $1800 today. 


4. This ad comes from San Francisco in 1912. I don’t know about this one. $10,000 is a lot of money, even for an active, clean-cut young business man of 28. And if you adjust for inflation, that is the equivalent of $306,918. However, please remember everything costs more in San Francisco, so that does need to figure into your analysis! 


Also, the drawing to win a signed copy of my new book Grievous Deeds: The True Story of Four Years of Fury in Chattanooga, Tennessee is tomorrow evening! If you haven’t entered the drawing yet, click here to go to the post and enter!

4 thoughts on “Turn of the Century Matrimonial Ads

    • Yep. There are two types of ads. The ones who want money are a big one. But there are also ones who don’t mention money and do use words like good housekeeper, good cook, and strong. They were looking for a woman who would work really hard. On the What’s In it For the Woman side, they would say things like “good home.” Kind of like giving a workhorse a nice stable. Great, but that’s not why they got the horse, you know? Not a whole lot of people really looking for love in the newspaper personals.


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