During the latter half of the nineteenth century, Letters to Santa Claus were a common appearance in newspapers. Whether the practice alerted parents, shared heartwarming tales of postal employees gathering nickles from among their department to stand in as a “Secret Santa” (modern lingo), or perhaps brought about by a store’s advertisements in the newspaper, Letters to Santa Claus provide a unique glimpse into the past. Want to know what toys children found appealing in the 1870’s? Or what dolls were fashioned of? Take a peek inside!
A parade through historical newspapers taking a look at the wild and colorful history of one Charles H. Rowan, proprietor of a matrimonial agency in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the late 1890’s. He was accused, arrested, tried, found not-guilty, allegedly bribed government officials, retried–and the story doesn’t end there.
* One Chicago Matrimonial Bureau circulated the photograph of one miss to cowboys in the West, inferring an abundance of brides…
* Matrimonial Bureau run by a man named Chinn, accused of having purchased pictures of Actors and Actresses and passing them off as candidates for marriage.
* 40,000 Love Letters: Manager of a Matrimonial Bureau Slides Down a Rope From a Third Story Window (leaving wife and desperately ill baby behind in a closet)
* The Salvation Army, in the Cupid Business? (A delightful spot of humor!)
- Scammers threw out baited hooks to entrap the unsuspecting…and “suckers” fell for it far too often. This article covers a few short newspaper reports of circumstances wherein the honest fell for scams and ultimately paid plenty.
- The Postoffice Department takes steps to Suppress a Matrimonial Bureau. [sic]
- Six young boys run a scam, presenting themselves as a wealthy widow seeking a husband.