Flourishing in Our Midst are “Matrimonial Agencies” Which Seem to Need Attention:
Trysting Places for fools, Old and Young Which Can Be Dispensed With.
One Institution Investigated, the Vile Character of Which its Proprietors Do Not Deny.
The original newspaper article appeared in The Inter Ocean Newspaper, Chicago, Illinois, 28 August 1887.
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.
Part 5: Chicago’s 100 Matrimonial Agencies–all shut down by one Police Detective, Clifton Wooldridge.
ONE HUNDRED FALSE Matrimonial Agencies in Chicago at the Turn of the Century?
Note the two new crime method additions (as addressed in my series of Nineteenth Century Mail-Order Bride SCAMS, Parts 1-5 so far): stock matrimonial letters and stock matrimonial photographs– more than one million, each.
A man with two wives (neither knows about the other) seeks yet two more, entirely to swindle them of their means. This 1899 tale is so well worth reading.
Franks, as he presents himself on the West Coast, in the middle of defrauding women through multiple marriage agencies is scammed, himself, by a wealthy widow in demand of a expensive courtship.
Amateur historians will find myriad details worth noting, such as the communication of chiefs of police, use of the term “dead beat,” laws on the books, and so much more.