The New Plan Company Catalog for Matrimony

Don’t wait. Enter now to win a book for history lovers and brides to be who believe the risk is worth it all – Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Bride Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

 

Matrimonial clubs date as far back as 1849. Lonely hearts from Syracuse, New York, to San Francisco, California, joined such organizations in hopes of finding a suitable mate with whom to spend the rest of their lives. The New Plan Company based in Kansas City, Missouri, was a matrimonial club that claimed to have more than thirty-two thousand members during its existence from 1911 to 1917. According to the New Plan Company’s handbook, printed in the fall of 1910, the plan and method of the club were simple and easy to understand and follow.

“Our time and money is devoted entirely to the interest of the unmarried. We are dedicated to elevating and promoting the welfare of marriageable people and furnishing them with a safe, reliable, and confidential method at a nominal cost, whereby good honorable people of sincere and moral intentions, may better enable themselves to become acquainted with a large number of such people of the opposite sex as they may deem worthy of consideration, which may lead to their future happiness and prosperity.”

The follow are a sample of some of the ads placed in The New Plan Company catalog:

American; widow by death, age 38; weight, 135; height, 5 feet 6 inches; brown eyes; brown hair; Methodist religion; occupation, housewife, income $700 per year, business education and musician. Have means of $10,000. I am considered very good looking and neat. Will marry if suited.

A nice little blue-eyed Miss from North Carolina, with brown hair, age 18, weight 125, height 54 inches, fair complexion; can sing and plan piano; have a fine home, also have means of $50,000; my occupation is trained nurse; would like to hear from a nice young man of suitable age, rich or poor, but must be good-hearted and true; will marry a true love only.

Am not considered good looking, but make a nice appearance; plain, and neat dresser; immaculate character; quiet, loving disposition; Christian religion, age, 22; weight, 135; height 5 feet 4 inches, blue eyes; blonde hair; light complexion. Would like to hear from gentleman interested in missionary work.

Object Matrimony

I'm looking forward to hearing from you! Please fill out this form and I will get in touch with you if you are the winner.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

To learn more about the mail-order bride business in the Old West or to read exciting tales about mail-order brides read

Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

 

 

Making Matrimony Pay

Enter to win a book for history lovers and brides to be who believe the risk is worth it all – Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Bride Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

 

 

Long after an advertisement is placed in the newspaper by lonely hearts in need of a spouse, and once nerves have settled after meeting the bride or groom of choice for the first time, comes the challenge of making a mail-order marriage last. Matches that came about through a public announcement, marriage broker, or matrimonial agency in the mid-1800s were not necessarily unhappy. Though embodying more of the lottery element than the ordinary marriage is said to contain, they frequently yielded surprises to the persons involved.

Conscientious marriage brokers like Edgar Kaborchev of Bachmut, Russia, wanted his clients to be satisfied with their decision for a lifetime. Kaborchev resided in New York City and represented several men west of the Mississippi looking for a bride. According to the June 23, 1890, edition of the Longansport, Indiana, newspaper the Daily Reporter, Kaborchev provided photographs to those interested in marrying so “the individual who hired him could make a more informed decision about the person entering into such a sacred union.” Each photograph was accompanied by details concerning the social and financial standing of the person pictured.

The Daily Reporter noted that Kaborchev was “kindly received everywhere.” He was quick to point out to the eager men and women he had arranged to marry that he wanted them to be happy for years. “Knowing a potential spouse is attractive and of fair fortune before they exchange vows is the key to success,” Kaborchev proudly confessed.

Object Matrimony

I'm looking forward to hearing from you! Please fill out this form and I will get in touch with you if you are the winner.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

To learn more about the mail-order bride business in the Old West or to read exciting tales about mail-order brides read

Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

 

 

Marriage and Money

Enter to win a book for history lovers and brides to be who believe the risk is worth it all – Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Bride Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

 

It is said that early pioneers were compelled to go west. Their strong desire to learn what was beyond the boundaries of the Mississippi River beckoned them. Thousands of men made the initial trek over the plains, many of them unencumbered by a wife or children. It was an isolated and lonely existence for them, but given the fact that there were few single women living on the frontier, there was little they could do about their circumstances.

Women who remained in the East experience a similar lack. The push to expand the United States territories, the fever of the Gold Rush, and the Civil War claimed the greater majority of marriageable men. The highest percentage of unmarried women in American history was recorded between 1860 and 1880. According to the November 1886 edition of the Ladies’ Home Journal, the reasons for the decline in wedding vows being exchanged went beyond politics or the urge to find wealth. Rather, there was a close connection between marriage and the price of wheat, beef, pork, beans, corn, and other things. “As the price of these commodities went up the number of marriages went down,” the article explained.

Object Matrimony

I'm looking forward to hearing from you! Please fill out this form and I will get in touch with you if you are the winner.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

To learn more about the marital statistic in the Old West or to read exciting tales from mail-order brides read

Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

The Dreamer and the Lothario

Enter to win a book for history lovers and brides to be who believe the risk is worth it all – Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Bride Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

 

 

Annie Gayle was considered one of the prettiest, most ambitious girls in Akron, Ohio. Her eyes were large, her features were well proportioned, and her desire to go west was her number-one aspiration. She was well on her way to achieving her goal when she accepted the proposal of a man living in French Camp, California. He had advertised for an adventurous woman anxious to settle in the Gold Country and experience the excitement of the wild frontier. Annie wasted no time favorably responding to his letter asking for her hand in marriage.

Born an only child in 1874 to Charles Gayle and Margaret Stantz Gayle, Annie grew up hearing her father’s tales of the land beyond the Rockies and the endless possibilities to be had there. Charles died before he realized his own dream of moving to San Francisco. Fearing that the chance to make such a journey had died with her father, Annie decided to consider mail-order bride opportunities.

Horace Knapp, a handsome man in his late forties, collected his teenage bride-to-be at the train depot in Sacramento, California, on September 10, 1890. Annie was anxious to meet the sheepish suitor who had described himself in his letters as a “good fellow, with means and prospects.” The plan was for the two to marry the day after Annie arrived—and only if their first encounter proved to be mutually satisfactory. The couple dined together and discussed their possible future. By the end of the evening they were in complete accord to wed. Vows and a ring were exchanged the following morning.

Annie was delighted not only to be married, but also finally to be at a location that seemed bursting with potential. If she had remained in Ohio working at a millinery shop, life as a farmer’s wife was the best she thought she could hope for. She believed being Mrs. Knapp would bring her happiness, and she therefore surrendered to her husband the small amount of money she had earned working as a seamstress in Akron. It never crossed her mind that Horace might be untrustworthy. She was honest and thought everyone else was as well.

The newlyweds moved to a small cabin nestled in a mining community in the San Juan Valley. Everything went along nicely. It was as though the couple had been settled for years in their new position. Horace invested his wife’s funds in a mining venture he explained to her would produce great dividends—enough for them to see the world beyond California. Annie was thrilled by the idea, and while her husband was away tending to their interests, she planned trips to distant lands.

One night, alone again in their fledgling homestead, a ragged little boy arrived at the doorstep and delivered a soiled note to her. It read as follows:

Object Matrimony

I'm looking forward to hearing from you! Please fill out this form and I will get in touch with you if you are the winner.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

To learn more about the note found on the doorstep and tales from other mail-order brides read Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

 

 

Happy Ever After

Enter to win a copy of

Object Matrimony:

The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the

Western Frontier.

 

 

Business for matrimonial publications increased substantially whenever stories of successful mail-order connections were made. Editors for periodicals such as Matrimonial News and the New Plan Company shared happy ever after tales with daily newspapers in hopes they would print the romantic adventures of correspondence couples.

Several such stories appeared in newspapers like the Waterloo Daily Courier in Waterloo, Iowa and the North Adams Evening Transcript in North Adams, Massachusetts around Valentine’s Day in 1905.  Advertisements around the mail-order articles consisted of flower shops, jewelry stores, and chocolate makers.  According to a post in the February 6, 1905 edition of the Waterloo Daily Courier, readership for the paper doubled on romantic holidays like Saint Valentine’s Day and Christmas.  “Whenever mail-order love stories are printed, and particularly those that present a high view of matrimony and the fun couples could have in a happy marriage,” the editorial staff at the Courier noted, “the circulation grows.”

An article entitled “Would She Bother Him?” which ran on Sunday, February 10, 1905, was an example of a story that generated significant business for the Iowa paper.

“Martin Perkins, aged forty-one, and Eliza Gulless, aged thirty-seven, sat before an open wood fire, he holding his hands, she knitting. For two years the couple corresponded via mail then came the day Mr. Perkins asked Miss Gulless to come west.  Miss Gulless, now Mrs. Perkins, agreed.  Mr. Perkins resided in the area of Bisbee, Arizona.  The future Mrs. Perkins left her parents and siblings behind in Ohio to join him.  The two met through a mail-order advertisement.

“Twice a week for ten months the pair met. On Wednesday they were together at the church for choir practice and Saturday evenings were spent at Miss Gulless’s home talking and getting to know each other further.  Mr. Perkins lived with his mother and half the people in the Bisbee area said it would be a shame for him to marry and leave his mother alone, the other half maintained he was morally bound to marry Miss Gulless.

“During the ten months they spent together Mr. Perkins was endeavoring to make up his mind that it would be safe for a man of his confirmed habits to enter matrimony. He sat with Miss Gulless engaged in the same occupation every week-holding his hands with the occasional twirling of his thumbs-while Miss Gulless knitted.  But at last he had come to the determination to ask her to become his wife.”

Object Matrimony

I'm looking forward to hearing from you! Please fill out this form and I will get in touch with you if you are the winner.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

To learn more about Miss Gulless and other mail-order brides read

Object Matrimony:

The Risky Business of Mail Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

 

The Murderous Mail-Order Bride

Enter to win a book for history lovers and brides to be who believe the risk is worth it all – Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Bride Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

 

 

When Carroll B. Rablen, a thirty-four–year-old veteran of World War II from Tuttletown, California, advertised for a bride, he imagined hearing from a woman who longed to spend her life with him hiking and enjoying the historic, scenic beauty of the Gold Country in Northern California. The ad he placed in a San Francisco matrimonial paper in June 1928 was answered by Eva Brandon. The thirty-three-year-old Eva was living in Quanah, Texas when she received a copy of the matrimonial publication.

If Carroll had been less eager to marry he might have noticed the immature tone Eva’s letters possessed. If he’d taken the time to scrutinize her words he might have been able to recognize a flaw in her thinking. According to the July 14, 1929 edition of the Ogden, Utah newspaper the Ogden Standard-Examiner, one of Eva’s first correspondences demonstrated that she not only seemed much younger than thirty-three years old, but also had a dark side. “Mr. Rablen, Dear Friend,” the letter began. “You wrote about a son I have. He has had no father since he was a month old. The father left me. I haven’t seen him. If a man leaves me I don’t want to see them. And I’ll make sure I can’t.”

Eva left Texas for California in late April 1929. She and Carroll were married the evening of April 29, 1929. The dance that followed the nuptials at the Tuttletown school house was well attended by Carroll’s friends and neighbors. They were happy he had found someone to share his life. Eva twirled around the room, dancing with anyone who wanted to join her. She was elated with her situation. Carroll, on the other hand, chose to wait outside for his new bride in the car. According to the Ogden Standard Examiner, Carroll was slightly deaf and despondent over the other physical ailments that kept him from fully enjoying the festivities.

When Carroll’s father, Stephen Rablen, began regaling guests with his rendition of the song “Turkey in the Straw” on his fiddle, Eva excused herself and went outside to visit with her husband. She took a tray of sandwiches and coffee to him. He smiled proudly at her and commented on how thoughtful it was for her to bring him some refreshments. Carroll helped himself to a cup of coffee, blew across the top of it to cool it down then took a sip. He made a bit of a face as if the coffee lacked something. He took another drink to determine what it needed.

Shortly after Carroll swallowed the brew a third time, he dropped the cup and began to scream. Eva watched him slump over in the front seat of the car. Carroll continued to scream. Wedding guests poured out of the building to see what was wrong. Carroll’s father pushed past the people to get to his son. “Papa. Papa,” Carroll repeated, reaching out for Stephen’s hand. “The coffee was bitter … so bitter.”

Emergency services were called to the scene, but by the time they arrived Carroll had slipped into an unconscious state. Attendees at the reception told reporters for the local newspaper that Eva simply stood back and watched the action play out around her. She wore no expression at all; no worry, concern, anxiety, nothing. An ambulance transported Carroll to the hospital and Eva road along quietly in the vehicle with her husband. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

To learn more about the mail-order brides and the ads that lured them West read Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier

 

A Wife Wanted

Enter to win a book for history lovers and brides to be who believe the risk is worth it all – Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Bride Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

 

 

Desperate to strike it rich during the Western Gold Rushes and eager for the free land afforded them through the Homestead Act, men went west alone and sacrificed many creature comforts. Only after they arrived at their destinations did some of them realize how much they missed female companionship.
One way for men living on the frontier to meet women was through subscriptions to heart-and-hand clubs. The men received newspapers with information, and sometimes photographs, about women, with whom they corresponded. Eventually, a man might convince a woman to join him in the West, and in matrimony. Social status, political connections, money, companionship, or security were often considered more than love in these arrangements.

Complete with historic photographs and actual advertisements from both women seeking husbands and males seeking brides, Object Matrimony includes stories of courageous mail order brides and their exploits as well as stories of the marriage brokers, mercenary matchmakers looking to profit as merchants did off of the miners and settlers. Some of these stories end happily ever after; others reveal desperate situations that robbed the brides of their youth and sometimes their lives.

 

To learn more about the mail-order brides and the ads that lured them West read Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier.

 

And The Winners Are…

The winners of the Holiday giveaway are…

Teresa Benjamin, Roger Southern, and Linda Mohn.

Each will receive a book of their choice from the catalog of titles and 2017 calendar.

Congratulations!

Stay tuned for another giveaway contest next week.

 

Christmas Gift

I Have a Present For You!

To Say Thank You for Your Continued Support I Have a Present I’d Like to Send.

It’s a Women of the Old West Calendar for the New Year.

Sign Up to Receive News about Upcoming Books and Contests and

I’ll Send You a 2017 Calendar. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

 

Wild Women of the Old West

Spend the holidays with a few ladies from the Old West.

Enter the Find the Snowman contest and register to win a copy of any book you want from the catalog of titles about women of the Old West.

 

Time is running out. Enter to win today!

 

Holiday Giveaway (snowmen)

You found one! Please fill out this form and I will get in touch with you if you are the winner.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.