When one’s own efforts failed, and parental matchmaking proved unsuccessful, one often turned to the newspapers in an attempt to find a wife. One such person was Frederick J. Cullum of Saugerties in New York State, whose 1905 advertisement for a wife is certainly unique. As far as we here at Forgotten Stories can tell, we replicate Mr. Cullum’s advertisement in full:
“I here make an offer to marry a lady who can love and aid a well-deserving young man. Maids, widows, and spinsters under forty years might apply. I seek a woman who is in fairly good circumstances and who would cheerfully assist me financially in my aim to accomplish something as a genius.”
Just in case you were concerned that all Cullum had to offer was his genius, he brings a little more to the table:
I will sign agreements with the lady that I marry that I will not touch any intoxicating liquors, turn to whatever religion she may be, attend her church each Sunday, will remove and put on her shoes each morning an night, will install the latest improvements around home and its surroundings, will do all in my power to make her life a happy one, will be a man for home comforts.”
If shoe removal and a new washing machine weren’t enough, Cullum also promised he was a good looking cove, who viewed the world as a glass half full kind of place:
I am twenty-eight, five feet seven, weight 140, blue eyes, dark brown hair, considered to be nice looking, in the best of health, at present in poor circumstances, fairly educated in good common sense, thrifty and believe in an economical and enterprising life; agreeable and always try to look on the sunny side of things.
Just in case you questioned Fred’s motivations, he made it particularly clear that:
I seek to marry first, for love, and wealth a second consideration. I seek to marry a lady who can assist me financially and encourage me on. Anything you care to ask will be cheerfully given. State particulars when you write. Everything will be held strictly confidential to those who answer same. From a lonesome young genius.
Indeed, we can speak from experience that the love life of a good looking, lonesome, young genius can be a difficult one; but we soldier on, and certainly hope Fred found his mate.