"A very stylish and attractive widow by death, with property worth $3,000. Age 33; weight, 125; height, 5 feet, 5 inches; blue eyes, brown hair, complexion fair; American; good housekeeper and cook. Would marry if I can find a congenial companion. Either city or country life. Will answer all letters containing stamps. Will inherit $6,000."
So wrote an anonymous miss in 1917. Lonely hearts ads are not a modern invention. The New Plan, a "magazine for marimony," was published in Kansas City, MO, between 1911 and 1917. The magazine encouraged single women to post an ad. "Don't think because you are not wealthy yourself that you cannot get a rich party to marry you. Love is not measured in lucre. Morality, fidelity, respectability, ambition and beauty often tip the opposing weight of wealth on the matrimonial scale."
While mail order brides have a long history, the personal ad opened up a new door for singles. With the payment of only $1, a bachelorette also promised to answer each and every response she received. It's intriguing to wonder how many marriages developed out of these ads.