Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tales of The West

Howdy Y'all!

Welcome to my new weekly feature, Tales of the West, where I will tell you some interesting information about love and relationships in the "Wild West"!

The Mail Order Bride and the Rancher...how relationships worked out.

From the January 8, 1882 Kansas City printing of the Matrimonial News. 

Gentlemen seeks domestic paradise: 

"A gentleman of 25 years old, 5 feet 3 inches, doing a good business in the city, desires the acquaintance of a young intelligent and refined lady possessed of some means, of a loving disposition from 18 to 23, and one who could make home a paradise."

As you may expect, some relationships fared well, while others floundered or didn't come to be at all.  Sometimes men who struggled financially expected the bride to arrive with enough money to help them in whatever venture they hoped to make a living at.

Gold mining followed by the end of the civil war after which many migrated west, created an environment of mostly males in the western United States.

Once the men settled into and towns prospered and grew, the men then wished for families and partners to share their life with.  The best answer was to get women from back east to move to the west.  Being most women would not move so far without some sort of guarantee, the Mail Order bride system became the obvious choice for many.

The "mail order brides" of the American west were the "supply" that met two "demands". For the men of the west who far outnumbered women and wanted to create families, farms, and towns, a mail order bride could be the solution. And for young women of the eastern states who faced loneliness, poverty, and the social stigma of spinsterhood if they didn't marry, being a mail order bride could offer social and economic opportunity. "Shandi Stevenson"

Miners and outlaws were some of the worst some women encountered when arriving only to find their husband to be lived in a tent, or worse had been hung for murder.  The poor woman then had to fend for herself in a most untamed of territories.

However, there were many a successful marriage and I'm sure many who lived out the dream of falling in love and finding their partner for life!

Property of Julie Morgan, Staff Writer for History Buff