Newspapers in the early 20th century played important roles in Nebraska communities. If the Gering Courier of 1908 is anything to go by, matchmaker was occasionally one of them.
Four girls pose for this group photo, somewhere in the mountains. The girls are wearing long pants. From the Nelson collection, Circa 1925
“The fame of the bachelor citizens of Scotts Bluff County has spread abroad to such an extent,” said the Gering Courier of December 18, 1908, “that we have received this week even from far-off Kentucky two applications for husbands.
The young ladies who address us are factory girls in the thriving city of Henderson, and describe themselves very modestly, but we read between the lines of their epistles that they are fond and loving hearts that pine for all the comforts of a home in the breezy west, and while they are a little wee bit specific in their desires in the way of hubbies, we still believe this valley can furnish the goods. One wants her affinity to be not over 5 feet 10, with auburn or brown hair and dark eyes, and of course handsome and wealthy.
The other wants a dark-haired gentleman, but would prefer blue eyes, and insists that he have an amiable disposition, in consideration of which she omits the requirement of wealth, so we infer some our just well-to-do boys will fill the bill. She is also obliging enough to describe herself as a girl of 5 feet 7 inches, dark gray eyes, dark red hair, almost brown, and 150 pounds avoirdupois.
Would that we were young again! The names of our friends Ernest Moon and J. H. Casselman of Scottsbluff came first into our minds, quickly followed by those of Frank Hall and Army Simonian of this city, but we have had some difficulty in sorting them out, and will simply offer to show these letters to any who are seriously disposed. These, and a dozen others who are highly worthy, are available subjects, while [the 1908] leap year still holds on [when custom allows women rather than men to propose marriage], and we solicit interviews.
Both the young ladies are willing to submit photographs and recommendations, and give their names, which we are prepared to furnish to the right parties, but trust no one will trifle with their affections. We feel assured that they are good girls who are simply lost in a wilderness of other girls in a manless community, and our sympathies and assistance are on tap for them.