A Real Romance

Valentine’s Day has long been the day to celebrate romantic love-but, as the Omaha Daily Bee pointed out on April 29, 1882, there’s “Nothing Like a Little Common Sense in Love Matters.” Of what it termed a “Real Romance” in which practicality trumped love, the Bee said:

“About two years ago there resided in this city a hard working and respectable mechanic, an iron worker in the U.P. shops, who resided with his wife in a small cottage in south Omaha. This cottage had been built for him on the monthly installment plan and for a time the payments were made quite regularly. He had one child, a son, about ten or twelve years of age.

“In the same family there boarded a young man, a clerk in one of our dry goods stores, who also rented a room in the house. The wife of the mechanic was a prepossessing brunette, with rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes, and the clerk, while acting with commendable prudence, contrived to insinuate himself into her good graces and eventually win that place in her heart which was due to her husband alone.

“After a time payments on the house became less easy to meet and at length failed altogether and the honest mechanic was in danger of losing all that he had invested in it and of finding himself without a home in the world. At this stage of the proceedings the clerk, who had contrived to save something out of a very fair salary, offered to the husband to pay off the entire indebtedness on the house and give him a quit claim deed in consideration of his relinquishing all claims upon his wife, and to this the man, driven to despair by his straitened financial condition, consented. The bargain was duly carried out, the title to the house transferred to the U.P. man and the clerk, resigning his position, left the city with the wife of his friend for parts unknown.

“Time rolled along with its changing moons and revolving seasons, and added to the age of the parties to the unlawful contract and to the maturity of the boy who had been thus deprived of a mother’s love and care. Three months ago the young man went to Kansas City on a visit, and while there promenading the streets one day, met his mother and the man for whom she had deserted him and her home, walking arm in arm on the street. The recognition was mutual. The boy wrote to his father, and the result was a correspondence between the husband and lover of the woman. This, after a short time, terminated in another transfer of the woman back to her husband, who received a further consideration of two hundred dollars, and soon after the woman came back with her son, resumed her former life in the old home and is now living there happily with her husband and son.

“The honest mechanic has thus by a judicious investment of his matrimonial capital, secured a home, free from encumbrance, and a snug little sum in cash, and is now in a comparatively independent condition, while the dry goods clerk and the wife have enjoyed the heyday of their passion, and are both, no doubt, glad to resume their former conditions.”

Photographer Solomon D. Butcher depicted the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. L. N. Beager north of West Union, near Cummings Park, in Custer County, Nebraska. The Beagers were married August 13, 1889. NSHS RG2608-2182.

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.