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Leap Year Customs

A partial list of Lincoln’s most marriageable men was published by the Nebraska State Journal in 1888 in honor of the old leap day (February 29) custom of women proposing marriage to men. The Lincoln City Guide, compiled by the Federal Writers’ Project and published in 1930, noted some of those mentioned:



“Dawes, C. G., attorney at law and anti-monopoly agitator, age 24, weight 135, height medium, dark hair and the neatest mustache in Lincoln: is rapidly rising in his profession; seems to have a disposition to go back to see somebody in Ohio occasionally but is worth trying anyway. . . .



“Frost, A. L., law student; age 26, height 5 feet 10 inches, weight 140; complection light; sandy mustache just in sight, fond of children; quite a student of literature and unusually brilliant in conversation; has money and will make a good husband; is worth a good effort.



“Hardy, W. E., furniture dealer, age 26, height 5 ft. 8 in., weight 160; light complection and smooth face; light-hearted and sunny, quite a favorite among the ladies, quite a society man, but would prefer a girl with domestic tastes, uses neither liquor nor tobacco; in matter of dress quite strict, appearing in white gloves on all occasions.



“Tibbits, A. S., attorney, 32 years old, brick red hair and mustache, 6 ft. tall and weighs 135 pounds; is quite well off and has no bad habits; is suspected of having a violent temper owing to the color of his hair; but the suspicion may be groundless.



“Zehrung, Frank C., druggist and capitalist, age 29; height a trifle short of 6 ft.; fighting weight has never been ascertained; brown hair, sharp blue eyes, young amber beard under excellent control; the oldest consecutive member of the Pleasant Hour Club; . . . the leader of Lincoln society, and without a rival; is handsome, features being constructed after plans and specifications drawn by Michael Angelo; has smashed 14 hearts in the last 15 years; if taken at all it will be after a desperate struggle; when captured will make an excellent husband; of a loving disposition and refined tastes; only fault is an unfortunate passion for baseball; the last on the list, but by no means the least.”

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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 RG2955.ph).   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 ...
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