What Type of Woman Makes the Best Wife?

Eleanor Rose

Captain
Member of the Month
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Location
central NC
bride-and-groom-1394320469Vhx.jpg

(Public Domain)

Apparently, this was a common question in the 19th century? Men wanted to know what type of woman made the best wife. And there were plenty of people with opinions who were happy to share. So…

Widows seemed to top the list.
lls-Vindicator-of-Valley-Falls-KS-on-March-21-1891.jpg

The Valley Falls Vindicator of Valley Falls, Kansas. March 21, 1891.
Or did they?
e-Des-Moines-Register-of-Des-Mones-IA.-Feb-20-1887.png

The Des Moines Register of Des Moines, Iowa. February 20, 1887.
What about "homely" girls?
Democrat-of-Grove-Hill-Alabama-on-November-27-1884.jpg

Democrat-of-Grove-Hill-Alabama-on-November-27-1884.jpg

The Clarke County Democrat of Grove Hill, Alabama on November 27, 1884.
Not so fast. Short women seem to be the favorite.
rrisburg-Telegraph-of-Harrisburg-PA-on-Jan-15-1878.jpg

Harrisburg Telegraph of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. January 15, 1878.
Sales ladies ranked high too.
ld-Daily-Republic-of-Springfield-OH-on-Dec-26-1886.jpg

ld-Daily-Republic-of-Springfield-OH-on-Dec-26-1886.jpg

Springfield Daily Republic of Springfield, Ohio. December 26, 1886.
Talkers? Not so much.
The-Star-and-Enterprise-of-Newville-PA.-May-4-1875.jpg

The Star and Enterprise of Newville, Pennsylvania, May 4, 1875.
Well educated? Uh-uh.
Manhattan-Republic-of-Manhattan-Kansas-24-Jan-1901.jpg

The Manhattan Republic of Manhattan, Kansas on January 24, 1901.
Healthy? Yes. Even if she needed a little medicine.
h.-Kentucky-Advocate-of-Danville-KY-on-May-24-1889.jpg

Kentucky Advocate of Danville, Kentucky. May 24, 1889.
So, what can we glean from this printed advice? Not much. An unnamed phrenologist probably gave the best advice in the Pittsburgh Daily Post of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 20, 1890. He simply said, "the woman (as a wife) who pleases all is the one whose soul is pure, whose mind is good and whose heart is warm.” I think we can all agree with that.
 

Rick Richter

Corporal
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
View attachment 382958
(Public Domain)

Apparently, this was a common question in the 19th century? Men wanted to know what type of woman made the best wife. And there were plenty of people with opinions who were happy to share. So…

Widows seemed to top the list.
View attachment 382959
The Valley Falls Vindicator of Valley Falls, Kansas. March 21, 1891.
Or did they?
View attachment 382960
The Des Moines Register of Des Moines, Iowa. February 20, 1887.
What about "homely" girls?
View attachment 382961
View attachment 382962
The Clarke County Democrat of Grove Hill, Alabama on November 27, 1884.
Not so fast. Short women seem to be the favorite.
View attachment 382963
Harrisburg Telegraph of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. January 15, 1878.
Sales ladies ranked high too.
View attachment 382964
View attachment 382965
Springfield Daily Republic of Springfield, Ohio. December 26, 1886.
Talkers? Not so much.
View attachment 382966
The Star and Enterprise of Newville, Pennsylvania, May 4, 1875.
Well educated? Uh-uh.
View attachment 382967
The Manhattan Republic of Manhattan, Kansas on January 24, 1901.
Healthy? Yes. Even if she needed a little medicine.
View attachment 382968
Kentucky Advocate of Danville, Kentucky. May 24, 1889.
So, what can we glean from this printed advice? Not much. An unnamed phrenologist probably gave the best advice in the Pittsburgh Daily Post of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 20, 1890. He simply said, "the woman (as a wife) who pleases all is the one whose soul is pure, whose mind is good and whose heart is warm.” I think we can all agree with that.

Hilarious, and I'm with you and the phrenologist!
 

Quiet1

Private
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
So the ideal female is a short, plain, quiet, non-nerdy cashier?
Just kidding.
I was cruising through old Harper's Weekly issues today, and found a few gems worthy of notice that might fit here (although they are in a much more humorous vein than the previous clippings):
1606796539946.png

Apparently, more than one man agreed that overly talkative women are to be abhorred (January 2, 1864).
The comeback was not long in appearing --this is from the very next issue (Jan. 16, 1864)
1606797300576.png

and is followed by a general roast of the male population:
1606797178952.png

And here's a little sampling consoling us that the Chaotic Household didn't start with soccer moms and beer-drinking dads
(January 30, 1864):
1606798371240.png



And last, but definitely not least, a self-explanatory PSA from Jan. 21, 2864:
1606791990224.png
 

TnFed

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Eleanor, a recent study in Iceland concluded that the best person to marry is a third cousin! Too distant to really have genetic defects but close enough to have personal similarities.

My ancestors in Cherokee.County and Monroe County would probably concur. :smile:

Another great post. You do a fantastic job on this board.
 

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