Edd & Joe Saloon was located in Donald

Turning Back the Pages: A creative stroke when looking for love

Back in the days when Donald was a busier area, young men took a different approach of finding love.

In the history of our valley before the turn of the last century, Donald was known as the trading center for this area. It was to this bustling little community that people came from all over the world to settle, set up shops, and build businesses and homes.

It started as a rough and tumble railroad town with saloons, dance halls and a tough breed of people that had the grit to carve a living out of a cold hard land.

The one thing that there was an abundance of, was bachelors. In a creative stroke “one of the boys” sent the following letter to “The Golden Era.” I’ve edited it for length.

Dear Sirs, Will you kindly allow us a small space in your valuable paper in which to mention the names of our marriageable young men with some of their accomplishments. We have not arranged them in any order of preference, but just as they occurred to us, so that those whose names come last, need not feel at all slighted on that account.

Mr. Chas. Crandon – A young man of good moral character, but a little eccentric. A sample of which he displays in his very evident dislike for thin people and superannuated maiden ladies but we can safely recommend Jim to any young lady as a desirable husband.

Mr. W.H. Mannix – Dealer in tough beef, old mutton, and hog cholera pork. Of a very melancholy disposition when in private, which comes, we hear, from listening to the wind whistling through his whiskers, possessed of a large store of jokes, which taken together with his genial manner, makes his company most charming.

Mr. Miller – School teacher and wielder of the birch rod, unfortunately born in the middle of the week, consequently looking both ways for Sunday. Of good understanding and of a very retiring disposition, we fear young ladies need not apply.

Mr. Chas. Knodell – One of the most promising young men in our town, of great personal attraction, being tall, lithe, tall built and the owner of a magnificent brown mustache. We are unable to give his nationality, but we know that he shows a decided preference for the green. She will be a fortunate young woman who wins his affections.

Mr. J.H.M. Hungerford – Commonly known as “Hungry Jack,” whose morals are questionable, but yet to an extent unpardonable in a common telegraph operator. Probably the glasses he wears are to blame for the superior light in which he sees himself. But our object is not to spoil his chances with the fair sex and if any young lady feels that she can overlook these small shortcomings she will probably be able to mould him to her will.

Mr. John Colquhoun – A young Scotchman whose character needs no polishing from our hands, well known to a good many of our readers, none of whom will contradict this statement. Of course like most young men, he has his hobby, but in this place we will not disclose any of his boyish fancies, and we will most heartily recommend him to any lady wishing a boy to raise.

This ploy must have worked because two months later one of the bachelors married at the Episcopal Church in Donald.


To see a previous Turning Back the Pages click here.

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