According to the New York Sun, an attractive young German woman of Washington, D.C., walked into a newspaper office in that city on October 11, 1910, and requested the insertion of the following advertisement:
“‘Young woman, fairly wealthy, from foreign country, desires to meet at once some poor young man. Object, matrimony.’
“She gave her name as Eugenie Adams, but admitted that this was an assumed name. She said she was willing to give her prospective husband a bonus of $200. She explained that her uncle, who lived in Germany, had named her as the beneficiary in his will, provided she married in a week.
“‘You see it is this way,’ she explained with a German accent, ‘my old uncle is very eccentric. He lives in the Fatherland, where all my people are. He has named me the beneficiary of his will if I am married by a week from to-day. I am very poor. I want the money. I plan to get married in order to obtain it. I will pay any young man $200 to marry me.
“‘But I will be no trouble to him,’ she continued. ‘I will get a divorce from him at once and never see him again. I do not want to remain married. I only want to return to Germany at once with my marriage papers. Could a man make $200 in an easier way?’
“She declined to give the amount of the legacy she expected to obtain through her marriage.”
The St. Louis Times in a recent editorial comments on the “Two-hundred-dollar Husband,” as follows:
“We have been much interested in a story which has been telegraphed from Washington, and which relates the circumstances under which a presentable fraulein bought a husband, in order that she might inherit an estate—which was willed her on the condition that she marry within a given time.
“She appears to have wanted the estate badly, though the idea of having a husband did not appeal to her at all. Perhaps there was a ruddy faced Heine at home with whom she had danced in the old days, and who still held her heart in thrall. Be that as it may—as Laura Jean Libbey would say—she married her emergency husband in Washington only because she had to, in order to get the estate.
“She did not wish ever to see her husband again, and when a sailor appeared in response to her advertisement, she rather liked the looks of him—for the occasion at hand—but decided, wisely, that he would not do, because ‘he travelled around the world, and she might see him again.’ She finally decided in favor of one Harry Oliver Brown, who wore a flowing sandy mustache, and a celluloid collar, and carried a walking-stick. We should have thought the flowing sandy mustache would have been enough, though we have no objection to the celluloid collar and the walking-stick, if they be thought to possess a corroborative value.
“And so the two were married, and Mrs. Brown gave her hired husband $200 and bade him good-by and left, without even saying she would hurry back, and boarded a ship for the Fatherland, where the estate was—and, presumably, is.
“We have related this quaint fable because it seems to possess a valuable idea for those who contemplate matrimony, not because they consider themselves fitted for it in any way, but because they feel they ‘have to get married’—so much the slave to public opinion are many estimable young people.
“If the thing has to be done, we commend the method of Mrs. Harry Oliver Brown. A sandy mustache, a celluloid collar, and a walking-stick can always be had for a song—and there is not a very heavy percentage of sailors.”