It Sucked to be a Woman in 1899

Things are not perfect for us now. Not by a damn shot. But the January 27, 1899 Argus-Democrat told some hair-raising tales about life for the ladies:

  • Barbara Bader (of 702 N. Fifth Avenue, not far from my house!) was held up “for the purposes of robbery”. At around 6:45am, Barbara was on her way to job her at the hospital (in the laundry), and a man grabbed her by her throat. He threw her down, she screamed, and he took off. The paper opined that it ought to be safe for women in this city.
  • “Curly” Trempler was released from jail and is now in Detroit, looking to kill his wife. Yep, kids, that’s what the Argus-Dem told us! He served a 2.5 year stint in Jackson for cutting his wife, and apparently (and shockingly!) the time in prison did nothing to rehabilitate the man called “Frenchy with a knife” by local police.
  • Mrs. Kate Pruett of Pittsfield was looking to divorce her husband. He has failed to support her or her children and left her stranded in Philadelphia, even though he is earning $15 a week.
  • William Mulholland was on trial for “wife beating”. Since that charge, dear William broke a saloon window, so the two charges will be combined into one trial.
  • But it wasn’t all bad…the teachers of Washtenaw County traveled to Lansing for a conference. Since they traveled the farthest, they won a year long subscription to the Michigan School Monitor. As they say–you go, girls! (A phrase that really should, uh, go….)
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