Fascinating True Stories From the Flip Side of History

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Can’t Cook Applesauce

It was reported on December 29, 1940, that 50-year-old Joseph Cronan, who owned a 150-acre farm in Candia, New Hampshire, was looking for a new wife.

He had spent the previous three years placing advertisements in the newspapers and had received more than 5,000 replies. He found none of the women to be the girl of his dreams. As a result, he was now offering a $100 reward to anyone who introduced him to the “right woman.”

So what was he looking for? Most importantly, she had to be able to make applesauce. He said that “I like good eats and I want a woman who can cook while I run the farm.”

Any applicant for the position of being Mrs. Cronan was first required to complete a questionnaire that Mr. Cronan mailed. This saved the time of having to interview each candidate individually.

Each questionnaire included the following questions:

  • Are you penniless?
  • Are you a lazy woman, poor cook, saucy?
  • Are you lame, deaf, ailments, etc?
  • Are you of good disposition?
  • Send photo. Age, weight, height.
  • State faults.
  • Cigarette, liquor user not wanted.
  • And most importantly: Send sample bread made by you.

This makes me wonder: He may have been looking for the perfect wife, but what kind of catch was he? My guess was not a very good one.

By the way, my wife can make applesauce. That’s the main reason that I married her.

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Cook’s corner logo from the Internet Archive.
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