Behind the Victory Flagpole – Way to go


As you know, people can find their spouses, significant others and such, in many different places and in many situations. There are “Lonely Heart Clubs,” dances, singles meetings, and the latest trend, on-line dating! How fun!

But now I have come across the most outlandish coupling that I have ever heard of! I found it in a book written by John H. Stevens called, Personal Recollections of Minnesota back in 1890. This is what he writes:

When the third term of the district court of Hennepin County commenced on April 3, there were jurists who were prominent farmers from three counties: Hennepin, Carver and Sibley. During the session, the new court house, which had been built the previous year, was destroyed by fire. This was the first store destroyed by fire in Minneapolis.

Some of the jurymen from remote parts of the county, who attended the session of the court were desirous of obtaining wives before their return home. One of them, John Mann, who had a valuable claim on the banks of the Minnesota River, just before Chaska, had been a soldier at Fort Snelling. He was a thrifty man and was born in Germany. He went to St. Paul, one Sunday, to find out if there were any German girls coming to the country. He fortunately happened on the levee during the landing of a down-river boat that contained many German families who were seeking new homes in the territory. In watching them land, John espied a comely, healthy­ looking girl in a group of women. “There,” he said to an acquaintance who accompanied him to see the approaching steamer, is my wife.” He immediately introduced himself to the parents of the girl, and to the girl. He was 30 years old, had a good farm and a comfortable house; had cows and oxen and a reasonable amount of money. He had in fact everything to make him comfortable except a wife. He wanted the girl before him for that. He presented his case with much earnestness.

Fortunately, a member of a prominent German family, who had resided in St. Paul for a number of years, made his appearance on the landing in the nick of time, who knew the parents of the girl in the fatherland, and knew John in this country equally well. He assured the surprised immigrants that John was all that he represented himself to be, and that the parents who secured him for a son-in-law would never regret it. The result was, that early on Monday morning John appeared in court with his new wife. He was readily excused from further service on the jury. He immediately proceeded to his farm, and from that eventful morning that he saw his wife land in St. Paul to this day, he never regretted his hasty marriage. He and his wife are among the most respected pioneers of the county. They have prospered, and John still believes in short courtships! All I can say is, “Way to go, John.”