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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: A senator’s wife dished on the romantic lives of young folk in D.C., ‘the matrimonial center of the nation’

 (S-R archives)
(S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Elizabeth Gale Poindexter, wife of Spokane’s former U.S. senator Miles Poindexter, continued to entertain – and sometimes shock – the readers of her syndicated column.

The subject of her latest dispatch was the plethora of young, single Washington, D.C., men.

“Ever so many young men are here, running elevators in the Capitol or the office buildings during the day, going to law school in the early evenings, and blossoming around in society at night,” she wrote. “Their elevator shifts are remarkably short, it seems to me – there seems to be a new youth on an elevator every time I go into either House or Senate office buildings. At any rate, they are able to get off for golfing engagements during the afternoon or out motoring with the season’s debutantes – in the debutantes’ cars. Then they study law or medicine, or foreign trade for an hour or so, before dinner, dance and the theater.”

For this reason, Poindexter wrote that “Washington is rapidly becoming the great matrimonial center of the nation.” Women outnumbered men, because so many “girls are employed in government departments.”

As for the men, she said she had “never seen anywhere so many law schools or law students as there are in Washington.”

That made it a decent matrimonial market for young women as well, as long as they came from money.

“When a girl has, in the parlance of the day, been a ‘flop’ in her hometown society, she still has a good matrimonial chance in Washington, if she comes with the necessary bankroll.”

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