Hopedale History
    No. 8
    Mary Ann Hayward

    Today I’m sending the closest thing to a Valentine’s story I could come up with.  Those of you who
    have read the short stories on the Hopedale history website have seen this one but it’s probably new
    to most of you.  How would you find a mate in a little town with a population of a few hundred?  In
    nineteenth century Hopedale there wouldn’t be much of a choice and you probably wouldn’t get out of
    town very often either.  You couldn’t find one on eharmony.com but you could do what Mary Ann
    Hayward did.  Advertise in the Phrenological Journal.  Here is what Susan Thwing Whitney had to say
    about Mary Ann in Hopedale Reminiscences.

    There lived in Hopedale, in a little house at the corner of Union and Dutcher Streets, although Dutcher
    Street was not there then, four unmarried sisters.  Mary Ann, albeit the youngest, so much desired to
    be married that she advertised for a husband in some paper.  I think it was the “Phrenological
    Journal.”  One morning Mr. Humphrey came to my father’s and asked if I would do an errand for a man
    who was stopping at his house.  I gladly consented and upon going to the gentleman received
    a letter which I was requested to carry to Mary Ann Hayward and wait for a reply. I distinctly remember
    what excitement prevailed among the sisters and how Mary Ann hastened to pen the answer. This I
    duly carried to the waiting gentleman and O, what bliss!!  I received a bright new ten-cent piece for my
    trouble.  The man proved to be Justin Soule who had answered Mary Ann’s advertisement.  Soon after
    they were married and, as far as I know, lived happily ever after.

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