Courting, Early 1900’s Style

Dave’s grandparents, Earl Marcus Stufflebean and Pearl Lillian Brasher, married in Norman, Oklahoma on10 August 1916.

Before Earl and Pearl married, they courted, although for how long I don’t know. I’ve mentioned before that Pearl was a saver and among her papers we found letters that the two exchanged in the year or so before they were married. Although they are short messages, they provide a great picture to the past and days when young men “called on” young ladies.

R: Pearl and Earl, out with friends

They obviously were enjoying each other’s company, with a bit of teasing going on:

Earl Teasing Pearl

Two notes were together in the same envelope. I think
3 NovemberPearl stuck two notes inside the same envelope, dated October 1915, about ten months before they married.

Miss “Pearle Brasier”

This envelope is made of quite heavy paper and is only about 1 1/2 inches by 3 inches. Note that it is addressed to “Pearle Brasier.” Pearl sometimes added the “e” at the end of her name when she was young. Earl even put an “e” at the end of his name once. I wonder if that was to signal a commonality with Pearl? Brasher is sometimes spelled as “Brasier,” which looks more French. I wonder if Pearl used that spelling to present a more exotic family background? My 2x great grandmother Elida Hicks Stuart changed the family name from “Stewart” precisely because the “ua” spelling was more French and European.

Earl's Note to Pearl Pg1
3 Nov 1915

Notice first that this note is typed, not handwritten, but the closing is “Friend, Earle.” Secondly, notice at the top it says “From Lock Box 1234 to Lock Box 2360.” Earl wanted to come visit with Pearl that evening. I am assuming that a century ago in a small town mail that was local was just placed into patrons’ mailboxes. There was no home delivery – people dropped by the post office to collect their mail. Thus, Earl could “mail” this note in the morning, Pearl could collect it, say, by noon, and actually accept or decline the visit invitation, again by “mail,” on the same day.

Earl's Note to Pearl Pg2
2nd Note


Noble, Okla.
Oct. 13, ’15
Miss Pearl Brasher
Dear Pearle
Hello Pearle

how are you this
morning? I am all
Have you been going
to the meeting. I have
went one night.

Pearle if you have
no engagement for tonight
would be glad to have
your company to (choir?)
to night if you (care?) to go.

Now don’t go just on my
account if you have to study
your lessons.

Write and let me know
in time.
Please excuse this writing
as I am in a hurry.


The second envelope contains an explanation from Pearl to Earl that she wasn’t really on a date with someone else! This is dated 5 August 1915, a year before they married. Earl was apparently living in Oklahoma City at this time. By the way, Earl was four years older than Pearl. Not a lot by today’s standards, but in 1915, Pearl was seventeen and a senior in high school. Four years age difference is quite a bit when Earl was the age of a typical college senior!

Note from Pearl to EarlAug1915
Second tiny envelope, 1 1/2 x 3 inches

Note from Pearl to Earlaug1915Pg1
Page 1

Note from Pearl to Earlaug1915Pg2
Page 2


Noble, Okla.
Aug 5, 1915

Mr. Earl Stufflebean,

Dear Friend,
Earl that was all O.K. about
Sunday evening. Mr. J. M. . . .did
not have a date with me, and he did
not ask for a date to go to church until
after I told him I was going
car riding with you. If I am not
mistaken he just asked for that date
for spite “C” and he is not through
yet. Will tell you more the next time
I see you.

I went to a party last night. Miss
Moon gave it in honor of her cousin
Mr. . . .Somebody. . .that is here visiting.
Pearle Brasher (know her?) and the
“Morrison Brothers” were the only ones
invited. As I was the only girl there
Mr. J.. . .M.. . .took me home. “C” Miss
Thacker was not there, nor Miss Farris
(Ha ha! I should worry.) I went to
Singing Tuesday night. Guess I will
stay at home tonight and write letters,
as I just owe twelve.

Miss Farris went home Tuesday. I
went with her to the Depot and we took
some pictures. Stella went to Purcell
Tuesday to spend the week, so you
“C” I am lonesome too.

Yes, I think that the roads are
some better. I hope that you have
recovered from your fright, for I
believe Carl was sure enough

Well I must stop.
“Be good and you will be happy.”

Pearle Brasher

So went courting in times long gone by.


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