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Husbands and Wives and Money

This was still Chautauqua time in Bloomington 100 years ago, and on this date, Mrs. Jones,

spoke about home finances and how money should be handled between wife and husband. At that time, women were given allowances and if they were not, they had to ask their husband for money if they needed it. According to Mrs. Jones, even women who received the egg or cream money, were only getting an allowance. This was because the view was still that everything belonged to the husband. Not so many years before 1915, women were considered the property of their husbands, not unlike a slave. Any property that the wife owned before marriage became the property of the husband.

Mrs. Jones was not a radical, she merely stated that all women should have an allowance, so that she would learn how to spend money and so that the children of the family would learn how to spend money by seeing their parents cooperate in this way. She suggested that the husband and wife should be partners in everything and that money should be handled as partners. This would be quite a radical idea for the folk of Bloomington and McLean County.

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