I went to the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Golda Meir Library last week to spend some time looking through old newspapers for obituaries. UWM has all of the Milwaukee Sentinel and Milwaukee Journal (and Journal-Sentinel) papers on microfilm back to about 1886 or so.

I found a few obituaries, the earliest being from 1939. I had looked in a few papers for obituaries from 1922 and 1925, but I did not find them. I know they died in Milwaukee, but I’m assuming that back then only more well-known people had their obituaries in the paper. They probably implemented the common “Death Notices” section later on.

While looking over the obituaries and the classifieds section that was around it, I noticed some interesting entries. These were probably normal back in the 30s and 40s, but they seem strange today.

YOUNG man, 19, wishes position with reliable concern.

GIRL: over 20, general housework; no cooking; 1 baby; own room

NOT responsible for any debts contracted by my wife, Anna Wurm, on or after Aug. 9, 1941.

LEARN WHILE ASLEEP; Relaxation, memory and will-power; self-confidence, weight reduction, speech, typing, etc. FREE Literature M.P. INSTITUTE

I’m calling that last one for sure. I wonder if they can research my family tree while I sleep, too?