I found this in an old, archived issue of my local newspaper (Roanoke Daily Times, December 31, 1889). I thought you might find it interesting.
It’s the “story” of a bride who went from merchant to merchant to get them to take note of what presents she would like, so they might encourage her friends to buy them for her when she came in–an early wedding registry.
Given the anonymous nature of the bride and writer, and the fact the only location is “Atlantic,” I suspect this is an early attempt to market the first “registries” to merchants and brides.
It’s in the next to last column, about halfway down, in the upper right quadrant, called, “A Scheme That Worked Well.” I’ve retyped the text for you in case it’s slow to load or hard to read. The archaic punctuation (including no end quote marks), odd phrasing, and use of “wont” are original to the article; other typos are mine. 0716-13
Not long ago an Atlantic young lady was about to be married–she is
married now. The following story has leaked out by merchants comparing
notes from time to time: “About two weeks before the time the wedding was
to take place this young lady visited the various stores in the city. At
each of the jewelry stores she called the proprietor aside and told him of
her approaching marriage, and then said: ‘Now, it is very probable that
some of my friends may come in here and select me a present. It’s horrid
to get something you don’t like, so I wont you to look out for me, and if
you can satisfy yourself that a present is to be purchased for me induce
the purchaser to buy something I will now select.’ The proprietor could
see nothing wrong in granting such a request, and the young lady selected
a number of pieces of jewelry which suited her taste. They were marked
and the clerks notified. This was repeated at the crockery, music and
book stores. From all that can be learned the scheme worked well, and on
her wedding night the happy bride had but few presents with which she was