During the first third of the nineteenth century in the United States, the overall popularity of word puzzles began to stabilize and then drop somewhat. As enthusiasm for all forms of literature dropped during this period, it was natural that interest in word puzzles should decline also. Nevertheless, word puzzles began to pick up new recruits among classes of people which, generally, had been uneducated before the turn of the century. In particular, puzzles enjoyed considerable popularity among farmers and others living in rural areas.
Shortz, William F.
"Early American Word Puzzles (Part 3),"
Word Ways: Vol. 8
, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol8/iss1/9