From 1916:

Three quarts boiling water, 1 pint minced onion, 1 quart potatoes cut in dice, 2 tablespoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 3 tablespoons butter or savory drippings, 1 tablespoon fine herbs.
Cook onion and butter together for half hour, but slowly, so onion will not brown. At end of this time add boiling water, potatoes, salt and pepper and cook one hour longer, then add fine herbs and serve.