Category Archives: Newspaper Articles

1894 Weddings, Parties and Luncheons

I always enjoy reading the announcements in old newspapers of weddings, dinner parties and other affairs.  It is a moment, frozen in time, for us to enjoy. 

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thursday, January 4, 1894

Society News

The brilliant nuptials of Mr. B. F. Watkins, of New York, and Miss Shirley Chenault, of this city, took place last evening at 9 o’clock at the College Street Presbyterian Church.  Long before the hour a large crowd of friends had assembled, and when the doors were opened they soon filled every available space in the pretty church.  The decorations were most tasteful.  Potted plants of waxy magnolias and palms formed the background for the banks of annunciation lilies.  The bride was loveliness itself, and her brunette beauty was never more pronounced than it was when she appeared last evening in her bridal gown of ivory satin, which was cut low in the neck, around which was a bertha point of lace.  A bridal veil was held on her brow with a tiara of diamonds.  The bridal bouquet was of orange blossoms and white roses, covered with white tulle, and entwined with a bowknot made from a white lace handkerchief, according to the latest Parisian idea.  The maid of honor, Miss Milbrey Watterson, wore a pink silk gown, and made a contrast to the other attendants, who entered in twos and were uniformly gowned in white moire, around the full sleeves, rounded corsage and revers of which was a trimming of otter.  They carried shower bouquets of Catherine Mermet roses.

The groom and his best man, Mr. Robert Harrison, of New York, met the bridal procession at the altar, and formed the central figures of the semi-circle composed of the bridesmaids and the ushers.  These were Misses Laura Brand, Abbie Goodloe, Maud Yandell, Florence Beckley, May Brockenbrough, Annie Chenault, of Richmond; Mary Chenault, of Lexington; and Messrs. John Snedecor, Preston Carson, of New York; Roger Ballard Thurston, Raphael Semmes Colston, Burton Vance, Ben Leight, Edwin Whitney and Spencer Graves, of St. Louis.  The flower girls were Nellie Chenault, Hattie Montgomery, Ethel Chenault and Maud Montgomery, all beautifully dressed.

As the wedding part moved down the aisle, Mrs. Maggie Ward Bell, the organist, played the march from “Lohengrin” and “Traumerei” during the ceremony, which was performed by the Rev. Dr. Hamilton, of the Warren Memorial Church, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Herbener, the pastor of the College Street Presbyterian Church.  At the conclusion of the ceremony the opening march from Wagner’s “Tannhauser” was played for the retrocessional.

After the ceremony a reception followed at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jason W. Chenault, of 908 Second Street, at which only the bridal party, the relatives and a few intimate friends were present.  The decorations at home were not elaborate, but were of the same kind as those at the church, in the parlors the mantels and mirrors being banked in palms and annunciation lilies.  The bridal supper was served from small tables about a large center one, where the wedding party was seated.  It was covered with a white silk cloth, and had in its center a mound of lilies surrounded by ferns.

At midnight Mr. and Mrs. Watkins left for their future home in New York City, where they have taken a residence on West Seventy-Third Street.

Among the guests from a distance were Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Nash and Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Aldrich, of New York, who came here especially to attend the wedding.


The wedding of Dr. W. Ewell and Miss Ella Belle Perry, of Taylorsville, took place Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock, at the residence of the bride’s mother, Mrs. L. G. Perry.  The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Dr. W. W. Gardner, of Taylorsville.  The groom was formerly a resident of Louisville, where he has a large number of friends.  Miss Annie Moore, of Shelbyville, and Mr. Clarence Money, of Finchville, accompanied the bridal pair to this city.  Dr. and Mrs. Ewell are on their way to New York, where the groom expects to take a post-graduate course in surgery at the Polyclinic Hospital.


Mrs. Paul Cain, of St. James Court, was the hostess of the L.D.W. Euchre Club last evening.  The following were among those present:  Will Lyons, Kenneth McDonald, A. Leight Monroe, Donald McDonald, J. C. Burnett, John Hughes, Harry McDonald, George Avery, Henry S. Tyler, Miss Atmore.


Miss Selena Barrett, of 1212 West Broadway, gave a luncheon of twelve covers in honor of Mrs. Frederick Butler, of Detroit, yesterday morning.  The decorations in white filled in with the popular stevia flowers.


Miss Mary Swearingen leaves next week to attend the wedding of Mr. Lawrence A. Young and Miss Mabel Wheeler.  While she is in Chicago she will be the guest of Miss Katherine Baker.


A large party will leave next Wednesday for Chicago with Mr. Bennett H. Young in a private car to be present at the Young-Wheeler wedding, which takes place in that city at noon on Thursday.  In the party will be Mrs. Allison, Mrs. J. G. Cecil, Miss Mary Swearingen, Mrs. Burwell K. Marshall, Dr. Stuart Young and a number of others.


Yesterday a marriage license was issued to P. Bronger and Annie B. Lampton.


Miss Virginia Matthews gave a dance last night at her home to a number of her school friends.


Mrs. George F. Downs, who has been quite ill of la grippe, is now considerably improved and expects to be out in a few days.


Miss Julia Penn, of New Albany, who has been spending a few days with Mrs. J. Moss Terry, returned home yesterday.  Miss Penn will be one of a large theater party to hear Patti at the auditorium tomorrow evening.

Miss Mary Cobb Stofer and Mr. Harrison Bowman Ringo Wed October 30, 1912

It’s always interesting to read about weddings, funerals or other items of interest in the old newspapers.  I don’t believe this lengthy description of a wedding would be allowed today – but think of the information it holds for us!

The Mt. Sterling Advocate, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Wednesday, November 6, 1912

The wedding of Miss Mary Cobb Stofer and Mr. Harrison Bowman Ringo was solemnized at the Stofer home on North Sycamore Street at 7:30 o’clock on Wednesday evening, October thirtieth; only near relatives and intimate friends witnessing the ceremony.  Rev. A. H. Hibshma, of the Presbyterian Church, officiated and the ceremony was most beautiful and impressive.  The wedding colors were green and white and were carried out with exquisite taste in the lovely home.  The decorations were most elaborate, palms, Southern smilax and chrysanthemums being used in profusion.  In the parlor the scene was solemn as well as beautiful.  Between the windows was an altar of palms and Southern smilax and chrysanthemums lighted with stately cathedral candles, before which the bridal party stood.  To the beautiful strains of Lohengrain by Grella the party entered promptly at the appointed hour and proceeded down the long hall to the parlor in the following order:  Miss Rebecca Kendall in light green embroidered chiffon over green charmeuse; Miss Jane Darnall, of Flemingsburg, in white marquisette over satin; Mrs. John Stofer, in flowered chiffon over green charmeuse, each carrying white chrysanthemums, and little Miss Agnes Stofer bearing the ring in a dainty basket of flowers.  The bride followed on the arm of her brother, Mr. Jackson D. Stofer, while the groom, with his best man, Mr. Henry M. Ringo, entered from the dining room and met the party before the altar, where the ceremony was said.  The bride was gowned in an imported robe of chiffon embroidered in Rhinestones and crystal over satin.  The veil, which was unusually becoming, was caught under a coronet of lace and orange blossoms.  She carried a shower bouquet of bride’s roses and lilies of the valley.  Immediately following the wedding ceremony, a reception was held which was attended by four hundred guests.  Besides the wedding party, in the receiving line, were Mr. and Mrs. Silas Stofer, Mrs. John A. Judy, Mrs. Dan Priest of Fort Worth, Texas, and Mrs. Walter Meng, of North Middletown.  The dining room was most attractive in its wedding decorations, the table being in green and white with a lace centerpiece upon which rested a gilt basket filled with gorgeous chrysanthemums and surmounted with a tulle bow.  The individual ices of chrysanthemums and the cakes and mints ornamented with orange blossoms were delightful and unique.  Many friends assisted in the entertaining.  In the parlor were Mrs. Adair, of Lexington, and Mrs. Mary T. D. Kendall.  In the hall were Mrs. B. F. Thomson, Misses Charlotte Roberts, Ella Priest, Mrs. John Roberts and Mrs. Tipton Young.  In the dining room were Mrs. Grover C. Anderson, Mrs. Percy Bryan and Miss Sue Woods, of Stanford.  At a table in the music room was a register and all guests were invited to register.  In this room were Mrs. A. H. Hibshman, Mrs. John S. Frazer and Miss Nell How, of Cincinnati.  Serving coffee in the living room were Misses Paulina Judy, Stella Robinson, Lodema Wood, Louise Lloyd, Mary Kemper Darnall, Emily Lloyd, Allee Young and Jean Kendall, Mrs. J. A. Vansant and Mrs. Howard VanAntwerp.  In the upper hall were Mrs. W. A. Sutton, Mrs. Fred Bassett, Mrs. Abner Oldham and Mrs. Charles K. Oldham.  After the reception Mr. and Mrs. Ringo left in an automobile for Lexington, from whence they started on their wedding journey.

Weddings, Weddings, Weddings – November 1900

from The Richmond Climax, Madison County, Kentucky

Wednesday, November 7, 1900

Chenault-Crutcher Nuptials

A beautiful wedding, indeed, was that of Mr. Cabel Horace Chenault and Miss Ann Chenault Crutcher which was celebrated at Pond church today at high noon.

Nothing can be sweeter or more impressive than the union of two hearts which since childhood have beat responsively; such a scene containing at once the fulfillment of hopes cherished for years, and prophecies of a happy, useful future was enacted when these two lives were made one.

Sweetest strains of melody, floated from beneath the skilled touch of Miss Florence Chenault on the organ, and Mrs. John T. McClintok on the violin, and, like a lark, above both rose the voice of Miss Katherine Smith in Love’s Serenade as a prelude.  At length to the triumphant peal of the Tannhauser wedding march, the bride on the arm of her brother, was joined at the altar by the groom and his best man, Mr. Charles T. Chenault.

Behind the stately bride followed the matron of honor, Mrs. George W. Evans, Jr., and as the groomsmen, Messrs. George W. Evans, Jr., Leslie P. Evans and Jeptha D. Chenault, reached the end of the aisle, in a solemnly beautiful ceremony the Rev. J. N. Bailey pronounced the affianced couple, man and wife.

It would be superfluous to speak of the virtues and beauties of the bride or the worth and sterling qualities of the groom, so well are they known by us all.  Showers of congratulations from the county en masse, bestrew their path and the best wishes of all attend them.  Mr. and Mrs. Chenault left on the 1:55 L. & N. train for a short tour and on their return, will be at home to their friends at the residence of Mr. Chenault’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. David Chenault, on the Irvine Pike two miles east of town.


Cecil-Bowman – The marriage of Miss Virginia Bowman to Mr. Charles P. Cecil is announced for January 1st.  Both parties are well-known young society people of Danville.

Lowry-Douglas – Professor R. G. Lowry, of the Nicholasville Graded School, was married last Wednesday to Miss Anna Dale Douglas, of Worcester, Ohio.  Professor Lowry is an old C. U. man of the class of ’82 and well-remembered here.

Walden-Benton – Miss Clara Benton was married on Thursday last to Mr. Charles W. Walden, Rev. A. J. Tribble officiating.  The wedding occurred at the home of the bride’s father, Mr. Daniel Benton, of the Water Work’s precinct, and a large number of friends witnessed the ceremony, at the conclusion of which the newly married couple drove to Union City at which place they will make their future home.

Rayburn-Hendren – Mr. Clyde Rayburn and Miss Clara Hendren were married at the home of Mr. J. M. Hendren at Speedwell last Wednesday.  Mr. Rayburn is a young farmer of that locality, and a nephew of Mr. H. B. Dillingham, of this city, with whom he lived several years.  The bride is a niece of Mr. J. M. Hendren, with whom she has made her home since her infancy, and is an excellent young woman.  We congratulate Mr. Rayburn heartily upon his luck in procuring so charming a mate and join their numerous friends in wishing the happy couple all the prosperity and happiness.

Reunion of Friends Born About 1833 in Madison County

Found this delightful story in a 1900 newspaper from Madison County.  I must say, the Smith’s knew how to treat their guests!

from The Richmond Climax, Madison County, Kentucky

Wednesday, December 12, 1900

1833 – A Happy Reunion – 1900

Last Friday Mr. James W. Smith gave a big dinner in honor of his uncle, Mr. William Smith, of Fayette, Howard County, Missouri.  These old friends of the latter and companions of his boyhood days were at the table:  Messrs. Peter and Samuel Phelps, Calvin and Overton Burgin, Samuel Shearer, William Bennett, W. K. Denny, A. T. Chenault and Major Curtis F. Burnam.  Of the repast, it is superfluous to speak.  Mrs. Smith, the lovely hostess, had prepared for the enjoyment of the guests every delicacy to tempt their appetites, and though the guest of honor is a loyal citizen of the Sucker State there was no Missouri compromise, everything being strictly Kentuckian, even down to Old Kentucky hams, that has no rival among the beasts of the field or the birds of the air.  The biggest and most dignified gobbler on Stoney Run had been slain in honor of this feast, added to which was sauce from the gregarious cranberry, as red as claret which tinted with delicate richness the complexion of the succulent celery.  The sportive oyster was there in soup and shell, leaping from aged tongues into still youthful stomachs to die there in ecstatic bliss.  All things else from a well-filled larder, sundry toothsome dishes and divers condiments, made a feast that was fit for the gods.  All the guests had passed the three-score mile post, and some had gone beyond the fourth, but they knew it not that day; for time had turned backward for once on his way, and made them all boys again, just for that day.  The whole house was given over to their enjoyment, and it rang with the unrestrained laughter of the delighted assembly as joke after joke, yarn after yarn had been spun amid loud ha-has and hurrahs!  It was a glorious reunion and will dwell long and pleasantly in the memories of all.

A brief mention of the guest in whose honor the occasion was given may be interesting, being a native of this county, which he left in 1854, and has not visited since 1885.

William Smith was born in 1833 on what is now called the Billy McChord place.  He is the third child of James and Nancy Howard Smith, deceased, the latter a sister of Benjamin Howard, all old Kentucky pioneer stock.  James Smith was a brother of John Smith, of this county, father of Mrs. Dawson Oldham and Mrs. David A. Chenault, all deceased.  Mr. Smith’s grandfather, James Smith, came in 1790 from Ireland and settled, and with his wife lies buried on the old David Chenault place on the ridge between the latter’s house and John Smith’s.

Mr. Smith has lost a brother, the late Presley Smith, and a sister, Mrs. Mary Jerman.  Himself and four younger brothers, Jason W., Thomas, Solon and Benjamin, all reside near each other in Missouri.  An only sister, the youngest child, Mrs. William K. Denny, lives in this city.

Mr. Smith tells an interesting story of his removal to Missouri.  It was in the year of the Great Drouth, 1854, and he rode horse-back to St. Louis, fording every stream except the Mississippi.  He went via Lexington, Frankfort, Louisville, Terre Haute, Indiana, and St. Louis, occupying 15 days on the journey.  In Missouri, he was married to Miss Maria Louisa Robinson, whose mother was a Miss Sebree, Woodford County, Kentucky, her father being a South Carolinian.  They have one son and five daughters, one of whom is Mrs. McFerran-Crowe, of Versailles, who attended school in Richmond.  A bright saying of Dr. and Mrs. Crowe’s little Elizabeth was recalled by Mr. Smith: ‘Grandpa, where was God (during the Galveston storm?)’  ‘God was in heaven, my child,’ he replied.  ‘He was?’ she asked in surprise, ‘Well, He ought to have been in Galveston!’

A year ago, a brother, Mr. Solon Smith, visited Richmond and impressed himself most delightfully on all his old friends, and the writer recalling the sterling character of his Democracy, ventured to ask his brother if he, too, were a Democrat.  Whereupon Mr. Smith answered by narrating this story: ‘My wife’s uncle, a Mr. Sebree, went away out West and met a man of the same name, and naturally they wished to trace up their kinship, if possible.  The stranger was not much on ancestral history asked these three test questions.  ‘First, are you a Democrat?’  “Yes.” He replied.  ‘Second, are you a Baptist?’  ‘I am,’ was the response.  ‘Lastly, are you poor?’  ‘I certainly am,’ was the reply.  ‘Well,’ said the wild Westerner, ‘we are kinfolks, so come in and stay all winter!’

‘Excepting that I am a Campbellite, and not a Baptist,’ said Mr. Smith, I am of the same household as my brothers, political and otherwise.

After a few days sojourn among his old friends hereabouts, Mr. Smith will return to Howard County and, we trust, will soon return or send another member of the family that is so well remembered here in the place of their nativity, ‘The Old Kentucky Home.’

1903 Marriages Listed In The Bee

The Bee was the weekly newspaper for Earlington, Kentucky, located in Hopkins County.  Earlington is a small town, with a population in 1900 of 3,012.  Today there are less than half that many who live there.  Madisonville is the county seat of Hopkins, and I suppose that’s why these young couples drove there to be married.

In looking at the Hopkins County marriage records we find that this is the second marriage for Alfonso Griffin, aged 24.  He worked for the railroad.  Etta Hicks was 17, her first marriage.  She and her parents were born in Tennessee.

Walter Martin was 22, a printer.  Nannie Belle Summers was 18.  In the 1940 Census for Earlington, Walter, 59, and Nannie, 55, have one daughter living with them, Mattie, who is 27.  Walter is the owner of a print shop, and daughter Mattie is a postal clerk.

The Bee, Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Thursday, August 27, 1903


In Madisonville on the evening of the 20th, Mr. Alfonso Griffin to Miss Etta Hicks, Rev. Jinnett officiating.  The contracting parties are well known young people of Earlington who launch out upon the matrimonial voyage accompanied by the best wishes of a large circle of friends, including the benediction of The Bee.  Mr. Dock Griffin, the father of the groom, informally entertained quite a number of friends on Friday night.  Those who attended reported an enjoyable time.


Walter N. Martin and Miss Nannie Summers were married in Madisonville Sunday evening about 7 o’clock.  They, in company with Albert Larmouth, Mrs. Sue Larmouth, Ward Todd and Miss Nannie Browning, drove to Madisonville and stopped in front of the residence of Elder S. F. Fowler, called him out and had him perform the ceremony that made them man and wife.  While it was generally known that this wedding would take place, only a few intimate friends knew the exact time.

Mr. Martin has for some time been a compositor on The Bee and is a young man of good habits, frugal and industrious.  Miss Summers is the daughter of John W. Summers, of this city, and is a most excellent young lady.  May the guiding star of love and hope ever shine down the dim vistas of their coming days, and may peace and prosperity abide with them until they shall cross the Great Divide, is the heartfelt wish of The Bee.

News from Wednesday, June 1, 1910 – The Springfield Sun

This is an old newspaper clipping from a 1941 Springfield Sun – the local newspaper for Washington County, Kentucky.  I’m sure this was one my great-grandmother, Frances Barber Linton Montgomery, saved, since it was a few years before she died – and because her mother’s death, thirty-one years previous, was listed as part of the news for June of 1910.  Other interesting tidbits were a couple of marriages, finding of the body of a missing woman, and the dedication of the capital in Frankfort!

Small Town News From The Hartford Herald

More small town news.  Within these tidbits are many names and interesting stories that would help flesh out your genealogy.  The birthday dinner story gives the names of parents, a sister, a father, and children.  And what a happy occasion.  Following are weddings, an elopement, death and illness.  All part of everyday life.

from The Hartford Herald, Ohio County, Kentucky

Wednesday, July 23, 1902

A Birthday Dinner

Thomas W. Wedding, of Barretts Ferry, and Miss Nancy Wright were married in Ohio County on the 16th day of October 1845.  To them have been born nine children – four girls and five boys.  Of said children three boys and one girl are dead.  The living children are Mrs. Mary Ann Midkiff, wife of W. P. Midkiff, Mrs. Ada Acton, wife of S. S. Acton, Mrs. Manda Rebecca Foreman, wife of Elijah D. Foreman, John T. Wedding and James B. Wedding.  Mrs. Nancy Wedding was seventy-seven years old on the 19th day of July and Thomas W. Wedding, her husband, was 80 years old on July 20.  The children mentioned above of these old and honored people gave their parents a birthday dinner on Sunday, July 20.  The dinner was bountiful and carefully arranged and good enough to satisfy the most extreme epicure.  Mr. Thomas W. Wedding and Mrs. Mariah Davison, wife of George W. Davison, are the only living children of the late George W. Wedding, who died in 1854.  Mrs. Davison was present and is now seventy-three years old and in frail health.  There were twenty-four grand-children present and many of the neighbors – about fifty people in all being present.  Mr. Wedding gave a short talk in which he expressed his appreciation for the kindness shown him and his wife.  We hope these old people, who have lived honorable lives, and who are now more than three score and ten, may live to see many birthdays and that their declining days may be the most peaceful of their lives.

Marriage Licenses

Marriage Licenses since last Wednesday:  W. H. Blackburn, Ceralvo, to Edna Myers, Ceralvo.  Oscar Smith, Flint Springs, to Clovia M. Daugherty, Flint Springs.  John E. Shultz, Fordsville, to Lillie Eskridge, Fordsville.


Mrs. D. F. Cawthorn, of Glasgow, arrived a few days ago to visit her daughter, Mrs. D. W. Likens, of Jingo, who is very weak with consumption.  Mrs. Cawthon will visit her brother, Bob Forrester, of this place, and visit her old friends of Hartford before she returns to Glasgow.  It will be remembered by many, Mrs. Cawthorn left Hartford seven years ago to make her home in Barren County.


As announced in these columns a few weeks ago, Professor Charles H. Ellis and Miss Corinne Landrum will be married at the First Baptist Church in Calhoon this evening at 8:30 o’clock.  Mr. Ellis, who is one of Ohio County’s most promising young men, is to be congratulated in winning the heart and hand of such an estimable young lady.  After the ceremony the bride and groom, together with several friends, will repair to the residence of the bride’s parents, Judge and Mrs. Ben F. Landrum, where a sumptuous repast will await them.  They will remain in Calhoon until Friday, when they will visit the groom’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Ellis, near town.


Died at the residence of her aunt, Mrs. H. A. Miller, at 12 o’clock, noon, last Thursday, of that most dreaded disease, consumption, Miss Annie Lewis.  Funeral services were conducted by Revs. Coakley and Petrie.  Her remains were interred in Oakwood Cemetery Friday afternoon.  Miss Annie, who had been a member of the Baptist church for 22 years was a most lovable lady.


Mr. Rethel L. Duke, of Hartford, and Miss May E. Davis, of near Prentis, aged 18 and 16, respectively, eloped to Cannelton, Indiana, last Sunday and were married.  They returned to the groom’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. E. Duke, Monday night.