I have been going through some of my old Marblehead Messengers during this hot weather, gathering gossip on Marbleheader’s. One of the things I enjoy reading are the marriage stories. I just love how eloquently the reporter’s wrote in those days and how vividly they described the ceremonies and attire, almost like you were there. Another thing that amazes me is how many weddings and other social events took place in the evenings during the week, not on weekends as they do now. These told timers socialized a lot during the week and got up and did their chores and work the next day.
Here is an example of a write up about my 4th cousin 3 times removed, Ellen Bowden Hooper who married Francis (Frank) E. Conly in 1895. Ellen was born on January 17, 1870 in Marblehead, MA, one of four children born to William LeCraw Hooper and Deborah Girdler. She died on May 1, 1938. Her spouse, Frank Conly was born in February 1866 in Lowell and died on October 20, 1932 in Marblehead. Frank and Ellen had one son William Hooper Conly born October 11, 1899 and he died 1981. He was married to Ruth Garrison Adams in 1924.
This wedding service was so elaborate it was reported in the Boston Herald on April 26, 1895 with the title: “Neath the floral arch”
Miss Ellen Bowden Hooper and Mr. Francis E. Conly united for life in Marblehead. One of the most brilliant weddings that has taken place in Marblehead this season was solemnized last evening at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Hooper on Lee Street, when their daughter Ellen Bowden Hooper was married to Francis Edward Conly of that town. The bride and groom are both most estimable young people and number their friends on every hand; therefore the interesting event was witnessed by a large gathering.
Rev. H.C. McDougal of the Unitarian Church officiated, the marriage ring being used. The floral decorations in the parlors were very beautiful. In the corner the bridal party stood under a floral arch of carnations, roses, laurel and fern and between two banks of palms and other foliage plants. It was this beautiful bower that the impressive ceremony was conducted.
The bride wore a dress of white corded silk, en traine, trimmed with point lace. She wore the conventional long veil tulle which was caught at the head with lilies of the valley. She carried a bouquet of bride roses and maidenhair fern.
Mr. Walter C. Trefry presided at the piano and rendered the bridal chorus from “Lohengrin.” Mr. William L. Hooper, Jr., brother of the bride was best man and Miss Mary K. Roundy was maid of honor. Miss Roundy was tastefully dressed in a gown of organdie muslin with white satin ribbon trimmings. The ushers were Messrs. Lewis B. Hooper, William G. Goodwin, Arthur W. Bartol and Edward P. Jones of Watertown.
Following the ceremony and at the opposite side of the room another beautiful bank of ferns, carnations and roses had been arranged covering the mantel. This is where a largely attended reception was held at which the happy couple was assisted in receiving their guests by Mrs. Hooper, Mrs. Lefavour, Miss Roundy and Mr. W.L. Hooper, Jr. These festivities lasted well into the night.
Mr. and Mrs. Conley will reside at No. 58 Lee Street in Marblehead taking an apartment at the residence of the bride’s parents. They certainly begin with the sincere wishes for continued prosperity from all their friends. Below are the names of those guests attending the wedding. I see some of my relatives attended the gala social event, did any of yours?