1889: Mr. Hall and Miss Fowler elope for the fourth time

+6 votes
Memphis Avalanche, Jan 10 1889: "MARTIN, Tenn. -- A queer runaway marriage occured here today, A.J. Hall of Jackson, age 60, and Miss Sue Fowler of McKenzie, age 40, eloped from her relatives. This was their fourth attempt to elope and get married."

What a saga in two sentences! Why did it take them four tries to get married? If she had to elope "from her relatives" did that mean her kinfolks didn't approve? Did they live happily ever after? Well, the heart wants what it wants.
in The Tree House by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (245k points)

At 60 and 40 they are just a little beyond the normal age of eloping young lovers escaping from a disapproving Dad smiley

"Queer"?  I gotta love the way these old papers weren't shy of mixing in their commentaries and opinions with the news.
Do you know a.J. Hall  his full first and middle name.
Back then spinster heiresses were "given" to the care of a sturdy male relative who would guard the fortune of the helpless frail female.
gimme a break - "helpless frail female" really pushes one of my buttons.  It's what I was raised to be, but I turned out to be a tremendous disappointment to my parents.
"Guard" ?  I just don't understand these modern times.  Back in my day the idea was to live off the heiress's money while trying to find a legal way to steal it.  Or why would you bother?  And if she escaped, you called it abduction and rape, not eloping.
You shouldn't find it queer except that -unlike nowadays where they HIDE their bias - these newspaper editors didn't hide it and pretend it didn't exist. You'll notice the wording didn't say it was "sinful" or "evil" , just "queer" which meant "odd".

1 Answer

+4 votes
In my imagination, Miss Fowler took off across the yard, gingham skirt hitched up to her knees, apron flapping in the wind, to climb into Mr. Hall's horse-and-buggy, the eloping lovers leading her disapproving relatives on a thrilling high-speed horse-drawn chase sequence through the Tennessee mountains.
by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (245k points)

Does your imagination have them getting caught on the 3 previous occasions? I wonder if they started their attempts 20 years earlier when she was just a young woman smiley

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