February 13, 2013

A Brilliant Reception for John and Carrie Evans: Wedding Wednesday

Thoughts of love and weddings seem to come naturally around Valentine’s Day. And who doesn’t love a good wedding announcement? One of my favorites is this one for John Evans and Carrie Beum, my husband’s great-grandparents. It appeared on the front page of the Westerville, Ohio Public Opinion on New Year’s Eve, 1896. I can almost see the hall lit up for their reception on one of the most festive nights of the year, the guests dressed in their holiday finest, the tables aglow in candlelight.
                                   Will Wed This Eve. 
         John Evans, one of the most popular conductors on the Columbus Central, and Miss Carrie Beum, the accomplished daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Beum, are to be married at the home of the bride’s parents on Plum street this evening at 8 o’clock. Rev. N. D. Creamer will be the clergyman in charge, and James Lawson and Miss Barbara Williams are to be best man and bridesmaid. The bride and groom will spend a few days with the latter’s parents in Columbus, where a brilliant reception is to be given them to-morrow evening. They will reside here and, for our part, we wish them abundance of all that is good. (1)
John Evans Columbus Ohio
John Evans

John was an immigrant from Montgomeryshire, Wales, having arrived in Columbus in 1881. Carrie was the only daughter of a long-established Ohio family. I’m not sure how or where their paths crossed—perhaps it was literally on one of the High St. streetcars he conducted. How long did they court? What did they like to do? I have a picture of John, young and handsome, but none of Carrie. I wish I knew what she looked like, how pretty she was in her wedding dress. 

I like to think of the new Mr. and Mrs. John Evans on their wedding night, happy and surrounded by family and friends on the cusp of a new year, because their happiness would be cut short all too soon. In less than two generations’ time, even Carrie’s name would be lost, just a shadowy figure in the family lore. But that, my friends, is a story for another time. For now, let’s let love carry the day, and raise a toast to wedding nights gone by.


Written in conjunction with the 2013 Family History Writing Challenge

1. “Will Wed This Eve.,” Public Opinion (Westerville, Ohio), 31 December 1896, p. 1, col. 2.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/46603454@N02/4531806670/">Passion for Flowers</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

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  1. Shelley, that's inconceivable that Carrie's name would be lost in such a short amount of time. Yes, I definitely want to know more of this story--not only what happened to Carrie, but how you uncovered what had been so forgotten.

    1. Jacqi, it's hard for me to believe it too, now that I know who she is. But she still has two living grandchildren, and when I started researching the family, neither one knew her name or anything about her. Glad to know you're interested. Watch for the story to be continued...

  2. This is such an intriguing post about John and Carrie's wedding, and I'm sorry to know their happiness was cut short. Suspenseful. I read the related post about "The Arch City" where John was a favorite conductor, and the postcard made it so easy to visualize the city scene. I hope you are enjoying the Challenge -- your writing is certainly appealing. To me, your tone is gentle and serene and clear, and you have a keen eye for description.

    Married on Plum Street! Very nice. If that were not a real street name, it would need to be a name invented for a wedding.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Mariann. I am enjoying the Challenge and the focus it puts on writing and sharing family stories. Your readership and support is much appreciated!

  3. Great post. I really like how you explore possible scenarios though questions. I've found myself doing that as well.

    1. Oh, I know what you mean about the questions, Connie. Sometimes doing that gives me ideas about things I hadn't thought of before. Kind of like thinking out loud, I guess. Thanks for reading and taking the time to let me know you enjoyed it!


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