Angola weddings 1.30.08

Written by David Green.

Some couples did it on the sly. Others made the choice for simplicity’s sake. Some were in a hurry and just wanted to get the deed done.

No matter what the reason, there were dozens and dozens of couples from southern Michigan and northwest Ohio who chose to marry in Angola, Ind., during the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

“I think it was a fad around that time,” said Wilma Fink, who married there in 1939, and she thinks she knows the reason why.

“It was after they put in a law in Michigan about applying for a license and waiting three or four days,” she said.

When some couples made the decision to get married, three or four days was simply too long.

From the Morenci area, Angola was the first county seat in Indiana for matrimony-minded couples.

Wilma and her then-boyfriend Charlie were students at Adrian College when they headed to Indiana. They planned to go to LaGrange, but the car started coughing and sputtering around Fayette.

They had it checked out, but of course there was no problem when the mechanic drove it for a test, so on they went toward Indiana.

“It started coughing again so we decided Angola was just far enough,” Wilma said.

They asked about a Congregational Church, but there wasn’t one in town so they went to the Methodist parsonage. The pastor accepted whatever payment was offered, which wasn’t much.

“I think Charlie only had five bucks,” Wilma said.

They stopped for a hamburger on the way home—probably in Fayette—then drove back to the college.

“I went to a sorority party that night and Charlie went to a fraternity party.”

It was a clandestine affair and three weeks passed before Wilma mentioned her new status to her mother. Was she angry? No, she had another concern.

“What were you wearing?” her mother asked.

Wilma told her and her mother was satisfied.

“At least you were dressed decently,” she said.

 

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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