1894 Wedding Article


 Fort Smith Elevator

Tuesday Morning

January 8, 1894


Marriage Bells Ring Out to Announce

the Joyful Wedding of

Miss Anne Clayton and Mr. L. Farris.

     There have been many weddings in Fort Smith, but none perhaps in later years that have been more brilliant than the Clayton-Farris wedding last evening. Everybody seemed to correspond and harmonize so as to make it so. The very place of the wedding was on Sixth street at the residence of the bride’s father, Col. W. H.H. Clayton, and the time was 6:30. At the appointed half hour the bridal party was ready for the ceremony. Reverend Lawrence Smythe was in the large parlor on the south side of the building, and ranged around the room were a few of the relatives and intimate friends, among whom were Mrs. W. H. H. Clayton, Miss Florence Clayton, Hon. John W. and Mrs. Farris, parents of the groom, Judge and Mrs. I.C. Parker, Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Euper, Mrs. J. KI. Barnes, Mr. Knittle of Chester; Mr. Joseph Cosby of St. Louis, and a few others. When across the spacious hall the door of the parlor on the north side was thrown open and out marched the groom, Mr. W. L. Farris, leaning on the arm of his best man, Mr. Louis G. Kurzeborn, of St. Louis. Next came the maid of honor, Miss Mae Wheeler, and lastly came the ride, Miss Anne Clayton, leaning on the arm of her father, Col. W. H. H. Clayton. The procession marched around the room in the bay window on the west side. Here a green arch of cedar surmounted by mistletoe had been erected and under this the bride and groom to be took their places, with Mr. Kurzeborn and Miss Wheeler on either side. Father Smythe then stepped forward and performed the beautiful and impressive marriage ceremony of the Catholic church, and Will Farris and Anne Clayton were made man and wife forever more. The party then repaired to the large dining room where all feasted on a banquet that had been specially prepared for them. The tables were loaded down with fruit, they groaned under the weight of many delicacies and were bright with the vintage of many wines. Here the banquetters reveled until the clock struck eight and reminded them that the hour for the reception was at hand. They then rose and marched back into the wedding parlor and took new positions, Col. And Mrs. Clayton near the large parlor entrance, next Hon. and Mrs. John W. Farris, then under the marriage bell the bride and groom too their places and still beyond them in the reception line stood Miss Mae Wheeler and Mr. Louis G. Kurzeborn. Soon the crowd began coming in couples and in groups. Carriages dashed up from all parts of the city and emptied their fashionable and precious freight. Society turned out to do itself and the wedding proud, and right well did it fill its aim. Soon the parlors, the sitting room, the library, the halls were filled and crowded with a gay, laughing throng. After they had gone down the receiving line they were usually looked after by Mrs. J. K. Barnes, who saw to it that everyone entered the dining hall and sat around the bridal banquet table. That over, they roamed and chatted at will, and a concealed band of musicians on the first landing of the grand staircase discoursed soft, sweet music that breathed and softly insinuated itself into every group. The reception lasted until 11 o’clock, when the bride retired to change her bridal costume for a smart traveling costume and then returned to the parlor to bid goodbye to many of the guests who still remained. It was fully twelve ere the last guest took his departure, feeling that he had been to the most brilliant reception Fort Smith has had for many a day.

     The presents were numerous, tasteful and many of them were beautiful. They were placed in the sitting room and took most of the available space. They were of every imaginable kind, color, sort and description from a spoon to a picture. The whole of the lower house was ablaze with light and decorated with the prevalent green of the holiday season. Vines, cedar, potted plants, hothouse flowers, natural flowers were strung and clustered everywhere. It seemed truly a mistletoe wedding, since that mystle growth had so much predominance. Mistletoe was here, there and everywhere, in all the corners, over all the pictures, over the bridal arch, everywhere. Mrs. Farris looked queenly in a beautiful bridal costume of brocaded satin with pearl passemonterie and train. She wore camellias in her hair and carried a large boquet of natural flowers. The maid of honor, Miss Mae Wheeler, looked handsome in a striking gown of pink satin, with pink flowers and fan. More of the married couples were out than have attended a society function in a long time. They decidedly outnumbered the younger set. Colonel and Mrs. Clayton showed themselves the royal entertainers that they always are.

     With the best wishes of hundreds of her friends in Fort Smith, Miss Anne that was and Mrs. Farris that is, left last night with her bright and fortunate husband, Will, for their future home in St. Louis. May joy shine on them! Mr. and Mrs. Farris, Sr., Mr. Cosby and Mr. Kurzeborn accompanied the bridal couple.