Alexander County

1940 It Happened in Cairo

Arranged for Publication by Anne West 1940

Chapter IV


Maud might almost have earned the title of professional bridesmaid, so often was she pressed into service at the marriage of a friend. In the first year following graduation, Jennie Wright and Edith Martin (both classmates of Maud's) tripped to the altar. And after that there was a long procession of them, with Maud generally figuring somewhere in the bridal party.

On the night of Sept. 30, 1889, she records crying about the perplexities of her new school teaching position while waiting for the carriage to come. Undoubtedly the carriage was to take her to the wedding of Miss Jennie Schutter and Mr. F. W. Korsmeyer. For the Cairo Citizen of Thursday, Oct. 3, 1889, carried this item in its society news.

A marriage in high social circles occurred last Monday night at the Episcopal church. The contracting parties were Miss Jennie Schutter, daughter of W. H. Schutter, and Mr. F. W. Korsmeyer, the wholesale tobacconist. The church was tastefully decorated with flowers and floral designs for the occasion and, long before the appointed time, was filled to overflowing with invited guests. At 8 o'clock the strains of the wedding march announced the arrival of the wedding party, composed of the bride and her sister, Miss Lily Schutter, Miss Mary Irvin and Mr. Julius Schuh, Miss Maud Rittenhouse and Mr. Carl Leich, and Miss Bessie Korsmeyer and Mr. L. H. Butts. They proceeded up the aisle to the altar, where they were met by the groom and his brother, Mr. Alex Korsmeyer. After the usual impressive Episcopal ceremony by Rector Davenport, the party retired to the home of the bride's parents, where they received the congratulations of their friends. They left via the Mobile & Ohio at 11 o'clock for a wedding tour of the larger cities, and will return on the 15th."

F. W. (Will) Korsmeyer was one of the members of the Ideal League and often took part with Maud in amateur theatricals. After residing in Cairo for several years following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Korsmeyer left for Colorado Springs, where Will successfully operated a drug store until the time of his death in 1922. Mrs. Korsmeyer now lives in New York with her daughter.

Bessie Korsmeyer and H. L. Butts, listed as attendants at the Schutter-Korsmeyer wedding, had Maud as a bridesmaid at their own nuptials less than a year later. The Cairo Citizen gave readers this information on June 5, 1890.

The marriage of Mr. H. L. Butts and Miss Bessie Korsmeyer last Thursday evening at the Church of the Redeemer was a brilliant affair. The church had previously been decorated with flowers for the occasion and was filled to overflowing with friends of the bride and groom. At the close of the ceremony a reception was given by the bride's mother, after which Mr. and Mrs. Butts departed on their wedding trip. Upon their return they will commence housekeeping in a cottage erected for them on Eleventh Street."

After a short residence in Cairo Mr. and Mrs. Butts separated, Mrs. Butts taking their only son with her to Colorado to live with her mother. Mr. Butts in the meantime was transferred by the Singer Manufacturing Company from its Cairo plant to Columbus, Ohio. After a separation of several years a reconciliation was arranged and Mrs. Butts left Colorado for Columbus with their son. Enroute, however, the child was stricken with scarlet fever and died two days after reaching Columbus. In a short while the couple separated again, Mrs. Butts returning to Colorado where she now lives. The whereabouts of Mr. Butts is unknown.

One of the fanciest weddings which caused Maud to get all dolled up in bridesmaid's attire was that of Winthrop (Wint) Dunning to C. Fred Galigher. The following account appeared in the Cairo Citizen for Thursday, Oct 15, 1891.

The Union of Two of the First Families of Cairo

To speak of the event as a brilliant ona is to mildly describe the wedding of Miss Winthrop Dunning and Mr. C. Fred Galigher at the Church of the Redeemer last evening. The union of two of the oldest families of Cairo put society in a flutter of excitement, and with the arrival of the time of the nuptials came a host of friends to witness the ceremony.

The church never looked prettier than it did last night when the wedding was in progress, and the tasteful floral decorations added much to the scene. Besides the usual hangings upon the chandeliers, the initials of the participants, "G" and "D," made of red and blue incandescent globes upon a field of evergreen, made a pretty effect. Both were lighted before the ceremony, but as the bridal party entered, the "G" faded away, leaving only the "D." And after the knot was tied, the "G" again appeared and the other letter was gone.

The sound of the wedding march was a signal for the entrance of the bridesmaids. Passing out from the vestry, they slowly moved down the aisle and met the maid of honor, Miss Ann Davis, and the bride, leaning upon the arm of her mother.

The party then proceeded to the altar where they met the groom and groomsman, Mr. Joe Jackson, when Rev. Davenport, with the solemn Episcopal marriage ceremony, united the two hearts and lives. The ceremony and the blessing pronounced, carriages were taken to the home of the bride's mother, where several hours were spent, attended by numbers of friends. The bridesmaids were Miss Ann Davis of Keokuk, Ia.; Miss Thompson of Little Rock, Ark.; Miss Boswell of St. Louis; Misses Alice, Lila and Laura Halliday; Mary Irvin; Christine Woodward and Maud Rittenhouse . . . ."

Mr. and Mrs. Galigher continued to live in Cairo, although their summers were generally spent in northern Michigan. Mrs. Galigher was a leader in the musical life of Cairo, being three times president of the Fortnightly Musical Club and vice president of the State Federation of Musical Clubs. She was organist at the Episcopal church for 24 years. She died in the spring of 1937. Mr. Galigher still resides in Cairo.

Although it isn't recorded in the Journals as published in Maud, our heroine served as bridesmaid again only a little more than a month after the Dunning-Galigher wedding. This time it was at the Robbins-Russell nuptials, which were duly sanctioned by the Cairo Citizen on Nov. 19, 1891. Maud had just turned 27 a short time before.

'Mid Chrysanthemums

Occurred the Wedding of Miss Bobbins and Mr. Russell

The most brilliant event ever in Cairo was the wedding of Mr. Andrew Russell of Jacksonville and Miss Clara Robbins of this city last evening at the Church of the Redeemer. On entering the church, the guests were met by Messrs. H. H. Candee and C. W. Henderson who collected the invitation cards. The floral decorations won the admiration of all. It was to be a "white and gold" wedding and all the decorations were of white and gold chrysanthemums. The church was filled long before the time appointed and many of the ladies were in evening costume. As the hour approached, gold and colored ribbons were fastened on each side of the center aisle and a garland of flowers was stretched across it. This was removed at the entrance of the bridal party.

Promptly at 8:30 the organist, Mrs. John S. Aisthorpe, played the opening chorus from the opera Lohengrin and the chorus class, composed of about 30 ladies and gentlemen under the leadership of Mrs. John M. Lansden, sang this beautiful chorus of welcome.

The four ushers - Messrs. Sam Halliday, Harry Halliday, W. P. Halliday, Jr., and Mr. Dixon of Jacksonville - led the way, followed by the Misses Bessie Robbins, Laura Halliday, Maud Rittenhouse, Blanch McKenzie, Vesta Halliday, Mamie Lansden, Nellie Gilbert, Alice Halliday and four Misses Russell, sisters of the groom.

These young ladies all wore beautiful white dresses with gold slippers, and carried bouquets of yellow chrysanthemums.

Next followed the maid of honor, Miss Lila Halliday, who wore a rich costume of yellow silk, and last came the lovely bride upon the arm of her father. She wore an elegant, tasteful gown of heavy white silk combined with white and silver brocade, white tulle veil, and carried white chrysanthemums. At the chancel they were met by the groom, his best man, Mr. David Lansden, and the Rev. F. P. Davenport, who proceeded with the impressive services of the Episcopal church, uniting the happy couple. A reception was given by Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Halliday at their handsome residence from 9:00 to 11:00. Mr. and Mrs. Russell left for Memphis and thence to Jacksonville where they will be at home."
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Extracted 25 Aug 2018 by Norma Hass from It Happened in Cairo, arranged by Anne West, published in 1940.

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