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Weddings in Seward County

Nebraska newspapers have been the subject of a number of reminiscences published in Nebraska History over the years. The September 1951 issue included the experiences of William H. Smith (1873-1954). His "Fifty Years a Country Publisher" included his Seward newspaper experiences, dating from 1897, including recollections of several wedding write-ups:

"There was to have been a wedding in our town on a particular occasion in the early days. We [Seward County Independent] had printed the invitations, and since the wedding was to be on Thursday, our press day then, the affair had been written up in advance in accordance with details supplied us. . . . About half of the edition was printed, when a relative came running into the office and exclaimed, 'It didn't happen. . . . they separated at the altar.'

"That left us in a pretty fix. Half of the edition of papers was already printed carrying an account of the wedding that didn't take place. What could we do? It so happened that a patent medicine local was standing. The young lady came from the south part of the county. It was decided to send the papers already printed to the section of the county where presumably she was not known, and then to send the papers containing the medicine local to the other sections of the county. The groom that wasn't, came from another section of the state.

"Another wedding experience was of a somewhat different nature. . . . There came to Seward one day a young couple from the northwest part of the state, to be wed. Then they returned to the place of their residence, intending, it later developed, to keep their affair a secret. We knew nothing of this, of course, and included reference to it in the next issue of the paper. It so happened we were exchanging papers with an editor in the home town of the couple. . . . The editor used the item in the next issue of his paper, and did it cause a sensation. The young couple flatly denied they had ever been to Seward, much less had they ever been married here, or anywhere else. A retraction was demanded, and a suit against the editor was even threatened, if it was not forthcoming. . . . No suit was ever brought against the editor, however. Eventually the young couple went off up into South Dakota and had a second ceremony performed."

(June 2001)



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