Announcement – 1919

This year I am going through an alphabet of news items taken from The Emancipator newspaper, published  between 1917 and 1920 in Montgomery, Alabama.  Most are about my grandparent’s circle of friends. Each item is transcribed directly below the clipping.   Click on any image to enlarge.


“Pom, Shell & Fan” My maternal grandparents, Mershell and Fannie (Turner) Graham. August 1919 Detroit, Michigan two months after their marriage.

“Mrs. Jenine Turner Wishes to announce the engagement of her daughter, Fannie Mae, to Mr. Mershell C. Graham, of Detroit, Mich. The Marriage to take place in the spring”

The Wedding – June 1919
Graham-Turner Wedding

On Sunday, June 15th at four o’clock Miss Fannie Turner and Mr. Mershell Graham were happily united in marriage at the home of the bride on E. Grove St. The home was prettily decorated for the occasion.

Just before the entrance of the bridal party, Mr. Lowndes Adams sang a beautiful solo, immediately after which the groom entered the parlor to the strains of Mendelson’s wedding March, with Mr. Clifton Graham, his brother, as best man. The bride entered with her uncle, Mr. V.H. Tulane, who gave her away, gowned in white satin with real lace and pearl bead trimmings the hat, a beautiful creation of white Georgette, the bride made a very pleasing appearance.  She carried a large bouquet of roses and fern.

The home was crowded to its fullest capacity, fully two hundred guests being present which bespoke the esteem and popularity in which the young couple are held.

The presents were many and varied, consisting of silver, cut glass, linen, wearing apparel, money, and many useful household articles.

Rev. E.E. Scott performed the ceremony and Miss Naomi Tulane presided at the piano.

The guests were served delicious refreshments.

The happy couple left Sunday evening for Detroit, Mich., their future home.

Everybody mentioned in these articles will appear in this years challenge, plus a few others.


I found this information on in Census Records, Directories, Death Records, Military Records and Marriage Records. News items were found on I also use Google Maps. The photograph is from my family photos.

36 thoughts on “Announcement – 1919

  1. Interesting that engagement announcements that I have come across in my family history research have never been worded with “announcement”. Usually I find there are great similarities in many things whether English, Australian or American, but this seems different.

    1. I thought so too. I have always pictured my greatgrandmother’s house as on the small side. It must have been a real smash to fit 200 people in. Hopefully it was a nice day and they were able to spill out into the yard.

    1. I almost decided to save the Wedding story until “W” but I wanted to introduce all those people who will appear later in the alphabet.

    1. I didn’t know anything about the particulars of my grandparent’s wedding until I found the newspaper articles last year. Now I wish I had asked them about it.

  2. What a neat idea and a lovely way to start the challenge. Who doesn’t love a wedding? Good luck with the challenge.

    Living the dream

  3. I don’t think there was any announcement of our wedding (60 years ago this year), nor of my parents’ wedding around 1920 – the time you are dealing with here.
    Looking forward to the rest of your Challenge and preparing to be amazed again.

  4. Hi Kristin – what a wonderful start to the A-Z … and so interesting to read … I’ve no idea about the details re my grandparents … but sometime will find out – cheers Hilary

    1. I didn’t have any details for either of my grandparents or parent’s wedding until i found news articles about them.

  5. Wedding descriptions were lovely and eloquently written back then! Is one of your daughters possibly named after the bride’s uncle Mr V H Tulane?

    1. No, she isn’t. Victor Tulane took the name of his father and slave holder after freedom. Tulane is French in origin. My daughter’s name, Tulani, is an African name from Zimbabwe.

  6. How wonderful to have this sort of information! I have my mum’s wedding announcement, but that is all. And the odd clipping about my grandfather who was a Mayor and a Town councillor and the champion Town Crier of Great Britain 3 years in a row – he wrote his own speeches, and I presume it is that gene that made me a writer! My blog is – you have to click on the post heading to make a comment.

    1. They must have spilled over into the yard. I don’t know about the gifts because nobody ever designated anything as a wedding gift. I have a very nice lace table cloth that might have been a wedding gift.

    1. I’m sure their house wasn’t that large, all the houses in that area have been demolished as downtown spread their way, but in the 1970s my sister got a few photos of some of the remaining houses and they were not large. My greatgrandmother was a widow and earned their living as a seamstress. Either the guests came in rotation or they were set up in the yard. That is all I can figure.

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