Monday, June 29, 2015

Have You Heard the News* About the Wedding at the ADPi House?

Coat of Arms of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority (1)

Small town newspapers from the earlier part of the twentieth century can be such a fount of useful as well as fascinating information. Things like school talent shows, families visiting other relatives, who was sick, new babies, graduations. And the all important information about weddings.

I was browsing through microfilm issues of a small newspaper hoping to find the exact wedding date for a relative. After about an hour of looking, I found the wedding announcement. At last I had the date. More than that, I found an interesting story.

The opening paragraphs, in a newspaper in which most wedding announcements were generally only a few sentences long, set the stage.(2)
“It is not often that the most important events in a girl’s life move at such a pace as they have in the life of … Frances … who married … Thomas … At 11 o’clock … she marched into the chapel of this noted southern college, and in academic cap and gown, received her degree.   Less than two hours later, in a powder blue crepe frock with hat and accessories she stepped out to the measures of Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” in the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority House to receive her wedding ring.”
Things moved toward a wedding when Thomas arrived at the college the day before graduation with some plans of his own. He came with a beautiful necklace as a graduation present for Frances. Thomas also brought other things: a wedding license, a platinum wedding band, and his father to be his Best Man.

The sorority sisters had known of the couple's plans to marry later in June. The girls had even suggested that Frances, their chapter president, select their sorority house as the place for that upcoming summer wedding.

With about 24 hours to finalize plans, Frances, Thomas, family members, and sorority sisters planned the wedding. Frances chose to wear a blue dress, her sorority's color. At the wedding, she walked down an aisle comprised of her sorority sisters. The couple met at the area of the sorority house where the ADPi crest hung on the wall, and there the couple exchanged their vows. And that was how, within just a few short hours, Frances graduated from college and had became a married woman.

The whole story reminded me so much of those classic black-and-white movies from the 1930s, the comedies focusing on college life. I can see the clothes, hear the sorority sisters laughing and crying tears of joy, feel the excitement they must have felt being part of the surprise nuptials.

The 13 paragraph article also provided a wealth of genealogical information. From it I learned more about Frances, her college extracurricular activities, and much about her parents who had been social and political figures in the area. The article also gave additional information about Thomas and his college days.

Although the couple did not live happily ever after, their marriage certainly started with joy and excitement. The wonderfully descriptive newspaper article let that event came alive for me. Thanks also to two special relatives, also members of ADPi, who pointed out some sorority details and shared my interest in this story about an ADPi wedding.

* Have You Heard the News is a series of posts about family information gleaned from newspapers available through,, the Digital Archives of Georgia, and local libraries.

(1) Photo accompanying blog post "Spending the Afternoon at EO - LS Guest Blog" by Cassidy Collier, no posting date, accessed
(2) “Miss Frances Hodges Weds Mr. Vaughan”, The Hartwell Sun, 3 Jun 1932, reprint of an article by Mabelle S Wall appearing in The Atlanta Constitution, 30 May 1932.

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