Today’s entry to celebrate Women’s History Month in the blog meme Fearless Females is:
How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?
My parents both went to Pennsylvania State College in Centre County, Pennsylvania. My father was in a fraternity and my mother in a sorority. They met, I believe, through those groups.
When my paternal grandmother was eighteen, she left Pine Glen and took a job as domestic help, looking after the children, the house, etc. for the Bogar family in Harrisburg. (She’s still friends with Mrs. Bogar!) My grandfather was working with his father, a carpenter, who was doing some work on the Bogar’s house when they met. My grandfather told us that he took one look at grandma and knew she was the woman he’d marry. She made him wait, however, until she was twenty-one and could get her mother’s blessing on the marriage.
I don’t know how my maternal grandparents met. They never talked about their families. I do know that the Greulichs and Wieders lived in neighboring communities in northern Montgomery County. My maternal grandparents were even cousins-by-marriage. My grandfather’s Aunt Katherine Greulich married my grandmother’s Uncle John William Wieder. Perhaps they met through the family. My grandfather’s parents, however, were not keen on the marriage. Apparently, E. J. Wieder, my grandmother’s father had “gone through a fortune” and that somehow made my grandmother a less than stellar match for their only son. Edwin J. Wieder was a jeweler for 30 years in Pennsburg—a business he opened shortly before his marriage in 1905. He was a postmaster for Pennsburg for nine years and a town burgess for eight years. He also served on the town council and as an auditor. It’s quite likely that he lost the jewelry business during the depression (1932-1935).
My grandmother was a physical education teacher by vocation, but a musician—a violinist—by avocation. My grandfather once told my mother that grandma’d turned down a career as a violinist to marry him. She likely got her passion for music from her mother Mary Catharine “Mae” Waage, who was a “successful and well liked music teacher” before her marriage.[1 “A Pretty Home Wedding,” Town and County, Apr 1905] Grandpa was also a amateur musician. He played trombone and one summer played in a shipboard band for his passage to Europe. My maternal grandmother also made my grandfather wait for marriage. They waited two years until she got her teaching certificate.