Sunday, October 1, 2017

They May Have Been Joking But the Marriage License Was Real, 1917

“Married by Mistake,” from the Statesville Landmark, as reprinted Oct. 5, 1917, in the Monroe Journal.

A marriage that was intended for a joke was performed by Magistrate J.M. Matheson at the Campbell House Tuesday evening, but the parties—Miss Mary Sharpe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.F. Sharpe of Loray, and Lawyer L.F. Klutz of this place, son of Dr. Klutz of Malden, Catawba County—found that they were legally married. Miss Sharpe has a music class here and when in town boards at the Campbell House. Mr. Klutz boards there also. After supper the conversation on marriage and teasing about marrying, participated in by Messrs. Klutz, M.C. and Flake Campbell, Miss Sharpe, Mrs. Sarah Campbell and Mr. Rowell Morrison, the latter of Statesville, lead to Mr. Klutz handing Mr. Campbell a $5 bill to get the license. He asked if they wanted a real license and when told that they did, he called the register, Mr. W.A. Barnett, to his office and procured the license.

After some conversation about the matter, it was decided they would ask Mr. Matheson to perform the ceremony. Mr. Matheson did not want to go for he thought it was a farce, but they persuaded him to go in. He examined the license and recognized Mr. Barnette’s handwriting, and again questioned Miss Sharpe and Mr. Klutz, for he doubted their sincerity. When told to proceed, Mr. Matheson did so, and although the parties did not answer the questions there was no objection raised, and he pronounced them man and wife.

The license was signed by two witnesses and Mr. Matheson in the presence of Miss Sharpe and Mr. Klutz. Later they went to Mr. Matheson and asked him to destroy the license, for the whole thing was a joke, and he told them he could not do so. Neither of the parties had any desire to marry the other and an effort will be made to have the marriage annulled.

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