4 January 2014

Jonathan Johnson Rayhill


Anna Helen Curry

Marriage, 31 January 1914

Anna Helen Curry was the daughter of Thomas & Christina Wilhelmina "Mina" (Fiegenbaum) Curry. Thomas was part owner and publisher of The Holt County Sentinel, of Oregon, Holt County, Missouri, which may or may not explain why his daughter's marriage received such extensive coverage.

On Friday, 30 January 1914, the newspaper, in a column entitled "Society," published six brief accounts of parties and soirées held between January 17 and January 26 at which Miss Anna Curry was the guest of honor. The groom attended one of these events.

Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Dawson entertained Friday night, Jan. 23, in honor of Miss Anna Cury and Mr. Jonathan J. Rayhill, whose wedding takes place January 31.  "500" was played at three tables.  The guests included the members of the wedding party.  Miss Zook and Miss Curry received the ladies prizes.  Mr. Moore and Mr. Rayhill received the men's prizes.  At a late hour dainty refreshments were served.

Monday evening, January 26, Mrs. Frank Graham and Miss Nell, had an old-fashioned "comfort tacking," and invited in a number of friends to help.  It is reported that the working was fast and furious.  At any rate in a very short time a beautiful comfort was finished, whereupon it was presented to Miss Anna Curry, a bride-elect.  When work was finished the ladies were rewarded with dainty refreshments.

Mrs. Harvey Evans entertained all the "relatives" informally on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 22, in honor of Miss Anna Curry, a bride-elect.  The afternoon was spent doing fancy work.  Some uninvited guests made their appearance but were heartily welcomed when it was found that they brought their own refreshments with them.  When all the guests were assembled, Miss Margery Evans and Miss Winifred Hasness came in with armloads of bundles, which they presented to the bride-to-be.  Each package contained an elegant piece of linen.  The univited guests, not to be out done, each had a large and useful kitchen apron for Miss Curry.

On Saturday evening, Jan. 17, 1914, Miss Anna Fiegenbaum, of St. Joseph, Mo., entertained her nieces and nephews at her home, 1123 North 5th street, in honor of her niece, Miss Anna Curry, a January bride.  The evening was spent in a very pleasant manner - music and song and light refreshments - also an unforecasted shower of kitchen utensils.  Those present were:  Mr. and Mrs. A. H. B. Steinmetz, Mr. and Mrs. Thos. E. Arnhold, Mrs. O. H. Mills and children, Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Weary, Mr. and Mrs. Geo H. Steinmetz, Mr. and Mrs Edw. A. Zimmermann, Miss May Neudorff, and Miss Mary Zook, of Oregon, Mo.  Regrets having been sent by her nephew and niece, Mr. and Mrs. E. Parsells, of Louisville, Ky., and the Misses Helen and Clara Fiegenbaum, of Chicago, Ills.

This last event was hosted by Anna Julia Fiegenbaum, aunt of the bride-to-be.

Among Miss Curry's cousins attending the party were nearly all of the married children of Johann Carl Conrad & Caroline "Carrie" Katherine (Fiegenbaum) Steinmetz:

The only sibling from this family who did not attend was Emma Theodore (Steinmetz) Parsells and her husband, Earle DeForest Parsells, of Louisville, Kentucky.

"Miss May Neudorff" is very likely Clara May Neudorff, daughter of Frederick Franklin & Lizette Clara (Fiegenbaum) Neudorff. Lizette Clara (Fiegenbaum) Neudorff was a sister to Anna Julia Fiegenbaum, the host, and to Christina Wilhelmina "Mina" (Fiegenbaum) Curry, the bride-to-be's mother. Which made Lizette an aunt to Anna Curry.

"Miss Mary Zook" was the daughter of Charles Daniel & Emma D. (Curry) Zook. Emma was a sister to Thomas Curry, Miss Anna H. Curry's father.

The "Misses Helen and Clara Fiegenbaum, of Chicago, Ills." who did not attende the celebration were Helen Mary and Clara Marguerite Fiegenbaum, daughters of George Adolph & Anna Birdsall (Bradrick) Fiegenbaum. The family had been living in the Oklahoma Territory when George, a physician, became seriously ill. Following his death in 1896, his wife and daughters moved to Chicago to be nearer other members of the Bradrick family. George Adolph Fiegenbaum was a brother to Christina Wilhelmina "Mina" (Fiegenbaum) Curry and Miss Anna H. Curry's uncle. Dr. Fiegenbaum's daughters, Helen and Clara Fiegenbaum were cousins of the bride-to-be.

I am not able to provide any further information about "Mr. and Mrs. Edw. A. Zimmermann."

Saturday evening, January 24, Mrs. Ralph C. Moore invited in a number of friends and told each one to bring a piece of granite for Miss Anna Curry.  All the quests were there when Miss Curry arrived, and her surprise was complete when on opening the door she found herself in the center of a circle of friends, each one trying to see who could make the most racket beating on a piece of granite.  There were large pans and small ones, cups and teakettles, in fact everything in the granite line.  When order was restored, Mrs. Moore passed papers to the guests, on which each one was to make out a "first" grocery order.  When they were finished they were made into a neat booklet and presented to Miss Anna for use in ordering later on.  The remainder of the evening was spent in music.  Light refreshments were served.

Thursday evening, Jan. 22, the Senior and Junior classes of the High school took it into their heads to do a little surprising "stunt" of their own, so taking Miss King and Miss Zook into their confidence they "framed one up" on their last year's teacher, Miss Curry.  Miss Zook kindly offered her home for the occasion and in some manner persuaded the unseuspecting Miss Curry to come down.  Presently the old song "School Days," rang out on the evening air and a whole horde of girls and boys came marching in, carrying a large box.  Bruce Burgess, president of the Senior class, made an appropriate speech and presented Miss Curry with a splendid lot of fine aluminum ware for use on "that farm."  There could not have been a more complete surprise, and it was with some difficulty that Miss Curry collected her thoughts long enough to express to her old pupils her hearty appreciation of their gift to her.  The evening was merrily spent in games and music.

Source: All six of the preceeding accounts were published in The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri); Friday, 30 January 1914; page 5, column 3.

Digital copies accessed through Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (The Library of Congress) in November 2011.

School-Day Courtship.

Marriage of Miss Ann Curry and
Jonathan J. Rayhill, a
Brilliant Affair

report of Rayhill-Curry wedding published in the local newspaper

The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri); Friday, 6 February 1914; page 1, columns 3-4.

Wedding of Jonathan Johnson Rayhill & Anna Helen Curry
on 31 January 1914 at Oregon, Holt County, Missouri.

In the presence of a company that filled the First Methodist Episcopal church, and amidst environments of the most pleasing and attractive character, a very impressive wedding was solemnized at 3:30 in the afternoon of January 31, the contracting parties being Miss Anna Helen, the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Curry, and Jonathan J., son of Charles B. Rayhill, both of this city, and is the hadpy [sic] culmination of "happy school days," at the Oregon High school.

When her engagement was announced during the holidays it was received by her friends and especially by the "Fudge Club," with much regret because of the destiny which must take her permanently from Oregon.  But Cupid's darts are love's summons, and plans were at once laid for a series of social events in her honor.

The brilliance of the wedding details were never excelled in our little city.  The handsome auditorium of the church had been elaborately and artistically decorated for the occasion and presented a harmonizing of colorings of an unusally [sic] attractive appearance.  The altar was heavily banked with palms and ferns, and potted plants, and Southern smilax, whose solid color effect was relieved by the brighter hues of the exquisite flowers.  Ropes of evergreen swung gracefully from the pulpit loft to the four corners of the pulpit.  Back of the choir stand, the wall was latticed with Southern smilax, tied with pink Killarney roses.

The ushers, Mr. William R. Curry, of Indianapolis, Ind., a brother of the bride, and William Moore, and George Zeller, of this city, seated the guests on arrival, and nearly 400 were present when the hour for the ceremony arrived.  The seats in the front center section, reserved for the relatives, were designated by broad bands of pink and blue satin ribbon tied in large bows at the pew ends and enclosing the seats reserved.

Preceding the entry of the bridal party, Mr. George Steinmetz, of St. Joseph, a cousin of the bride, sang most acceptably, "I Love You Truly" and "O, Perfect Love."  He was accompanied on the piano by Miss Zinna Bragg.

The entrance of the bridal party was very impressive, and was heralded by the strains of the wedding march from "Lohengrin," Miss Bragg presiding at the instrument.  The bride's maids, Misses Ina and Mae Botkin and Trot King, school-day chums of the bride, entered the church at long distances in perfect time, and proceeded to the east aisle.  They were gowned alike in blue charmeuse with tunics of blue chiffon edged with pink roses, the gowns were made with trains.  The maids wore black picture hats with bridles fastened with pink roses, and carried arm bouquets of Killarney roses.

Following the bride's maids in equi-distances came the ushers, who moved to the west aisle, and the sextette [sic] moved down their respective aisles, with a poise that truly made an inspiring picture not soon to be forgotten.  On approaching the altar, the ministers arose and took their position immediately to the front of the altar, and the attendants took their respective positions to the right and left of them.  Miss Mary Zook, a cousin of the bride, as maid of honor, then entered, and passed down the west aisle.  She was gowned in pink meteor with bodice and tunic of blue beaded net.  The dress was made with train.  She wore a black picture hat with bridle, fastened with pink roses, and carried a shower bouquet of Killarney roses, - thus the attendants carried out to its fullness the bride's color scheme, blue and pink.

Following the maid of honor came the bride, who moved down the west aisle, and as she approached the altar she was met by the groom, and his best man, Dr. Sherman Hibbard, of Kansas City, who entered from the pulpit door.  Anna Curry, the bride, whom we have known from her cradle to the altar, never before in her life looked more lovely; save perhaps when she dressed in her first long dress.  On this most joyous occasion she wore a gown of cream white charmeuse, with bodice and draped tunic of shadow lace.  The girdle and long train were held in place at waist line by pearl ornaments.  She wore a bridal veil with wreath of lilies of the valley, and carried a shower bouquet of bride's roses and lillies [sic] of the valley.  The groom and his best man and ushers wore Prince Albert coats, gray trousers with ties and gloves to match.

At the altar the attendants and ministers in semi-circle faced the audience, while the bride and groom, the maid of honor and groomsman faced the pulpit, and the marriage was impressively performed.  The full ritual of the Methodist Episcopal church was employed, and the words uniting these two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one, was performed by Rev. T. E. Arnholdt, of St. Joseph, a cousin of the bride, who was assisted by the bride's pastor, Rev. J. H. Thompson.  During the ceremony Miss Bragg softly played the march from Lohengrin, and upon the benediction being pronounced, struck up the Mendelssohn, to which the party retired from the church by couples by the east aisle.

The couple and attendants, followed by relatives and the more intimate friends, repaired to the home of the bride's parents, where hearty congratulations were extended the happy pair, after which a relishable luncheon was served.

The bride is the only girl in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Curry, and by this wedding a vacancy in the home will come, that will be hard to become reconciled to; but it seems to be the divine law that girls will marry and leave all others dear, for the apple of her eye - but why should they and her kindred and friends wish this for her? Is it not after all, the true life for her, of for any woman? She was born and reared in our little city, and was educated in our school from the primary to the High school, from which she graduated in 1908, and also a graduate of the Northwestern university, of Evanston, in 1912.  During the school year 1912-13 she was a member of our High school faculty, and since the time up to her marriage her time has been given up to those studies and things that might equip her best to fill the position that will come to her by reason of her new relationship in life.  When quite young she identified herself with the M. E. church, and has ever been a worker in the church, and most earnest and successful Sunday school worker; a life embodying all the most beautiful Christian attributes.  A leader in social and literary circles; of the highest ideals, and greatly beloved for many beautiful traits of character.  She presented each of her maids with a friendship circle pin.

The groom has been known here from his school days, and was reared upon the farm, but since his graduation has been mostly in the West, where he was in a responsible position with the Wells-Fargo Express company at Seattle, Wash.  A young man of splendid physique, and sterling qualities, and pure life.  He is popular and numbers his friends by his acquaintances.  His gift to this attendants was a friendship circle stickpin.

They begin life together under the most auspicious circumstances, and their many friends will join in wishing them a happy union.  May their pathway of life be strewn with the flowers of success and happiness, trusting ever that they many grow younger as they grow older.

The popularity of this young couple, and the esteem in which they are held, were attested by the bridal gifts, the array of which was one of the handsomest and most useful ever seen in our little city.

They left on the 5:35 evening train for a brief honeymoon to Kansas City.  Returning to this city, they will pack their effects and hie away to Milo, Vernon county, this state, where the couple will begin life together on a farm, and the groom will find in the wife a true help-mate in the broadest and most comprehensive sense.

The out-of-town guests, attending the wedding reception, were:

Will R. Curry, Indianapolis, Indiana; Mrs. J. C. Fitts and sister, Mrs. Ferd [sic] Crampton, Dr. Sherman Hibbard, of Kansas City; Adolph Steinmetz, George Steinmetz, and wife, Miss Anna Fiegenbaum, Lydia Gutknecht, Rev. T. E. Arnholdt, wife and daughter, Mrs. Mariah Denny, Miss Maymie Denny, St. Joseph; Leonard Botkin, Cherryvale, Kansas; Miss Zinna Bragg, Tarkio; Mr. and Mrs. Lyon, Maitland.

Source: "School-Day Courtship," in The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri); Friday, 6 February 1914; page 1, columns 3-4.

Digital copies accessed through Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (The Library of Congress) in November 2011.

Miss Mary Zook, who served as the maid of honor, was the bride's cousin (Mary's mother, Emma D. (Curry) Zook, was a sister to Thomas Curry, the bride's father). Mary Zook eventually married the groom's best man, Dr. Sherman B. Hibbard, of Kansas City.

Report of Rayhill-Curry wedding published in the newspaper

The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri); Friday, 6 February 1914; page 7, columns 1-2.

Report by Rev. J. H. Thompson of the wedding of Jonathan Johnson Rayhill & Anna Helen Curry on 31 January 1914 at Oregon, Holt County, Missouri.

One of the greatest social events of the season took place last Saturday afternoon in our church, when Miss Anna Curry, one of our most efficient Sunday school teachers, was given in marriage to Mr. Jonathan Johnson Rayhill, of Seattle, Wash.  The ceremony was read by Rev. Thos. Arnholdt, a cousin of the bride, assisted by the writer, the bride's pastor.  There were 400 guests present.  Dr. Sherman Hibbard, of Kansas City, acted as "best man," and Miss Mary Zook, of this city, and a cousin of the bride, was "maid of honor." The ceremony was beautiful and impressive, the entire bridal party, consisting of the Misses Botkln, Miss King and Miss Zook, and Messrs. Wm. Moore, Geo. Keller, Dr. Hibbard and W. R. Curry, a brother of the bride, marching in as Miss Bragg played the march very beautifully on the piano.  As a prelude to the march, two songs were sung very impressively by Geo. Steinmetz, of St. Joseph, also a cousin of the bride.  After the ceremony a large number were invited to the reception at the Curry home, where hearty congratulations were showered upon the bride and groom, after which a dainty luncheon was served.  Mr. and Mrs. Rayhill were the recipients of a fine display of the costliest presents which it has been my privilege to have ever seen on an occasion like this.  They left Forest City on the evening train for a short honeymoon trip, when they will return to Oregon preparatory to moving soon to their home near Nevada, Mo.  Hosts of admiring friends will wish them joy and serene happiness in their married life.

Source: "M. E. Church Notes," in The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri); Friday, 6 February 1914; page 7, columns 1-2.

Digital copies accessed through Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (The Library of Congress) in November 2011.

This account occupied two columns in the newspaper. For the sake of space and layout on this web page, the two columns of text have been joined in this digitial reproduction.

This paragraph on the Rayhill-Curry marriage was part of a column and a half of text entitled M. E. Church Notes. The reporter of these events significant to the Methodist Episcopal Church in Oregon, Missouri was identified as simply The Pastor. Presumably, regular readers of the column knew who the pastor was. In a more complete article on the wedding ceremony published on page 1 of the same issue of The Holt County Sentinel (and transcribed above), a name was provided — Rev. J. H. Thompson.

Brief Genealogy

Jonathan Johnson Rayhill's family

His father's 1st marriage

His father's 2nd marriage

  • Charles B. Rayhill (1848-1933)
  • Laura Jane Cummings (1858-1927)
  • They were married about 1889 or 1890. It does not appear that they had any children.

  • Both had been married before. Laura had a daughter, Cora M. (born about 1890) from her previous marriage.

Anna Helen Curry's family

Rayhill - Curry family

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