The Cigar Maker’s Wife

There it is: Amelia Borreson, cousin of Emil, was definitely married in 1898 – to a Scottish cigar-maker from Minneapolis! Not exactly what you’d expect of the daughter of Norwegian immigrants. The typical relationship would have been another Norwegian, maybe a farmer from the same community. Yes, we get surprised now and then.

Shirley speculated (see the Comment to my last post) that Amelia may have been pregnant and Harry Mitchell did the honorable thing: he married her. Maybe. In any case, Harry didn’t stick around long: he was gone by 1900.

A bit more on the marriage. I also find it interesting that Amelia and Harry were not married at her church in South Beaver Creek, which raises questions in itself. Did they choose not to marry there, or did the pastor refuse the two of them? I could imagine either possibility. Harry likely was not Lutheran, no small matter in 1898, and there may have been embarrassment over what’s-the-rush. So Amelia and Harry were married thirty miles away in La Crosse, a distance these folks would have thought twice about traveling.

In La Crosse, Amelia and Harry were married by a Harvey E. Hubbard. Through several sources on Ancestry.com, I have discovered Mr. Hubbard had been an attorney at law in the city at least since 1884. He had been born in the state of New York in 1830, and by the age of 30 was postmaster in La Crosse. Ten years later, the 1870 census identifies him as a “police justice.” His law offices were downtown, in 1884 on the second floor at 331 Main, in 1900 at 107 North 4th Street. At the time he performed the legal ceremony for Amelia and Harry, Mr. Hubbard was 68 years old.

If I were a writer in the romance genre, I might give this story the title, “The Cigar Maker’s Wife.” And there would have been more drama than I can give you.

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One Response to The Cigar Maker’s Wife

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