Fascinating True Stories From the Flip Side of History

On the Web Since 1994

Podcasting Since January 2008

Opted to Elope

Here is a story from Philadelphia of a secret marriage that took place on October 5, 1927, and was kept under wraps until January 4, 1928.

Everyone acquainted with the couple knew that they would marry and awaited invitations to the wedding. Yet, the former Mary Stier and her beau William Barney Harris Jr snuck off to Westchester to marry without anyone knowing.

Why did they choose to do such a thing? Very simple: They wished to avoid all of the preparation and formality involved with an official church wedding. The couple simply desired to keep it simple and elopement seemed like the ideal way to do so.

The couple would go on to have two children, daughter Mary in 1929 and son George in 1930. Sadly, Mary Elizabeth Stier Harris passed away on October 31, 1939, from acute heart failure. She was only 31 years old. Her husband William remarried and he died in June 1974 at the age of 70.

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