June 3, 1907: Runaway Couple, Aided by Minister, Leave Parents at the Altar

Note: This is an encore post from 2006.

June 3, 1907
Los Angeles

It was to be one of the grandest society weddings of the season: An orchestra was hired, a caterer had been selected after lengthy interviews, gowns for the bride and bridesmaids had been sewn and the Hotel Lankershim had been hired for the occasion.

In preparation for the grand event, Dr. Harris C. Garcelon and his fiancee, Genevieve Smith, attended the wedding rehearsal at Christ Episcopal Church performed by the Rev. Baker P. Lee.

Lee said: “While the young people were talking with me, one of them asked if they could not get married right away. No, I will not say which suggested it first. I told them a license was really all that was necessary. I believe both dreaded the big formal affair and wished to avoid it. They were of sufficient age to decide for themselves. Members of my household acted as witnesses. Miss Smith’s engagement ring was used in the ceremony. I married them and Dr. and Mrs. Garcelon went away.”

Dr. Garcelon managed to spirit his wife’s luggage out of the Hotel Lankershim, under the watchful eyes of her parents, and off they fled for Salt Lake City, leaving Rev. Lee to break the news to her mother.

The Times said: “It is hinted that a function will be arranged at the hotel which Dr. and Mrs. Garcelon will be actually forced to attend.”

Dr. Garcelon died Aug. 2, 1935, in San Bernardino at the age of 65. At his request, his ashes were scattered over the Mojave Desert. The former police surgeon and assistant health officer was survived by his wife, Genevieve, who died in 1958 at the age of 81.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1907, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, LAPD, Medicine, Obituaries, Religion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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