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February 17, 1904

Rial/Horty Marriage


A Romance in Barnum - Miss Nellie Rial Marries Man of Her Choice, After Wait of Eighteen Years

(By C.R. Spencer)

Barnum, Iowa, February 17, 1904. - After eighteen years of delays resulting from the pranks of a most cruel and adverse fate, Miss Ellen Rial of this city, was married on Tuesday, February 16, to James Horty of Iowa City. The ceremony so long deferred took place at St. Joseph's church at 9:00 a.m. It was conducted by Father Helan, who celebrated High Mass as part of the ceremony. The bride was attended by Miss Josie Rial as maid of honor and Richard Burk acted as best man to the groom. The wedding was witnessed only by a few of the nearest friends and relatives. The bridal party proceeded from the church to the home of the bride's mother where the sumptuous wedding feast was spread. Mr. and Mrs. Horty will make their home in Iowa City and laden with beautiful and costly wedding presents, they departed for that place on the 3:00 o'clock train.

A little more than eighteen years ago Miss Rial, then a young girl, was employed at Iowa City. While there she met Mr. Horty and acquaintance soon developing into love, they became engaged. Miss Rial soon returned home and the lovers were forced to content themselves with keeping up a lively correspondence. Shortly, however, two or three letters went astray in the mail, a misunderstanding arose, and communication ceased and the incident seemed closed.

Several years elapsed in which no word passed between the two. Finally Miss Rial received a letter and the correspondence was resumed only to be broken off as before thru a prank of fate. This time both parties to the romance gave up all hope of a marriage. The years and months sped by without a word.

Last August, eighteen years after their first meeting. Miss Rial received a letter addressed in the old familiar hand. Her lover of long ago had written her.

This time the correspondence was uninterrupted and a little more than a week ago Mr. Horty wrote that he intended coming to see his old sweetheart. He arrived in Barnum the following (last) Saturday. Deciding to risk no more delay, the two arranged at once to be married the following Tuesday, and friends and relatives were stunned by the announcement from the Pulpit of St. Joseph's Sunday morning, as not a whisper of the revival of the supposedly dead and forgotten romance had passed the lips of either of the lovers.

(Submitter's Notes - Ellen Rial Horty was the daughter of Thomas Rial and Mary Burke Rial. In the Clare/Barnum area at this time there was a second Ellen Rial, daughter of Cornelius"Con" Rial and Bridget Burke Rial. The 2 Ellens were cousins.)

Submitted by Shannon Zuzek

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