The Marietta Register, July 9, 1868
Three weeks ago we printed many interesting items that we had collected, relating to singular marriages. We now give a chapter of curious matters in this line that have happened in our county of Washington - premising that the record could be made much more complete, were it not for the danger of "treading on somebody's toes."
December 28, 1865, in Ludlow Township, James M. Groves, J. P., married on the same evening, at the same place, George Pugh and Mary Watson; also Isaac Pugh and Martha A. Watson. These were father and son married to mother and daughter.
Two Greene Street girls - Misses D____ - who are sisters, have between them five living husbands. The oldest was divorced from her first husband on account of his willful absence; her second husband was divorced from her, by reason of her absence; and she is married to her third husband. The second girl was married and divorced, and is married again. None of the parties now live in this county.
John Brough, Esq., who was Sheriff of this county sixty years ago, came from England about the beginning of this century, when he was past middle age. In 1809, he buried a wife; was soon married to Miss Jane ____, and in 1811, the late John Brough - late distinguished Governor of Ohio - was born to them in the jail building. October 20, 1821, Mrs. Brough died; in five months and one day, March 21, 1822, Esq. Brough, who was then about 75 years old, married Mrs. Bridget Cross; in just four weeks, April 19, she died. Esq. Brough himself died, October 16, 1822. So, it appears that he buried two wives and was buried himself, all in less than a year.
There are several cases in this county wherein men have been married four times; one, three times, whose third wife is the niece of his second; one of our highly respectable citizens married his son's widow, there being children by both marriages. And in another case, many years ago, a young man and a young lady were engaged to be married; her parents objected, but they had a son born to them out of wedlock; both subsequently married (he twice) and buried other partners; their son had now become a man and was married, with a family of children; his parents were then married at his house, the grandchildren seeing their grandparents married! They are both now in their graves.
Many years ago, Pardon Cook, father of the late Mrs. Rhoda Hildreth of this city, and his brother, Joseph Cook, father of Rev. Pardon Cook, of Marietta, married sisters. In course of time, Pardon Cook died, also Joseph Cook's wife. Then Joseph Cook and Pardon Cook's widow were intermarried. So, in the last marriage (no children) the husband bore that relation to two sisters, while the wife was the wife of two brothers. Consequently the late Mrs. Hildreth and Rev. Pardon Cook were not only double cousins, but also stood in the relation of step-brother and step-sister.
Two brothers and two sisters of one family in Marietta, years ago, were intermarried with two sisters and two brothers of another family; not all at once, but at different dates. These were Otis Reckard and Nancy Jennings; Joseph Leonard Reckard and Delila Jennings; Jonathan Jennings and Susan Reckard; Junia Jennings and Eliza A. Reckard. Of these eight, six are now living - all in the neighborhood of "three score and ten," most over, some a little under. Jonathan Jennings died ten years ago. His widow (Susan Reckard) is now the fourth wife of Rev. J. C. McCoy. Otis Reckard died about three years ago.
Col. William B. Mason, our County Treasurer, and his wife, are both Masons, but of different families, claiming no relationship. His father was William Mason, and her father was William Mason; his grandfather was William Mason, and her grandfather was William Mason. And they have a son William. So the young scion of four generations now known, counts himself a William, his father a William, his two grandfathers both Williams, and two great-grandfathers Williams, and all Masons.
We here mention a case out of this county, yet involving a young lady of Marietta. Miss Emily Palmer, who was raised by Rev. Luther G. Bingham, went to Lawrence County to teach, and there married Dr. McDowell, who had separated from his wife in Pennsylvania, leaving a daughter in her charge. In the course of years, Mrs. Emily McDowell died. The daughter by the first marriage was now grown up and married. Through her intervention, her father and mother were then remarried, after a separation of over twenty years, the husband of the daughter, who was a minister, performing the marriage ceremony!
It may be remarked that fifty years ago, when the population of this county was not over one-quarter of what it now is, three men advertised their wives as having left their bed and board, for every one man who does so at this day; a fact that we know, having carefully examined full files of Marietta papers from the year 1811. Does it indicate that ill-assorted and unhappy marriages were much more frequent half a century since than now? or was advertising wives more in fashion then?