Emma Ewers Taylor and Elmer Dennis Hopkins eloped from Mt. Vernon, Kentucky to Jellico, Tennessee on 11 Oct 1920 but this story doesn’t really start there. It starts nine years earlier.
When Emma was almost eleven years old, her sister, Susie, married August Krueger on 7 Sep 1911 at the Taylor family home in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky. This is how she remembered the wedding.
“They had a home wedding and they all cried so I decided then if I ever married, I would elope and I did.”
She didn’t elaborate on exactly who cried at Susie’s wedding. Most likely Emma’s mother (Susie’s step-mother), Emmie Jane. Probably also Emma and Susie’s older sister, Gracie. Maybe even their father, John. Possibly assorted other relatives in attendance.
At any rate, the crying made a big impression on young Emma – enough that she eloped to avoid it and still vividly remembered it when she wrote about Susie’s wedding and her own decades later.
Elmer, who was six years older than Emma, served in the U. S. Army from 4 Dec 1911 – 3 Dec 1914. He went to work for L & N Railroad on 15 Dec 1915 but took a break from his employment to serve a 2nd tour with the army during World War I from 24 May 1918 – 12 Jun 1919. After his discharge, Elmer returned to work for the railroad and bought a house in Corbin, Kentucky where he was stationed with L & N.
“On Oct 11, 1920, I married Elmer Dennis Hopkins. When I was 11 at my sister’s wedding I decided to elope. This I did. I went home from work at noon and Elmer and I left in a taxi as I went back to work. We went to Wildie. Got on the train and road to Jellico, Tenn. We were married by a Justice of the Peace in a furniture store with 1 witness which was all the state of Tenn required. We went to a hotel and ate supper then caught the train to Corbin. We got there about 11 P.M. and went to our house Elmer had bought and furnished. I fixed a special delivery letter to be delivered to Mama about the time I would get home from work telling her I would be married by the time she got it. My brother told me later there was weeping and wailing. She wrote me a letter the next day for us to come home. So we went to Mt. Vernon the third day of our honeymoon and spent the night and on to his home at Crab Orchard the next day. Mama had a good supper and a real nice cake. They didn’t cry for which I was glad.”
I had bought sheets, linens, etc. and had them at the bank so I bought a trunk and took all my things home. Later, I moved my piano.”
“We had a bed, dresser, dining table, 6 chairs, rocker, kitchen cabinet and cook stove to start. I then bought a couch, another living room chair, rugs, wash stand and several other things for the house. I still have the round oak dining table after 57 years.”
The Mt. Vernon Signal published their wedding announcement on 15 Oct 1920:
“TAYLOR-HOPKINS: Miss Emma Taylor and Mr. Elmer Hopkins were married in Jellico, Tenn Oct. 11, 1920.
Miss Taylor is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Taylor of this city and was the Asst. Cashier of the Peoples Bank. She was one of Mount Vernon’s most popular girls and was liked by everyone. Mr. Hopkins is the son of Mr. J. A. Hopkins of near Brodhead and is a fine young man. Mr. Hopkins is a conductor for the L & N with headquarters at Corbin, Ky. where they will make their home.
[1st part of the last sentence is unreadable on newspaper microfilm] . . . host of friends in wishing them a long and happy married life.”
Emma and Elmer were my maternal grandparents.