An
Unusual
Wedding


Lincoln Sentinel-Republican, Dec. 9, 1948

Former Lincoln Lad Weds
At St. Francis Boys Home

The following interesting story in regards to a former Lincoln boy will be of interest here. Walter Keith Harold is a son of Dan Harold and the late Mrs. Harold and has other relatives in this community. The story is taken from an Ellsworth newpspaper.

Cpl. Walter Keith Harold has returned to duty on Alak Island in the Aleutians and his bride, Billie, has returned to work in her parentsí laundry as the honeymoon, which had its inception at the St. Francis boys home, ended.

Playing a major role was Rev. Robert H. Mize Jr., "Father Bob," founder of the home. Rev. Mize, priest and bachelor, played the role of Dan Cupid and proposed to the girl for the corporal in front of the groomís 19 buddies at the school. Cpl. Harold requested the favor of the man "straightened him out." When the 18-year-old soldier receives his annual furlough his bride-to-be was waiting in Ellsworth.

The wedding was held in the St. Francis Home chapel. Present were the brideís parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Benard; her sister, Rita Rose, who was bridesmaid; Ray Williamson, 15, best man; and the priest and two dozen boy residents of the home. The place was so jammed and what with candles and flowers, the oxygen supply in the room ran low. The best man, bridesmaid and the priestís assistant were overcome. They were carried from the room and the ceremony was completed.

The Harolds went honeymooning to Kansas City -- in a pickup truck loaned to them by the home. Upon returning they observed another long standing local custom. He carted his bride down Main street, in a laundry cart, in which three of her sisters had made similar trips.

Harold, nicknamed "Lucky," first arrived at the home more than two years ago. He had run away from his foster parents. He had joined a circus as an elephant boy and no school confined him to its walls for long. But Father Bob brought about a transformation. After a while Lucky got the job in the laundry where he met Billie and romance was not long in blossomong.

Lucky decided the army could help him and enlisted. Uncle Sam shipped him to Anchorage. The romance continued by mail.

As time for the annual furlough approached Lucky Harold made Father Bob a proposition. The priest was asked to buy the ring, invite the girl to supper at St. Francis home and propose publicly as proxy for his former protégé.

Mr. Mize went through with the bargain. He even sealed it with a kiss. So everything was in readiness when the corporal arrived.

Lucky will get his discharge from the army in a year. He has an idea he may want to make his living as a stevedore in California, having learned the trade while working for Uncle Sam. Mrs. Lucky will be waiting.


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