Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Marriage Made in Heaven?

In 1870, April 24 was a Sunday. That was the day that Elizabeth Armitage and Henry Meinzen were married. I wonder if they attended church services and were married afterward. Or perhaps it was an evening wedding. No newspaper records the details of their wedding; no journal survives, if there ever was one; no family stories recount the occasion.

Elizabeth would not turn 18 for another 4 months. Henry was 32. When I first learned this information I was appalled. How could he?!!! Cradle robber!!! Perhaps I should still be appalled, but I'm not. I can't be as I learn bits and pieces of the life they lived together.

Was it a marriage made in heaven? I don't know. But I do know that the marriage survived the births of 15 children (and the deaths of 9); a number of Henry's career changes; at least 4 moves; Elizabeth's face cancer; and who knows what else.

In one of their children's birth records Henry used the endearment "Lizzie" when he gave the child's mother's name. Perhaps she had a pet name for him, too.

The marriage ended 50 years and 2 months after it began when Elizabeth died of cancer. A photo taken of Henry and the 6 surviving children after her passing seems evidence of the awful loss he felt.

Whether the marriage was made in heaven or not, I like to envision them together now, reminiscing and celebrating 140 years.

Happy Anniversary, Gramma Elizabeth and Grampa Henry.


  1. Nancy, have you checked the local newspaper for an account of "Lizzie" and Henry's wedding?

    You asked where I got such sharp images for the Saturday's Child post. Actually I lucked out in that Muriel and 3rd husband Howard Turnley owned businesses in the Arnold Park, Iowa, area and several local newspapers for that period happen to be at Also, the images are sharpest when viewed with and saved from their Enhanced Viewer.

  2. More than once I've have searched the local newspapers for Henry's and Elizabeth's wedding announcement. It seems that in 1870, the Steubenville papers weren't publishing weddings except for people of prestige. It would be a miracle to find that or one of the other sites scans the 1870 newspapers from Steubenville and I was able to find a notice that way!

    Thanks so much for the information about using the Enhanced Viewer. I'll be sure to use it when I find images at

  3. I love this wedding picture of Lizzie and Henry. I guess back then it was more common for there to be such an age difference...maybe.


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