My parents, Audrey Meinzen and Lee Doyle, married on September 15, 1938. It was nearing the end of the Great Depression but it was not over yet and, of course, they had no idea how much longer it would continue. The wedding was small and simple, as was the reception which was held at the home of Audrey's parents. In talking with Mom years ago about her wedding I remember her saying that she and Dad received "a large sum of money" from Dad's grandfather, William "Pap" Doyle. She never mentioned the amount.
Not long ago I was looking through papers that my mother had saved and found a check from William Doyle, dated September 22, 1938, a week after Mom and Dad married.
It's clear that Pap signed the check but it was written by someone else. The check was folded inside this wedding card.
My mom recorded that she and dad together earned about $160.00 per month at the time
U.S. Inflation Calculator tells me that if this "large sum of money" were converted to 2017 U.S. dollars it's value would be $3,455.00.
I agree with Mom and would call it a large sum of money, too. At the time of Mom and Dad's marriage, Pap, a farmer for most of his life, was 75 years old and had been a widower for two years. Dad's mother, Beulah (Gerner) Doyle, died soon after Dad's birth; his father, Gust Doyle, died in 1933, just six years earlier. Pap's gift of money may have been an attempt to offer the financial support he knew Dad's parents weren't there to offer or he may have realized how difficult it would be for a young couple starting life together during the Great Depression. Whatever his reasons for giving such a large sum of money, I think Pap was a generous man who gave a generous gift.
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