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Standing Was Measured By Wedding Liquor
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Standing Was Measured By Wedding Liquor
Contributed by Pike County ILGenWeb
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Newspaper Article: Standing Was Measured By Wedding Liquor

Weddings were gala events in the early days. When a bachelor appeared in public in a suit of “boughten” clothes, rumors flew throughout the settlements and everybody was on the qui vive for the appointed time. Feasting and dancing marked these early celebrations. Whiskey and rum flowed freely but there was little excessive drinking. Intoxication was rare at these gatherings when hospitality was extended to all and the whole settlement made merry and showered the bridal couple with broad quip and jest that would hardly meet with favor in these modern times.

Benjamin Bates, an early Griggsville resident and later located at Normal, Ill., speaking at an old settlers’ meeting in Griggsville in 1876, said of one of these early weddings:

“Weddings, hoss racing and court weeks were the exciting events forty years ago. I remember attending the wedding of one of the Elledges (probably the wedding of James Boone Elledge and Levina Parkhurst) just about forty years ago now. The bride was a fine lady and the wedding was fine, too. It was a ‘ten gallon wedding’. I mean by that there was ten gallons of whiskey circulated at the celebration. Weddings then were measured by the gallon. A 1-gallon wedding was for ‘pore folks’. A 2-gallon wedding was only a step higher up the scale. A real society wedding was a 10-gallon affair. But I don’t recall that anybody got drunk at that wedding. Weddings in those times were grand affairs.”

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Submitted: 01/26/08

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