52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Courting

Henry C. Jaeger & Lillie Neumann’s Wedding

My grandparents, Henry and Lillie, were married on September 18, 1929, one day after Grandpa’s 19th birthday. Granny was 16. They were married, in Shelby, Texas at the home of Granny’s father and step-mother, Theodore and Selma. Because Granny spoke only German, Pastor Henry Brunotte of Martin Luther Church in Carmine was called in to perform the ceremony. Granny and Grandpa lived with his parents in Brenham for several years. The young couple’s wedding picture is adorable. Grandpa has a slight smile and appears so calm and collected. and Granny looks more serious. Nervous, even. Her wavy hair is cut into a stylish bob and her veil is lovingly arranged on her shoulders, although the beaded portion is slightly askew.

According to family history, Granny and Grandpa met at a dance and began their courtship around that time. These types of courtships were very short, with couples getting married within a relatively short period of time.The 1920s were marked by a decreased marriage rate and a spike in divorces. Young men and women chose to wait until they were older to enter into relationships. In fact, Granny’s five sisters were all married in their 20’s, with the exception of Estella who married just before her 20th birthday. I imagine how happy Grandpa and Granny’s parents must have been that their children found someone to love.

Henry and Lillie had nine children and celebrated 66 happy years of marriage before her death at age 82. They are buried together in the Jaeger Witte Cemetery.

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