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McCracken, G. anniv Jan 1907

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Mary S Taylor

Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 28023
Location: Fresno, CA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:10 pm    Post subject: McCracken, G. anniv Jan 1907 Reply with quote

Pacific Grove Review, CA Jan. 15, 1907
Married in San Jose Fifty-Six Years Ago
Was First Marriage of American Woman in that City
Bride Came Across Plains With her Parents

Mrs. George McCracken, of San Jose, widow of the late Dr. Geo. McCracken, has been stopping in the Grove for a few days. Mrs. McCracken has a cottage at the corner of Sixteenth and Union streets, and spends considerable time here. It is a fact which is not generally known to people of the Grove that Mrs. McCracken was the first American woman to be married in San Jose and that she came across the plains when a girl, in company with Mrs. M.E. Lawrey of this city, who was also a young girl at that time. Their parents moved to different parts of the State and Mrs. Lawrey was the first American woman to be married in Stockton and Mrs. McCracken was the first American woman to be married in San Jose. Mrs. McCracken has been married twice, her first husband living only about seven years after being married. Her second marriage was solemnized at Salinas on November 25, 1858, Rev. Jack Simmons performing the ceremony. Regarding the first marriage, the San Jose Mercury of a recent date has the following, accompanied by another bit of interesting local history. In the long years of the Spanish occupation of the Western Coast there was marrying and giving in marriage, but the first hymeneal celebration of which there is any public record in this county of Santa Clara, was in the year 1850. On the seventh day of May in that year, which will always be memorial to Californians, it is recorded that James M. Brady and Elizabeth Whiteman were united in marriage. The entry is as follows: “I do hereby certify that by virtue of my office as an elder in the Mothodist Episcopal church I did on the 7th day of May, 1850, in the city of San Jose, solemnize the rites of matrimony between James M. Brady and Elizabeth Whiteman. Given under my hand this 10th day of May. 1850, G.W. Campbell. Filed for record May 10th, 1850. I.T. Richardson, recorder S.C.C.” This brief statement of the interesting historical event is found in a small, leatherbound book at the County Recorder’s office. The leaves of the volume have been yellowed by the passing years, but it is in a rather remarkable state of preservation considering that it is more than fifty years old. This first recorded marriage was celebrated in that uncertain period when the Congress of the United States was discussing the question as to whether California should be admitted to the Union of States. During the same year there are six more marriages recorded, in addition to those performed by the fathers in the Catholic Missions. In four of these the presiding clergyman was the Rev. C.W. Campbell, named in the first. One marriage was performed by Rev. John T. Ricketts, and one by H.C. Smith, Justice of the peace. Following this record is found this entry in Spanish, “Estado que manifesta el numero da matrimonios o lebrados en las Mission de Sta. Clara en el ano de 1850,” which by interpretation is the statement that “There are set forth the number of the marriages celebrated at the Mission of Santa Clara.” Three follow the names of seven couples. Father de Real was the priest in charge. The first was in June of 1850. The record of twenty marriages performed by P. Pineyro, parish priest of the Pueblo of San Jose is also given. The total number of marriages according to this record in the county that first year was thirty-eight. Almost two generations have passed since that time. Few who were living then are still alive, and the names of the men and women who that year united their hands and hearts are unfamiliar to the later generations. As the years have passed the procession lit by Hymen’s torch has grown longer each year. The latest report of vital statistics shows that in the year 1900 there were 221 marriages in this county, and the county is only a little more that a half century old.

McCracken, Elizabeth, married G., age 84, died in Santa Clara county, on Sept. 29, 1922
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