A December Wedding in St. Paul…1911

© Jerry F. Couch

THE METHODIST-EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH OF ST. PAUL had its humble beginning in the mid-1890’s when the original one-room church building was constructed on Wise Street.  Materials and labor for the church were supplied by by local carpenter and sawyer, Ballard Fink.

Oddfellow's Lodge at Methodist Church ca. 1905

Pictured above, a meeting of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, ca. 1905, at the original Methodist-Episcopal Church, South of St. Paul.

In 1910, construction of a much larger Methodist Church got underway.  The new church was located on the corner of Wise Street and Fifth Avenue.  It was completed and ready to serve its congregation in 1911.

Old Methodist Church

The second Methodist Episcopal Church, South of St. Paul.

The first wedding in the new church building took place on December 4, 1911.  The following account of the wedding appeared in the Dec. 5th edition of The Bristol Evening News.


St. Paul, Va., Dec. 4. — One of the prettiest weddings of the season was solemnized here Saturday afternoon in the Methodist church when Miss Cora Cabell Greear, the beautiful and attractive daughter of Dr. and Mrs. J. N. Greear, became the bride of Mr. Douglas Speiden, of Washington, D. C.

The bride, who was gowned in a smart tan camel’s hair suit with hat and gloves to match, and carrying a shower bouquet of bride’s roses and lilies of the valley, entered upon the arm of the maid of honor, Miss Hampton, of Huntsville, Ala., who wore a gown of white chiffon embroidered in wild roses over messaline.  The bridesmaids, Misses Speiden, a sister of the groom, and Frances Greear, sister of the bride, wore pink marquisette over messaline and carried pink carnations.

The groom, who wore the conventional black, entered with Mr. Withers Utterback, of Marshall, Va., who acted as best man.  Messrs. M. M. Long and J. N. Greear, Jr., were ushers.

The church was artistically decorated in holly, ferns, roses, and carnations.

The bride comes from one of the most prominent and aristocratic families in Southwest Virginia.  Her excellent qualities and accomplishments have won for her a host of friends, not only in this section, but throughout the entire state.  High honors were won by her at Martha Washington College, from which she was graduated two years ago. 

The groom comes from a prominent Massachusetts family and is an electrician of considerable note.  Until recently, he was assistant chief electrician for the Norfolk & Western Railway Company, with offices in Bluefield, W. Va. 

No mention is made of a formal reception following the ceremony.  We may assume that after receiving the congratulations and good wishes of their family and friends, the newly-wed Mr. and Mrs. Speiden departed by train for a honeymoon destination.

Afterwards, the bride’s parents may have provided a collation for some of the guests at their home, “Sunnyside,” on Buchanan Street.  This house, the largest in St. Paul at that time, burned around 1940.  The home Frank and Connie Molinary now occupies its site.


“Sunnyside” as it looked in the 1920’s.  The lake can be seen in the background.

Greear Sisters

Misses Frances Greear and Ashby Greear at “Sunnyside.”


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.