Trimble Clergy Elopes
Clergymen are not addicted as a body to eloping, for they are apt to be such favorites with the very pious young women of their congregations, and with orthodox parents also, that elopements are unnecessary. But when they do run off with their expected brides, they evince activity and energy that are remarkable. At least one may judge so from the example of Rev. John Oliver, a young preacher at Bedford, Ky. He had won the affections of Emma Abbott, a girl of good family, but in moderate circumstances, in the village, and she had been very willing to be won. Papa objected to Oliver’s suit because he was poor. He thought Emma a fine girl who deserved a rich husband. Thus balked of their desires, Oliver engaged two horses and drove to the schoolhouse where his sweetheart was teaching. This was Saturday, and having had an understanding with John, she dismissed her pupils till Monday, and rode off with him. They soon discovered that papa and his two sons were in hot pursuit, with the usual Kentucky accompaniment of shotguns. In danger of capture, they left the highway, and dashed through forest and stream until they reached the railway. They arrived in Cincinnati to find that they could not get married unless Oliver would swear that his intended was an Ohioan, which he would not do, because, as a preacher, he was opposed to lying. Moreover, seeing posters announcing Emma Abbott’s concerts, he thought they were rewards offered for his mistress’s apprehension. They dashed down to Lawrenceburg, Ind., where they were joined in wedlock, and over to Kentucky again, that he might arrive in time to preach Sunday, and she to open school Monday. This is a model instance of combined business and connubial dispatch.
From the New York Times of December 27, 1878