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Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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Bradford County PA
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1898 - The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth
Article - The Williams - Gates Elopement
Township: Springfield, Bradford County PA
Year: 1898
Article typed and submitted by Sherry LAMPMAN Nichols 
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Charles E. Gates and Augusta Williams Wedded at Horseheads--The Bride Met Her

Intended in Church at Wetona, Pa.

The course of true love never runs smooth is an old adage that has no two firmer believers than Charles E. Gates and Miss Augusta William, two young people residing at Springfield and Wetona, Pa. respectively. The latter became Mrs. Charles Gates at Horse-heads this morning. The wedding is the culmination of rather a romantic little runaway marriage from small Pennsylvania settlements not far from Troy and the elopement is said to be the result of the strenuous objection to the match on the part of the step-father of the girl.

The bridal couple spent the morning hours at police headquarters this morning as the result of a telephone message from the girl's parents requesting that the parties be located and held until word was received from Wetona. The young people were too speedy for the old folks however and by the time the police had located them, they were man and wife. The appearance of a policeman interrupted the honeymoon. Both husband and wife were at police headquarters within an hour after they were married.

Neither was arrested and the man was not detained being allowed his liberty. The girl was placed with the police matron but was not locked up, simply being detained until word could be received from her mother. From the story of the young people the only person objecting to the marriage was the girl's step-father, John Yates, of Wetona, Pa. The reason that they were compelled to run away to get married is due to the Pennsylvania law which requires that a license be obtained before a marriage can occur and that this license must be obtained with the consent of both parents when the contracting parties are under the age of twenty-one as in this case.

The elopement occurred from the Methodist church at Wetona, last evening. The girl was attending the church with her mother and slipped out and met the man of her choice at the rear of the church. Here they hastily arranged matters and she climbed into a wagon with him and was driven to Springfield where she stayed all night with the groom's parents. The father of the young man who was in sympathy with the young people drove them to Troy, Pa. at 3:30 o'clock this morning and there they boarded the early morning Northern Central train and alighted at Horseheads at 5:04 o'clock. They went at once to the Platt house where at 8 o'clock the Rev. W. H. Gibbons made them man and wife. They then came to this city on the street car and made their way to the West End hotel where they had decided to spend their honeymoon.

Gates was not satisfied with this hostelry and the young couple left the hotel arm in arm and met Officer Crowley on the sidewalk in front of the hotel. Of him they inquired the way to the Fraser House but the officer had been notified to be on the lookout for a runaway couple and instead of being taken to the Fraser house the young people landed at police headquarters.

Both the young people were seen this morning by a Gazette representative and were not at all reticent concerning their experience although it was from the girl that the full particulars of this case were obtained.

At 6 o'clock this morning Captain Hartigan received a telephone message from Burlington, Bradford County, Pa., to be on the lookup for the young couple. The message was from Mrs. John Yates the mother of the girl. Mrs. Yates wanted the young people detained if located until she could be notified. This seems the only thing that conflicts with the story of the young people from the statement that Mrs. Yates was perfectly willing for them to be married. Mrs. Yates stated that her daughter had left home as she thought to get married and that she thought that she had gone with Charles Yates. (Should read Gates) She said that the girl was seventeen years old, weighted 160 pounds, wore a blue dress trimmed with white and wore light kid gloves. The young man was described as five feet seven inches tall, 125 pounds in weight, dark hair, mustache and light overcoat. The police were advised that the couple would probably go to the West End hotel. The descriptions are not very accurate although as it turned out the couple was quickly located.

The girl appeared much affected with the turn affairs had taken but readily told her story to the reporter. Contrary to the statement of her mother to the police the girl said that she was eighteen years old on May 9th last. This would give her a perfect legal right to marry in this state. "The whole trouble was caused," she said, "by my step father. It is none of his business any way and I don't see why he wanted to get mixed up in it. I never lived with him and what is more I never will."

She is not a bad looking country girl, very healthy and robust and her appearance would give the impression that her weight was nearer 180 than 160. She wore a neat blue dress trimmed with white lace and with a white front which she stated was her wedding dress. On her head she wore a pretty hat trimmed in black feathers with a blue plume and also wore a brown cloak. On her left hand she conspicuously displayed the gold band wedding ring so lately acquired. "Every body down there wanted me to get married except him. They all said that I was killing myself working so hard. I worked out doors just like the men."

The girl looked anything but an invalid. In telling her story she stated that she lived with her uncle, the brother of her mother, whose name was Levi Williams. His home was at Wetona and about a quarter of a mile from where her mother resided with John Yates. She has no brothers or sisters. She can not remember her own father and don't know as she ever had any, as she can not remember him. As far back as she can remember she has been living with her uncle. Her mother has not lived with her any of the time and some time ago married John Gates. (Should be Yates) She said that one winter she boarded with her mother while going to school and last Thursday went to her mother's home as she says to have her mother help make her wedding dress. Mrs. Yates picked out the goods and also helped make it. This girl says it is the only thing that ever caused her to go to the house of her step-father.

It was since she had been living with her step-father that the girl says he has objected to the marriage, and she says that he has talked so fiercely against it that he had partly won over her mother.

"A year ago last summer at haying time Gates came to our house," said the girl in telling of her acquaintance with this young man. I went with him once or twice at that time and not again until lately. A short time ago he talked about getting married, and had not fully decided upon it. She then told about getting her dress ready. She says that when she went to her mother’s house she had not decided when she would get married, yet had the dress prepared so that there would be no delay. Last night she and her mother went to the Methodist church at Wetona together. When she went in the church she saw Gates sitting in the rear of the church. She had more than half expected to find him there. The service was very long owing to the fact that the minister preached which is not the usual custom. When the congregation arose to sing the last hymn the girl left her mother and walked down the aisle, meeting her lover at the rear of the church. They talked together but a few moments and then left the church, both getting into the buggy, which Gates had driven to Wetona from Springfield. Gates drove quickly to Springfield and the young couple stayed last night at the home of Gates parents. The girl said that her husband’s father awakened them very early this morning, and after a seven mile drive to Troy, Pa., which place was reached about 4 o’clock, they boarded the train for Horseheads. She then told the story of their marriage at the hotel after breakfast and trip to this city which resulted in the couple’s being detained her. Her story was frequently interrupted by outbursts of tears.

Gates story was substantially the same as that of the girl except that he said nothing about going to church. He said that he drove over after the girl and they had then driven to the station and had then come to this city. He said that the reason Yates, the step-father, objected to the marriage was that she was a good strong girl and a good worker and if she was married he would lose her work about the farm. Gates does not have a very good opinion of the girl’s step-father and says that he is a poor farmer. Gates said that he was a farmer, carpenter and blacksmith laborer. His father is William Gates of Springfield and Gates says that anyone at Springfield will vouch for him. He wore a long black cape mackintosh, patent leather shoes, light trousers and black coat. A new green tie and large glass shirt stud completed his make up.

"I don’t see why they wanted to cause us trouble here." he said, "We were going right back to Springfield tomorrow and if they had only waited, there was the place to catch us." He said that in Springfield he would deft the old man. Gates works for his father at Springfield.

The police do not think that anything will be done in the matter after the parents learn that the young people are married. There is nothing that can be done if the girl is over eighteen years of age, as she clams. The girls parents were notified this morning and it is expected that word will be received from them this afternoon.



The Runaway Couple Who Were In Elmira Yesterday


Came Here Yesterday Afternoon and Upon Learning that the Marriage Had Already Been Consummated, Gave In and All Returned Together.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Gates are today probably the two happiest young people within many miles of their home in Springfield. Pa. They are the young people who ran away from Wetona, Pa., and went to Horseheads yesterday and were married. The girl led her mother in church, as heretofore stated and met her lover in the rear of the church and drove to his home. .

While everything looked dark to the young people and they were under detention at police headquarters yesterday, everything is bright today and the relenting parents have given up their objection to the match.

After Officer Crowley had taken the couple to police headquarters a message was sent to Wetona to the girl's parents. Late yesterday afternoon Mr. and Mrs. John Yates arrived in the city and went over to police headquarters.

Mrs. Yates is the girl's mother and her husband her step-father. The parents had come to Elmira with the idea of arriving in time to prevent the marriage, but when they found that the young people had outwitted them it was decided to take no further action in the matter. Father and mother with the bridal couple left police headquarters together, and all went back to Pennsylvania via the Northern Central.



Love Laughs at Locksmiths and Other Things.





She was a very healthy-looking country girl, of perhaps 175 pounds weight, and was attired in a blue dress, trimmed with white lace, and wore light kid gloves, a brown cloak and a hat with black feathers and a blue plume completed her costume. On her left hand was a gold band wedding ring, conspicuously displayed. By her side was a guiless looking young man of probably twenty-four years. He was about five feet seven inches tall weighed 125 pounds and had dark hair and an equally dark moustache. A black mackintosh enveloped his manly form and for the remainder of his dress he wore a black coat, light colored trousers and a very green necktie, with a large brilliant in it. The young couple got off a Northern Central train at Horseheads at 5:04 o’clock yesterday morning. They went at once to the Platt house and were married there by the Rev. W.H. Gibbons at 8 o’clock.

Then they came to Elmira. They went to the West End hotel and later walked out and inquired the way to the Frasier house of Officer Crowley and the officer after questioning them, told them that the police department had been notified to detain them as a runaway couple. This was a surprise to the newly married pair and tears gathered in the eyes of the buxom blonde bride as, together with her husband, she accompanied the officer to police headquarters.

Inspector Kennedy told them that Captain Hartigan had received a telephone message from Burlington, Bradford County, Pa., from Mrs. John Yates, who claimed to be the mother of Augusta Williams, asking him to detain the girl and her male companion, one Charles E. Gates, as she claimed the girl was under age and had eloped with Gates.

The young man was told that he would have to remain within call until the people in Burlington could be communicated with, and he hung around police headquarters the entire morning and a part of the afternoon. To an Advertiser reporter he said that the girl’s mother had favored his suit and had made the bride’s wedding dress. He said his bride was not seventeen years, as had been claimed to the police, but was over eighteen years old. He was of the opinion that her step-father was to blame for the trouble, as he had always opposed Gates keeping company with the girl. He said that the girl had always lived with her uncle, Levi Williams, at Wetona, in Smithfield Township, about a quarter of a mile from where her mother and step-father lived.

According to the girl’s story she was with her mother attending the services at the Methodist church in Wetona Sunday night and Gates sat in a rear seat. As the congregation was singing the last hymn the girl left her mother’s side and walked down the aisle and out of the church. Gates joined her on the outside and getting into a buggy, they drove to Spring-field, where she stayed during the night with the Gates family. Gates father awakened them early in the morning and they drove to Troy, reaching that town at 4 o’clock. From Troy they came to Horseheads via the Northern Central railway.

The girl said that she was eighteen years old on May 9 last. Yesterday afternoon at 3:15 o’clock the mother and stepfather of Mrs. Gates appeared at police headquarters. They had come to Elmira with the idea that they would be in time to prevent the marriage. They were disappointed when they found out the young people had. Indeed, outwitted them, they made up their minds to make the best of the situation, and decided to cause the newly married couple no further trouble. All four left the police station and took the Northern Central train back home. Gates is an industrious looking young man and says that he is a farmer, but also is employed at times as a carpenter and as a blacksmith.


A romantic wedding took place at Horseheads on Monday. Charles E. Gates of Springfield eloped Sunday night, at Wetona, from the church with Augusta Williams. The girl attended with her mother, Mrs. Yates, and met her lover at the back of the church and drove to Wm. Gates, the young man’s parents, and staid till Monday morning, driving to the train at Troy, and thence by the cars to Horseheads. They were later arrested in Elmira while seeking a hotel, through a telegram from the girl’s mother who asked the police to detain them on the plea that the girls was not of age.

NOV 2007 - From Eleanor LENT Wolfe- YATES Justie
Gates, Mrs. Charles- (1947) 65, died at home in Springfield Saturday morning. Besides her husband she is survived by one son Rush of Springfield; two sisters, Mrs. Lyle Craig of Providence, RI and Mrs. Earl Moore of Sayre; one brother Manley Gates of Auburn; six grandchildren and one great grandchild, several nieces and nephews. The body was removed to the Soper funeral home in Troy where services will be held Monday at 2 pm. Burial will be Harkness Cemetery. Rev. Orey Crippen will officiate.  Pat Gobea identified her as Justie Yates.  Her mother was a Williams and by the census records.  Her parents were John and Roxina Williams Yates.
Joyce,  According to this elopement Yates was her stepfather and her name was Augusta WILLIAMS.  Don't know where Justine or Justie came in at.
First Added to the Site  on 04/05/2003
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