Leoria’s adoptive father, grandfather, in reality, dies in 1920 when she is sixteen. Three years later, as the daughter of only Mrs. Stephen D. Wilbur she marries Claude Barber. In 1923, her biological father, Albert Landis Meeker, is alive and living in Binghamton. He has married for a second time to Blanche Coville; they have no children. It is odd he is not mentioned. Did he give her away?
Claude is living with his parents at 23 Division Street in Binghamton. He works as a machinist at ITR which will soon become IBM.
Current property rolls have the house listed as being built in 1930; however, that is when the porches were modified. I have seen a modification date taken as a build date by the taxing authority on two homes now. I believe this home may be older and likely the one in which he lived.
Leoria is in her new location with her mother at 2 Fenton Avenue in Hillcrest. It is possible this area was also known as Port Dickinson. Their large home has been sold to the Methodist Episcopal Church this same year.
It seems odd that the wedding takes place at The Church of the Good Shepherd considering the family’s long association with the Boulevard Methodist Episcopal Church. Possibly Leoria is the organist here. Rev. J. DeLancey Scovil performs the ceremony at 10:00 a.m., August 9, 1923, a Thursday.
Today the church is home to an Islamic Awareness Center.
Leoria, Jr. has a wedding much simpler than her mother’s, Leoria, Sr. She wears a gown of gray crepe romaine, an airy, midweight woolen fabric, produced from fine crepe yarn in a basket weave. It would drape beautifully in the style of the day. Did her mother, Lovina the former dressmaker, sew this for her? Leoria told stories later in life about Lovina taking in sewing after the death of Stephen in 1920 for necessary income. To complete her wedding ensemble, Leoria she dons a black taffeta hat, either a cloche du jour or a wider brim, instead of a veil.
Her corsage is sweet peas and maiden hair fern. She carries a bouquet of sunburst roses.
Marguerite Millham is the bridesmaid in a similar beige crepe romaine and black hat outfit and carries a bouquet of tea roses and sweet peas.
George Jeffrey, a Binghamton Central High School classmate, serves as best man for Claude.
Although her mother’s wedding entertained over 100 guests, Leoria, Jr. has a reception at their home for only immediate family. Fred Vernon Barber would be there, along with his wife, Camilla. If only I had been older during my short time with “Granddaddy Barber”, I would have asked for pictures of Lovina and Camilla whom I never met. Leoria carried trunks of sewing pieces and parts from place to place with her (grandmother) mother’s (Lovina) precious tools of her trade from the 1800s, including a couple of treadle sewing machines.
Claude lists himself as a machinist and pattern maker in official documents. It seems he had enough income to afford a car. They go on an extended motor trip to eastern parts of the state. Does that include nearby New York City?
My question today is what was New York City like in 1923? Leoria described the winds blowing her dress “over her head” so I think she was there.
Grandmother; grandfather; great-grandfather and great-great mother; 2nd great-grandmother; 2nd cousin 1x removed.