Anna Streckfus married Edward Thomas Manthey on November 12, 1913.
The bride was the daughter of Captain John Streckfus, owner of the extremely successful Streckfus Steamboat line, and the groom was from a wealthy and influential New Orleans family. According to the Davenport Democrat, which offered a double-column description on page 10 of its evening edition, their wedding was one of the most elaborate events of the season.
It was also in Rock Island, Illinois.
Lucky for us, the Hostetler Studios of Davenport agreed to make a house-call. As it was rare to have photographers at weddings—generally, the bridal party went to the studio days or weeks before, or after, the event—this set of wedding photographs is unequalled in our collections.
The wedding took place at 10am and was performed by the Reverend J. F. Lockney at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rock Island. The marriage announcement said that music was provided by the church organist as well as a cello, a violin, and a vocal quartet:
Sometime before or after the ceremony, the wedding party had their photographs taken in the Streckfus house, which is also where the breakfast reception was held.
Since these photographs were taken on-site the day of the wedding, they are among the few in our collections from this time period that show us the wedding flowers as well as the finery!
“The bride was in an elaborate gown on heavy white charmeuse, trimmed in rose point lace and tulle, the neck slightly décolleté, and the skirt entrained ad draped with clusters of orange blossoms; the long wedding veil was in draped effect encircles with a wreath of orange blossoms and the bridal jewels were diamonds in an exquisite lavaliere setting of platinum. The wedding ring was out of the ordinary being a circlet of diamonds set in platinum. The bridal bouquet was of bride’s roses and lilies of the valley with tulle bows.”
The groom’s couture, as usual, was not mentioned. But we think he looked very nice, too!
Joseph Irwin of New Orleans stood up for the groom and the nephew of the bride, young master Streckfus Manning, was the flower bearer. The maid of honor was the bride’s sister, May Streckfus, and Mary Helen Behrman, the daughter of the mayor of New Orleans, was bridesmaid.
Even with the descriptions from the announcement, we had some difficulty determining which bridal attendant was which, from the black and white photographs.
An image of the Streckfus family, which is not shown here, helped us identify May Streckfus, the maid of honor, as the young lady standing to the bride’s left, in the flattened hat decorated with the band of roses. We assume that Joseph Irwin is the gentleman next to her.
Presumably, one of the four ushers—John Streckfus, Jr, Harry Larkin, Andrew Williams, and Oscar Schmidt—is standing with Miss Behrman to the groom’s right.
“The maid of honor, Miss Streckfus, was in Killarney rose-pink charmeuse with over dress of pink chiffon trimmed in shadow lace; she carried a spray of pink Killarney roses, and her hat as pink with white lace.”
“The bridesmaid [Mary Helen Behrman] was in pink brocaded crepe de meteor, with over dress of Chantilly lace and pearl trimmings; she wore a white lace hat and also carried pink roses.”
The wedding breakfast appeared to have crowded the house, though it’s probable that the photographer arranged things to get as many tables as possible in a single shot:
We assume the same applies to the wedding gifts, displayed in the front parlor; in 1910, one did not normally place one’s fine crystal and silver place settings on the floor!
After the wedding, the bride and groom left Rock Island for an extended New York honeymoon and from there traveled to New Orleans, where they made their home after the New Year.
We hope that they were as happy as their wedding photographs have made us!