A Small German Wedding with Schöne Schuhe

On September 26, 1912, at the early hour of 7:30 a.m., Miss Alma De Beaulieu, a bookkeeper for the Fair Store in Davenport and Dr. William C. Vollstedt, a veterinary surgeon, were married at the Holy Cross German Lutheran Church.

According to the wedding announcement, which appeared on page 10 in that day’s evening Davenport Democrat, the church, which then stood at 626 Belle Avenue,* was decorated with yellow and white roses, and green ferns.

Though our photograph of the bride in her finery was probably taken some days before, the newspaper makes it clear that she was just as radiant during the ceremony, despite the early hour:

DeBeaulieu Bride

“The bride’s dress was of white crepe de chine made over white silk, and draped in one-sided scarf effect, with princess lace that was edged with shirrings of the crepe. The wedding veil of lace and tulle fell from a wreath of green and white and the bridal bouquet was of bride’s roses and ferns.”

The article doesn’t mention her slippers, but their adorableness was captured by the Hostetler Studio photographer:

DeBeaulieu Bride Detail.jpg

After a wedding breakfast, shared with a dozen guests, the couple left for an extended Chicago honeymoon on the morning train. The bride’s going away outfit, which unfortunately was not captured by the photographer, was a tailored suit of tan with a floral brocaded bodice and a hat of brown velvet.

We’re certain her shoes were lovely as well.

The couple returned in November and took up residence at number 8 Walker Flats, a fashionable apartment complex on the 100 block of West Fifth Street.


* The present day Holy Cross Lutheran Church, at 1705 East Locust, was dedicated in 1927. It may be of interest to note that the church is listed in the 1912 city directory as the “Kreuz Kirche”or, in English, “Cross Church”. Services were offered there in both German and English until 1919. German language church services in Scott County never recovered after being banned during World War One by the governor.  Strong anti-German sentiment remaining after the war might have also influenced the decision to move to English only services.


For They Say When you Marry in June . . .

“For they say when you marry in June,
You will always be a bride . . .”

 We can’t be sure whether this rhyme held true for Clara Louise Hass,* who married Walter Kruse on June 2, 1917, but judging from the photographs taken by the Hostetler Studio, her wedding was certainly memorable!

Hass Wedding 1

Miss Hass was the daughter of John H. Hass, president of the Scott County Savings Bank, and her wedding took place in their home on the corner of Forrest Grove Boulevard and East River Drive, in what would eventually be called McClellan Heights.*  The groom was a full partner with Clausen & Kruse, one of the foremost architectural firms in the city.*

Naturally, their nuptials were of great interest to the society section of the Davenport Democrat, which gave almost a full column-worth of description of this singular event in the June 3rd issue:

Hass Wedding 3

 . . . Mrs. Leon Hass, sister-in-law of the bride, was hte matron of honor and a trio of little friends, Catherine Clausen, Frederick Speers and Edward Decker, attended her as flower pages and train bearer.

“The bride was in a gown of white bridal satin, the square neck waist of rose point lace finished with a girdle of white panne velvet. The short sleeves were of shirred tulle, and the full court train fell in graceful folds from the shoulders where it was held with a silver and white chain. The wedding veil of embroidered tulle was held with clusters of orange blossoms and caught to the train with sprays of the same flower.

The bride carried a shower bouquet of lilies of the valley and white lilacs and her only ornament was a sapphire and diamond hair pin, the gift of the groom.

The matron of honor was in Russell pink satin with a bodice of sequins, and  train of rose pink tulle.  She carried a full bouquet of roses and corn flowers.

The flower pages were in rose and white satin vogish costumes of Colonial days.  Miss Catherine’s dress was a slightly hooped skirt of rose satin, slashed, with under ruffles of white embroidered organdy.  She wore a daintily embroidered cap of organdy and lace.  Frederick Speers, who walked with her just ahead of the bride, was in a Colonial caot of rose satin and white satin knee breeches.   Both carried white staff bouquets, formally arranged of roses and corn flowers . . .

Hass Wedding 2The announcement went on to supply a detailed account of the mothers’ outfits and the bride’s traveling outfit, some personal information on the bride and groom, and the names of a few of the out-of-town guests.

It does not mention how the young gentlemen felt about their outfits or their headgear.

This is probably for the best.


*We’re aware that we’re taking liberties with song lyrics from the 1954 movie “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” but myths about June brides have been around for centuries . . . and we just couldn’t help ourselves.

**This firm, under several names, designed many of Davenport’s landmark buildings, including the Scott County Savings Bank, the Davenport Municipal Stadium (aka John O’Donnell Stadium, currently Modern Woodman Stadium), and the Petersen Memorial Music
Pavilion in LeClaire Park. The firm is now called SGGM (Scholtz-Gowey-Gere-Marolf) Architects & Interior Designers and is one of the oldest architectural firms in Iowa.

One hundred years ago: Vollstedt – De Beaulieu wedding

Alma De Beaulieu Vollstedt

Alma Caroline De Beaulieu married Dr. William C. Vollstedt on September 26, 1912. The wedding took place at 7:30 am, at Holy Cross (Kreuz Kirche) German Lutheran Church, located at 626 Belle Avenue in Davenport.  The Rev. Henry P. Greif officiated.

The Davenport Democrat describes the bridal gown [pictured here in a portrait by Hostetler] in an article published that same day:

“The dress was made of white crepe de chine made over white silk, and draped in one-sided scarf effect, with princess lace that was edged with shirrings of the crepe. The wedding veil of lace and tulle fell from a wreath of green and white and the bridal bouquet was of bride’s roses and ferns.”

Alma was the daughter of Mr. Charles and Albertine (Loehrer) De Beaulieu. She worked as a bookkeeper for M. L. Parker Co.’s The Fair department store, which was located at 120-124 West 2nd Street in Davenport.

Dr. William C. Vollstedt was the son of Hermann and Anna (Meier) Vollstedt. He was a graduate of the Chicago Veterinary College and had been practicing as a veterinary surgeon at 114 Harrison Street in Davenport for over a year.

Following the ceremony, there was a wedding breakfast at the home of the bride at 723 Belle Avenue. The couple left on a morning train to Chicago, where they would spend their Honeymoon. They were to return after November 15, and they would make their home at the Walker apartments, 108-112 West Fifth Street in Davenport.

The Vollstedts moved to Dixon, Iowa in 1925, where Dr. William served as mayor. William died on March 31, 1959 at Mercy Hospital in Davenport. Alma died on June 29, 1969 in her home at 2004 Main Street in Davenport. They are buried at Davenport Memorial Park.



Works Cited

Davenport Democrat. “Dr. Vollstedt, 70, active in Scott affairs, dies.” April 2, 1959: page 10.

Davenport Democrat. “Vollstedt-De Beaulieu wedding at church.” September 26, 1912: page 10.

Davenport Times-Democrat. “Mrs. William Vollstedt.” June 30, 1969: page 19.

Iowa State Board of Health. “Return of a Marriage to Clerk of District Court.” In Scott County Marriage Certificates and License Returns. Davenport, Iowa, 1912.

(posted by Cristina)