Eloping in the Ozarks, on the behalf of forbidden love, was due to young age, uneven socioeconomic class, and clan & family harmony. It was a dreaded mania that panicked proud fathers and anguished beloved mothers. Yet, it was a fact of life.
Below is a front page story from The Baxter Bulletin that grabbed the attention of the county in1907.
I hope you enjoy.
One of the most sensational elopements ever occurred in this part of the country came to an end last Saturday, when Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gilbert (Formerly Miss Pearl Lowery) arrived home from Jasper, Newton county, where they were married on Friday after a lively chase by a deputy sheriff across three counties.
The young people had their plans laid for a runaway, and on Monday of last week, while the father of the bride, who is a pretty girl of 17, was in town, Gilbert went to her home, about three miles north of town, for her and they made their getaway and started for Gainesville, Mo., where they intended to be married that day. A phone message from friends to the effect that Mack Lowery, the girl’s father, had discovered their plans and had ‘phoned to the clerk at Gainesville not to issue them a license, turned them from that point and they headed toward Yellville, in Marion county. Lowery had started pursuit accompanied by a deputy sheriff with a warrant for Gilbert’s arrest on the charge of kidnapping. The young couple were detained at Yellville about two hours and their horses were taken from them. They escaped from that place and made their way across country sometimes walking, sometimes riding. They stayed in a cave in Boone county for half a day. Lowery returned with the horses; the deputy continued the chase. The couple succeeded in eluding arrest and finally got licenses at Jasper and were married.
They are both members of well-known families of this section, their fathers being numbered among the county’s most substantial farmers. The young bridegroom has resumed his position as rural mail carrier on the route between Mountain Home and Vin. Sometimes on his trips he is accompanied by his wife and they seem very happy, despite the fact they have not yet received forgiveness of the opposing parent.
Shiras, Tom. “The Prodigals Return After Exciting Honeymoon.” Baxter Bulletin 12.11 (02 Sept., 1907) A1-1. Baxter County Library. Mountain Home, AR.