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THROWBACK THURSDAY: A Breezy Elopement and a Hilarious Grass Widow on June 20, 1890 in Mobile


A Breezy Elopement and a Hilarious Grass Widow.

(Transcribed from The Montgomery Advertiser June 21, 1890)

Mr. Ulmer and Mrs. Hill Leave for New Orleans, Where It Is Supposed They Were Wed on Thursday – Mrs. William’s Husband Leaves and She Celebrates the Event by a Big Spree.

Mobile, June 20 [Special] – This city has been thrown into quite a state of excitement over two incidents which leaked out during the day.

One is the supposed elopement of E. F. Ulmer, and Mrs. W. A. Hill, both well-known people. Ulmer, up to two weeks ago, was superintendent for the Mobile Coal Company. While Mrs. Hill is the wife of W. A. Hill a Louisville and Nashville railroad telegraph operator. Ulmer has been paying attention to the lady for quite a while, and it was a common thing to see his horse and buggy stop at the door of the Farley House on Government street, and Ulmer alight and remain in the house for some time.

Government Street Scene, Mobile, Alaca. 1890 (Alabama Department of Archives and History)

Wednesday night Ulmer left town going in the direction of New Orleans, and the following morning Mrs. Hill boarded the same train and went in the same direction, and it is supposed met Ulmer in the Crescent City.

Ulmer leaves a mourning wife and three children, who are destitute. To-night their home is locked up and no one knows their whereabouts. Mr. Hill takes the matter cooly (sic) and says he don’t care.

Tonight Mrs. Maggie J. Williams is suddenly left a grass widow. It occurred in this way: She kept a boarding house in Huntsville, and while so engaged met Williams. Her name before was Maggie McMahon. She became infatuated with his pleasant address and he got stuck on her money. They were married and came to Mobile, when the cash gave out and Williams suddenly departed for parts unknown. The woman is celebrating the event by going out on a big spree tonight and raising war generally. She is without means of support.



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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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