RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 21 . . Weddings . . Part 6
RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. This is Part 6 of Chapter 21 . . . Weddings. A new part will be posted every Thursday. Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 21 . . . WEDDINGS . . . Part 6
The narrow gauge decline continued, just as George Billmeyer and John Small foresaw. In 1886, only 552-miles of narrow gauge railway were built, compared to the building of 7,466-miles of standard gauge track. Hence narrow gauge track-age represented only 6.9% of all rail miles built during the year. Worst yet, in 1886 alone, 970-miles of narrow gauge track has been converted to standard gauge.
By 1887, Billmeyer & Small were down to one production line of narrow gauge railcars; however just like the railroads, all their former narrow gauge production lines were converted to making standard gauge railcars. Billmeyer & Small still had large orders for standard gauge railcars, many coming from western railroads, such as the Texas & Pacific Railroad.
The lumber part of business also continued to flourish. Many homes and businesses in York were built with Billmeyer & Small lumber. Becky was anxious to give Dan a child, just as Emma was anxious to give George Billmeyer a child. Becky and Emma regularly commiserated about wanting to get pregnant.
Emma soon had a project to take her mind off getting pregnant. Her sister-in-law Mary Billmeyer continued to live in their household. Mary had become engaged to John E. Baker. John Baker was an experienced lime burner from Maryland and the junior member of the firm of William E. Mason & Company, of Baltimore, Maryland.
Emma Billmeyer volunteered to plan the wedding. Mary and John accepted and Mary insisted that the ceremony take place in the Billmeyer House, much like the wedding Emma planned two years earlier for Dan and Becky.
The November 10, 1887 issue of The York Daily reported on the marriage of Mary S. Billmeyer and J. Edgar Baker:
A brilliant wedding took place last evening at the residence of Mr. George S. Billmeyer on East Market Street. His sister, Miss Mary S. Billmeyer, was married to Mr. J. Edgar Baker, who is the junior member of the firm of William E. Mason & Company, of Baltimore, Maryland. S. G. Durall of Frederick, Maryland, and W. D. Billmeyer of York, acted as ushers. The ceremony was performed by Rev. S. C. Swallow, assisted by Rev. Mr. Conner of York, and Rev. McKendree Reilly, of Watsontown.
The bride wore a navy blue velvet gown ornamented with diamonds. The floral decorations were very elaborate. A large floral bell was suspended under which the contracting parties were united. The presents were many and magnificent. The refreshments were delicious and abundant.
Among the guests from abroad were Mrs. Maria McCosh of St. Louis, Mr. B. E. Baker of Washington, D.C., and Miss Baker of Baltimore, brother and sister of the groom, Mr. Joseph D. Baker, President of the Citizens National Bank of Frederick, Maryland, Mr. and Mrs. D. Baker, Jr., Mrs. Wm. G. Baker, and John H. Baker of Buckeystown, Maryland, and Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Mason and Miss Jennie Mason of Baltimore, Maryland.
The bride and groom after receiving the congratulations of friends left York for an extended trip.
For their honeymoon, Mr. & Mrs. J. E. Baker went on a wedding tour of most of the principal eastern cities. They had use of the Billmeyer & Small private railcar throughout their tour.
Go to Chapter 22, Part 1