1919 article asks, ‘How long have you been married?’

Published 6:11 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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In 1919, the Troy Messenger asked it’s readers, “what Pike couple has been married the longest?”  They wanted to publish the names of all couples that had been married over forty years, together with the dates of their marriage.  For the Pike couple and the Troy couple having been married for the longest period of years, the Messenger gave them a year’s subscription to the daily edition of the Troy Messenger.

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Jones, who recently moved from Pike to Conecuh County, were married on October 23, 1873, forty-five and a half years ago.  Their marriage occurred at Beulah Church in Troy, a double wedding in which the principals were Henry Jones and Miss Martha Pettus, and G. A. Pettus and Miss Emily Jones.  Elder R. J. Webb, formerly a prominent Primitive Baptist preacher in this section, officiated.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones have two living children, and some dead.

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Mrs. Pettus died some twenty years ago, but she is survived by her husband an two children.  One child died.  Mr. Pettus is now 69 years of age.

An interesting couple, though both died several years ago, just prior to celebrating their fifty years of married life, or gold wedding, were Mr. and Mrs. William Barr, who resided most of their lives in Pike County, but who died at Perote in Bullock County.  Mr. Barr was born November 17, 1826, Mrs. Barr (nee Dixon) was born February 29, 1833.  They were married on July 30, 1851, at Pleasant Valley, near Lumpkin, Ga.  They were married 49 years, 10 months and 10 days.  To them were born eleven children, only five of whom lived to be grown.  William Barr died June 10, 1901.  Martha Barr died June 20, 1904.

They were parents of W. G. Barr of Banks, Mrs. Alex Finlayson, of Perote, and Mrs. Charles R. Brown, of Little Oak.

Their grandchildren, residing in Troy are Ralph Barr, Lt. Chris Barr, Mrs. S. H. Blan and Mrs. S. E. Mary.


          Mr. and Mrs. A. Black, residing in Brantley, were married on the 9th day of June, 1872, by Rev. J. J. Macon.  Both were born and reared four miles south of Troy.  A. Black was born on November 7, 1850.  Mrs. Black was born in 1855.  Mr. Black is 68 and his wife 63 years of age now.

     Mrs. Black was a daughter of Y. W. Rainer (deceased) and Mrs. Isabel Rainer. Mrs. Rainer is now living and is 94 years of age.  They have reared six children, three sons and three daughters.  The children are all living.  Prof. M. L. Black is not forty-five years of age.  The youngest of the children is Rainer Black, now twenty-eight years of age.  A singular thing is that the first son was born on the day the father was twenty-three years of age and the last son was born on the fortieth birthday of the father.

     Mr. and Mrs. Black have now twenty three living grandchildren.

     Mr. and Mrs. Black state that it has been with much interest that they have been reading accounts of long marriage records in The Messenger.


     J. T. Hooks, of China Grove, was in the city today.  He says that his mother  was married to his father on the 24th of February, 1857, or sixty-two years ago.  Two children were born to them, both now living, J. T. Hooks and Mrs. J. M. Farnell, of Andalusia.  Mr. Hooks’ father was Melvin Hoods.  Some years after the latter died, Mrs. Hooks was married to Mr. Williford in 1880.  She is now seventy-eight years of age, May 24th.

     All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.