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First Marriage
April 6, 1837

First Marriage
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Just 100 years ago April 4, 1937, the first marriage license was issued by the clerk of yhe district court of Lee county, Wisconsin territory. I. H. Hines, clerk of the district court at that time, issued a license to James Burns and Nancy Brown on April 4, 1837, and the couple were married April 6, 1837, by Deacon John Burns. It could not be ascertained if Deacon Burns was the father of the bridegroom.

An interesting factor in the wedding is that John Burns, a layman in the church, performed the ceremony. Just above the granting of the license and the marriage knot is a record of Bishop R. Roberts of the Methodist Episcopal church in America authorizing John Burns, a layman, to administer ordinance of baptism, marriage and burial of the dead in the absence of an elder. The writ was made by the bishop Oct. 2, 1831.

From the Fort Madison Democrat

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