Thursday, November 25, 2010

Biography: Catherine "Katie" (O'Connor) Fraser



During a visit with Philip and Gertrude O'Connor on May 9, 1999, I discovered the following notes from a reporter who had covered the wedding of Catherine and Charles Fraser for the Toronto papers. The reporter had sent a copy of her notes to the family for them to ensure the correct spelling of the guests names. Philip had saved the type written notes in his family album:

A very pretty and popular wedding took place at St. Helen's Roman Catholic Church, Toronto, on Tuesday morning May 15th, 1900 at 8 a. m., when Mr. Charlie Fraser, 21 Clinton St., was united in wedlock to Katie, second daughter of Jeremiah O'Connor, 105 Wright Avenue, Toronto. The marriage ceremony was performed by the Rev. Father Richardson, curate of St. Helen's. The Rev. Father is a schoolmate of the groom. The bride looked charming in a gown of cream henrietta trimmed with cream satin lace and chiffon and wore the usual veil with a wreath of natural roses and carried a large boquet (sic) of cream roses tied with cream ribbon. The bride was given away by her brother, Mr. John O'Connor. The groom was supported by Mr. Dan O'Connor, brother of the bride. The bridesmaid was Miss Lizzie Hickey, who wore a white leghorn picture hat and carried a beautiful bouquet of red roses. The mass was celebrated specially for the ocasion (sic), after which the bridal party returned to the residence of the bride's father. After congratulations they retired to the dining room and when full justice had been done to the tempting spread the wedding party spent the day in social conversation and games. The guest numbered sixty. Among those present from a distance were: Misses D. and C. O'Leary, Brampton; Mr. and Mrs. Wm, Fraser (parents of the groom), Toronto; Mr. and Mrs. McHenery, Mr. and Mrs. Hickey, Mr. & Mrs. Marborough, Mr. & Mrs. W. Wiggins, Mr. & Mrs. W. Howe, Mr. & Mrs. M. O'Connor, Mr. & Mrs. McCarroll, Mr. J. Hyland, Mr. & Mrs. Jerry O'Connor, Mrs. Carroll (sister of the groom), Mr. & Mrs. John O'Connor, Mr. Temple, Mr. D. Shea, Miss Nora Hickey, Mr. Mike Minehan, Miss Alice Wright, Mr. T. Murphy, Mr. Mike Kelly, Mr. P. Doyle, Miss Nellie Harrington, Mrs. Geo. Graham, Mr. Mat Cooney, Miss Katie Doyle, Mr. Larry Doyle, Miss Maggie Hickey, Mr. Albert Campbell, Miss Nora Sullivan, Mr. M. Hickey and Miss Minnie Doyle. Police Constable Hyland and Mr. Temple furnished the music in the evening for dancing with the harp and violin, while Dective Davis kindly loaned his phonograph for the occasion, and Mr. Albert Campbell had his bagpipes and played several selections of Scotish Airs. They escorted the bride and groom to their new home at 3:30 a.m., playing the old time, "St. Patrick's Day in the Morning." The bride was the recipient of a beautiful and costly array of wedding presents.

For those who have never heard of "henrietta" as a material for wedding dresses, the following might be of interest:

Weave: Twill

Characteristics: Originally consisted of worsted filling and silk warps. Today, it can be found in a variety of blends. It has excellent drapability. It's weight and quality vary with fibre, however, when created with silk and wool it is lustrous and soft.