Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Uncle Dutch's Secret Marriage

You think you know all there is to know about a family member, and then the secrets start pouring out... I always knew that my Great Uncle Dutch (Grandpa John's older brother, Raymond) had been married to his wife, Helen Prowse, until his horrible death in 1954. What I didn't know is that he had been married once previously. Apparently, none of his friends and family knew, either, until after Dutch and his first wife Olive (Ollie) Frager, had already been married for a year!

This little news nugget in the July 19, 1934, edition of the Hayward Daily Review, tells the story:

Here's what the article says:
'Dutch' Bartram Wed To Pleasanton Girl
The marriage of Ray "Dutch" Bartram, employed by the Rowell ranch in Dublin canyon, to Miss Ollie Frager of Pleasanton, was revealed recently to their many friends. The young couple have been married over a year, which fact they have kept secret for some time. They were married at Fallon, Nev.
Miss Frager is a popular school teacher in Pleasanton, and is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Frager.
Ray Bartram is the son of Mrs. Alice Bartram of Richmond, and is quite well known in this community as a rodeo performer. The young couple are making their home in Pleasanton.
Uncle Raymond "Dutch" Bartram
and his sister, my Aunt Grace
My guess is that Ollie and Dutch met while rodeoing together. I've seen both of them mentioned as winners in the various rodeos around the area. Ollie and my Aunt Grace Bartram are also mentioned as friends in various news accounts. I wonder why Uncle Dutch and Ollie kept their secret for so long?

In any case, theirs seemed to be a short-lived romance: By July 1937, the Reno Evening Gazette shows that Ollie had filed for divorce against Uncle Dutch. Uncle Dutch and Aunt Helen (Prowse) subsequently applied for their marriage license in Reno in July 1943.

On a side note, Ollie isn't the only Frager to have married into the Bartram family: my Great Aunt Mildred (Millie) Bartram (another of Grandpa John's many sisters) married Manuel Frager, who I believe was a cousin to Ollie.


  1. There's more to our families than we will ever know.

  2. I love finding out things like this. So many people kept things hush hush back then. They make up the interesting tapestries that are our families.