05 July 2010

Marriage License: William H. Beehler & Leila S. Potter

The following was submitted by Ruth about 8 years ago regarding the marriage of William Henry Beehler and Leila Secession Potter:
Leila married my great-grandfather's brother, William Henry Beehler. He became a commodore in the Navy, eventually serving as Naval Attaché to Berlin at the turn of the century, and was quite a colorful character. Attached is a copy of the marriage license of my great-great-uncle William Henry and Leila Secession Potter (She was born in 1861, the year Georgia seceded from the Union.) At the time "Uncle Billy" was a young Naval officer from Baltimore, who had lost his wife after only one year of marriage. The story told to me by one of his descendants is as follows:

"...Will was so broken hearted that he wrote a very popular book to the effect that those widowed on earth ought never remarry, lest they confound paradise. Bishop Potter, of Savannah, was really taken with the book, and invited the Commodore to stop in the Episcopal residence and sign his copy when next he put into port. Will did that and standing next to the table whereupon reposed the book, was the enchanting Leila Secession Potter, the Bishop's daughter." The rest is (family) history...

I had searched several different sources of Episcopal Church records with no sign of a Bishop Potter. The Beehler family Bible says the marriage took place in Atlanta. It was someone at the Episcopal Cathedral in Atlanta who found the Bibb County marriage license info on the internet... it is still a mystery why the marriage took place there when the family lived in Atlanta and Savannah.

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