Durant’s Three Valley Museum will be hosting an “I Do in Durant Again” event. This event invites all those who have been married in Durant, especially during Durant’s days as a “marriage mill” town, to renew their vows and celebrate the day with wedding-themed events.
Guests are also invited to share stories of their Durant weddings such as the story of Weldon and Frankie Nelson.
This sweet love story of Weldon Earl Nelson and Frankie Geneva Smith started when they first met at Providence School near Luella, Texas, about seven miles southeast of Sherman.
The cupid who arranged this introduction was a teacher and dear friend Ms. Vera Vaden. A pie and cake walk was held to raise money for the school and Ms. Vaden thought this was an ideal time and place for the couple to meet.
Weldon purchased the delicious dessert Frankie had prepared and as they shared this desert Weldon asked Frankie if she would be kind enough to accept a date with him the following week.
She did accept the date and after a courting period, they began to plan their wedding. To avoid the three-day waiting period in Texas, the couple drove to Durant on November 23, 1929.
In Durant, the couple could buy their license, get their blood tests and get married in just one day.
Weldon’s parents, Thomas Lee and Oppie Jane Nelson accompanied them and signed the license as witnesses to the ceremony.
After the necessary paperwork, the couple drove to a church parsonage where R.C. Miller, a Baptist minister, married them.
They sat in the front seat of the car and the future in-laws sat in the back seat.
The window on the driver’s side was rolled down and the minister stood near the window and performed the marriage as they conveniently sat in the car and repeated their vows.
Weldon and Frankie raised their four children on a farm in the Luella community near Weldon’s parents.
Their children are Weldon Earl Nelson Jr., Mary Jane Nelson Morphew, Joan Nelson Griffin and Barbara Nelson Monk.
Frankie resides at Homestead of Sherman at 100 years of age. Her husband Weldon died January 22, 1983, after 54 years of marriage.
Frankie is happy to share the “I Do” story of their marriage in Durant and regrets that she is unable to attend the festivities this Saturday.