Miss Dolores Duncan was my mother’s friend from childhood. This is an article I found in the Amsterdam Newspaper from April 22, 1950 that reported on the wedding of Dolores Duncan Wharton. My mother Betty Peters was her Matron of Honor and my grandmother Agnes Peters, renewed the Heirloom dress that Dolores wore. I recently visited my mother’s friend Dolores and finding this article adds to the richness of the Historical Novel I am preparing to write.
Top Society Wedding Solemnized at Anderson Estate…
New York Amsterdam News (1943-1961); Apr 22, 1950;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers New York Amsterdam News: 1922-1993
Top Society Wedding Solemnized…
Miss Dolores Duncan Weds
Clifton Wharton of Boston
by Gerri Major
DANBURY, CONN-In the artistically appointed studio of Miss Marian Anderson, on her Danbury, Connecticut estate, last Saturday afternoon at three o’clock, two of the country’s most distinguished families were united in an Episcopal service. Miss Dolores Mae Duncan, daughter of Mrs. James Owens of Kenosia, Conn, and Kenneth Duncan of New York, became the bride of Clifton R. Wharton, United States Consul General to Lisbon, Portugal, and Mrs. Wharton.
The double ring ceremony was performed by the Rev. Oliver B. Dale, rector of the Church of St. Augustine’s and St. Martin, Boston, and the Rev. Shelton Hale Bishop, rector of St. Phillips Church, New York City.
The beautiful bride wore an heirloom dress of point d’esprit which designer Agnes Peters combined with nylon net. The fitted bodice and full skirt ending in a short train were edged with rows of ruffles. The original gown was the wedding dress of Mrs. Thomas Dorsey of Philadelphia, great-aunt of the bride, who as Miss Blanche Bradford was wed Nov. 14, 1901 in St. Luke’s Church, Washington, D.C.
From the bride’s cap of lilies of the valley, flared a full, waist length veil, dotted with sprigs of lilies, the creation of Mrs. Dorothy Gatling of Philadelphia. White shoulder length gloves and white satin slippers completed the wedding costume.
The only jewelry worn by the bride was a necklace of matched pearls, a graduation gift to the late Miss Helen Dorsey, her cousin. The bride carried the prayer book of her great-aunt, Miss Mary A. Bradford. From a white orchid which rested on the book, cascaded white ribbons and lilies of the valley.
The Bride was given in marriage by her stepfather, the well-known composer and arranger, James Owens. She was attended by Mrs. Ira Aldridge, Jr. matron of honor, Miss Bettye Peters, both of New York City; and Miss Bettye Fitzgerald of Boston, a cousin. They were attired in gowns embroidered organza over taffeta-pink for the matron, yellow for bridesmaids, gifts from the bride. They wore fuchsia caps, outlined with lilies of the valley, and carried bouquets of yellow snapdragons and lavender iris.
The bride’s mother selected a navy blue chiffon with an under-dress of chartreuse taffeta, and a picture hat of bottle green French felt trimmed with roses. The groom’s mother wore a cocoa French lace gown, and flower and lace trimmed sailor.
The groom’s 16-year-old brother, William Wharton, a student at Boston English School, served as best man. The ushers were Jack Duncan, brother of the bride, Ira Aldridge, Jr., of New York City, and Joseph Mitchell, Jr. and William Ellis of Boston. The latter was the classmate of the groom.
The wedding processional was played by Steuart Griffin of Danbury, who also furnished incidental music for the reception. Miss Georgette Howell, guest soloist, sang the Lord’s prayer by Malotte.
The wedding reception also was held in the Anderson studio which was bedecked in white and yellow spring flowers. The bride’s table was dominated by a three tier festooned cake. At another table, champagne punch was ladled from a magnificent silver-encrusted bowl. Plates of chicken salad, relishes and rolls were served from an adjoining room.
Many guests followed the bridal couple to the Owens’ home at nearby Lake Kenosia, where a room of wedding gifts were displayed-linens, silver, glassware, china, bedding, household appliances, and a set of dirilyte, gift of the bride’s parents. The Groom’s family sent a handsome silver well and tree platter.
For traveling, the bride selected a brown wool, tailored dress with matching cape, gift of Agnes Peters and a straw bonnet. The….
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Miss Dolores Duncan Weds
Clifton Wharton of Boston
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….Miss Dolores Duncan Weds-4 destination of the couple was not disclosed.
The bride, a graduate of Bethel High School, attended New York University and the Neighborhood Playhouse. She currently is studying under Martha Graham in New York.
The groom is an alumnus of Boston Latin School and graduated from Harvard cum laude in 1947. He was the first Negro admitted to the School of Advanced International Studies where he received an M.A. in international affairs in 1948. At Harvard and the School of Advanced International Studies, he held the Oliver Bishop Harriman and the William Benton Foreign Service scholarships awarded by the U.S. Department of State.
Mr. Wharton, who is bilingual in Spanish and English, is a program analyst with the American International Association for Economic and Social Development, of which Nelson A. Rockefeller is President. He has published several articles dealing with Latin American economic problems and the problems of underdeveloped areas in the “Inter-American Economic Affairs” and other magazines.
Relatives and close friends from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, New York and Danbury attended the wedding. From New York were: Dr. and Mrs. Louis Fairclough, Dr. and Mrs. Sylvester Carter, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Maxwell; also Messrs, and Mmes, Grenier Turner, Emanuel Howard, Theodore Daniels, William Carman, Jr. and Sr., Joaquin Fiorillo, William Austin, Alexander Rose, John Swartz, Clifford Alexander, Earl Brown, B. Stewart, Clarence Curley, James Conway, Robert Mangum, Goodwin Alston, Charles Wharton, Robert Cooper, Robert W. Hudgins, James Maddox, Lawrence Levy, Bernard Grogan.
Also Mmes, Helen Sterrett, Louise Hart and daughter, Eva Duncan, Minta Turner, June Thompson, V. Thompson, D.W. Anderson, Iris Kreigar, Thornton Wood, Thomas Harmon, Vivian Ford and daughter; also Misses Daisy Hamer, Marguerite Reid, Wendy Salmond, Selma Kroll, Evelyn Kiner, Rosemary A. Rockford, Jean Davis, Emma Gilbert; also Messrs, William Holland, William Small, George Carter, Clifford Alexander, Jr., Bill Graham, Raymond Savoy, William Lippman, Charles L. Drayton, Rockwell Colaneri, William Anastos.
Among the Danbury and Bethel residents present were: Dr. and Mrs. Conrad Edwards, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Rotella, Mr. and Mrs. O Hodge Fisher, Mrs. C. Bethany Powell; also Misses Janie Ritchie, Rose and Adell Eyes; also father Salmone, William Goldburg and daughter; and Dr. James Leee of Waterbury.
From Boston were: Mr. and Mrs. Everett Yates and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ellis; Mmes Joseph S. Mitchell, McFarland Fitzgerald, and Thomas H. Hicks; also Miss Barbara Hill, Harold Smith, Harold May.
Philadelphia guests included: Messrs. and Mmes. Thomas Dorsey, Harry Black, John Gatling, Norris Brown, Stanley Lomax; also Mmes. Albert Bradford, Thomas H. Lee, Anna Anderson, Rosa Allen, Rita Feirson; also Misses Mary Bradford and Mary Clayton.
Baltimore was represented by Mr. and Mrs. Bradford James, Mrs. Howard Wright, and Mrs. Beatrice Hawkins.
From Liberia was Rudolph Grimes.