The Kiss and the Lash

Mother’s bullwhip fails to deter aged suitor. Sixty Second History V.

Berthe Moriset, The Mother and Sister of the Artist
Berthe Moriset, The Mother and Sister of the Artist (publicdomainpictures.net)

Chicago, Sept. 1, 1920. When Sarah Frances Cooper stepped off the train today, former newspaperman Harry Daniel knew that his life’s slot machine had spun up three cherries — a jackpot. Miss Cooper, 19, had arrived to marry the much older Daniel, 46. It was a lovely moment, recorded the Chicago Tribune: “Miss Cooper dropped her suitcase and rushed into the arms of Daniel, kissing him several times.”

As the pair happily embraced, the young girl’s mother, the redoubtable Mrs. Charles Cooper stepped off the train, “drew a blacksnake whip from beneath her cloak and began slashing Daniel.” Observing the affray, Chicago Detective Sergeant Terence Kelly intervened and was whipped across the face for his interference. Kelly stopped the beating and escorted the party to the police station.

The couple had met a year earlier at the Hotel Ambassador in Atlantic City. Harry Daniel later visited Sarah Cooper in Florida. Mrs. Cooper objected to Daniel’s interest in her daughter: “I have kept my daughter traveling around the country to avoid the attentions of this man, who is old enough to be her father.” When she learned that Sarah intended to join Daniel in Chicago, she slipped aboard the train with her lawyer and her bullwhip.

Since Sarah Cooper was nineteen the Chicago Police informed the indignant mother that they could not prevent the wedding. Harry Daniel and Miss Cooper were married that evening at the Moody Bible Institute, and departed for a honeymoon in Decatur, Indiana.

Source: All quoted material is from the Chicago Tribune, Sept. 1, 1920.

Sixty Second History is devoted to the now-forgotten news stories that occupied our forebears’ minds a century ago. Follow me on Twitter (@rj_goodrich) or Medium to ensure that you never miss an episode.

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Author and history professor. Excavating the past for fun and profit. Web-site: www.richardjgoodrich.com

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