By Debby Stricker
A 1882 brown taffeta dress worn by a bride is one of the treasures displayed at the Washington County Historical Museum in Nashville.
The dress was worn by Mary Kerr of Oakdale when she married a Robert Campbell, a school teacher.
Story Behind The Dress
Paraphrased from a story written by Grace Kerr in the 1950’s, taken from her recollections of oral family history.
Mary Kerr’s father was dead set against her marrying teacher Robert Campbell because he made only $40 a month and didn’t own any land. Thomas Kerr thought his daughter was destined to be poor if she married the teacher.
Mary threatened to elope. Her father didn’t like idea, saying “Folks around Oakdale will say you’re in a family way.” He said that she should be married at home.
Since she would surely be poor when she married, Mary’s father told her that the calico dress she was wearing that day was good enough to wear on her wedding day. He wasn’t giving her any money for a dress, Thomas Kerr said…
Read the rest of the drama in the September 13 issue!
See the dress for yourself at the Washington County Museum in Nashville.