In the mid- 1800’s when the settlements on the lower Columbia River and in the Nehalem Valley were just beginning to proliferate, it was the practice to bring in a preacher to officiate at local marriages – and thus the opportunity to get married was only infrequently available.
It was this fact, that motivated Eunice Huntington to convince her beau to attend the marriage of Charles Fox in Rainier. By all accounts is was a joyous occasion, but near the end of the festivities the preacher asked if anyone else would like to take advantage of his presence, since he did not plan to return to Rainier for another half-year.
At this point Eunice stepped forth and announced that she was ready to be wed, but unfortunately her beau was somewhat less enthusiastic since he hadn’t accumulated a sufficient “stake” to offer her. Perhaps, thinking he could bide his time, he declined and was seen exiting the hall shortly thereafter.
But the local stage driver, Henry Windsor had no such compunctions and immediately offered his hand. In less time than it takes to read this account the two were married. Eunice’s father was furious! And then to make matters infinitely worse, it turned out that Henry was already married to a women he had left in the east. But that was soon sorted out when it was confirmed that the ex-wife had died. According to the contemporary accounts, this news interrupted the bride’s family plans to annul the marriage and the recently widowed Henry Windsor was eventually accepted into the Huntington family.
Eunice had come to Rainier in 1848, crossing the prairies with her family at the age of 13. Henry turned out to be quite the businessman, and he eventually controlled much of the stage business between the Cowlitz River and the Puget Sound. In 1903 the couple celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary! You might say things turned out rather well for Eunice, considering the unexpected turn of events.