March 28, 1909


Now Jacob Rieger, Aged 75, Is
Speeding Away From His
Intended Bride of
60 Years.

Jacob Rieger, 75 years old, who lives with his son, Alexander Rieger, a wholesale liquor dealer at 4121 Warwick boulevard, believes that at that age he is eligible to the order of benedicts. But others of Mr. Rieger's household had different opinions and as a result a pretty wedding supper was interrupted last Thursday evening at the home of the prospective bride, Mrs. Rosa Peck, 60 years old, a milliner at Sixth and Main streets. Also there is an attachment on $1,100 which Mr. Rieger had in the National Bank of Commerce and a fast train is now hurrying him to New York, where he is to remain until he has outgrown his love for the woman.

Since his wife died a year ago, Mr. Rieger, the elder, has complained of lonesomeness, but could find no one among his near relatives who would even offer a suggestion of a cure.

"It is a pity," he is said to have often remarked, "that an old man like me must stay a widower."

No one, however, paid much attention to the yearnings of the old man. He took his evening walks the same as usual and made no allusion to any woman in particular as a fit subject for his affections, and as he has for several years been a partial invalid no developments were expected.


Up to last Wednesday things went as usual with the old man except it was noticed he had gradually been lengthening his outdoor walks, sometimes absenting himself for hours at a time. Then the word was brought to Alexander Rieger that his father and Mrs. Peck had been to Kansas City, Kas., and obtained a marriage license.

Alexander Rieger immediately went to the telephone and called up his lawyer, Samuel Eppstein of the law firm of Eppstein, Ulmann & Miller, with offices in the Kansas City Life building.

Mr. Eppstein went to see Mrs. Peck that same afternoon in hopes of talking her out of the notion of marrying the elder Mr. Rieger. He told her that her prospective groom, through his retirement from the liquor business, was not exactly in independent circumstances, and that in addition he was suffering from chronic stomach trouble.

Mr. Eppstein is eloquent and talked long and earnestly but by all his entreaties he received a decided "no."

"I love him and I like him," was the double-barreled manner in which Mrs. Peck, in broken German accents, expressed her regard for Mr. Rieger.

"You can't take him from me," she said. "You don't know the love we have for each other, and I wouldnt give him up for $25,000," and there the argument ended.


The day following was stormy, but in spite of this fact the elder Mr. Rieger took a car for downtown early in the day. No one saw him go. It was hours before his absence was noticed and the alert lawyer again notified.

Mr. Eppstein at once hurried to the Sixth and Main street millinery store. He found Mrs. Peck had closed shop and was also missing.

Before starting out to forestall the wedding Mr. Eppstein arranged for a bill of attachment on all money Mr. Rieger had on deposit at the bank. Then he took a fast automobile ride to the home of Rabbi Max Lieberman at 1423 Tracy avenue, where he suspected the marriage ceremony would be performed.

As he expected, Mr. Rieger was there arranging for the nuptuals to be solmnized at 5:30 o'clock. After a good deal of argument Mr. Rieger consented to ride in the automobile back to the home of his son.

This was at 4 o'clock. About 5 o'clock he was again missing. This looked like buisness to Mr. Eppstein and the automobile was again brought into play and headed for the millinery store.

When the door of the living apartments at the rear of the store burst opeon to admit the excited lawyer it found a large table spread with a wedding feast and several guests, relatives of the propective bride assembled.

"This wedding can't go on!" shouted Mr. Eppstein. "I have arranged with the rabbi and he will not come."


"Oh, yes it will," said the bride calmly. "We'll arange for another minister, won't we, Jacob?"

"No, there is nothing doing in the marriage line," replied the lawyer. "It's all off. You see, it isn't legal because you got the license in Kansas City, Kas. That's the law, you know."

Mr. Eppstein did not wait to hear any more, but took the bridegroom by the arm and led him away.

At midnight he was placed aboard a fast train for New York. Mrs. Alexander Rieger went along for company.

Alexander Rieger has maintained a mail order trade under the name of his father, Jacob Rieger, at Fifteenth and Genesse streets for many years, the father now having no interest in the business. Mrs. Peck has been a milliner in the North End over twenty years and is said to have laid by a snug sum of money. Her husband died many years ago, leaving the business exclusively to her.