October 5, 1909


Thousands of Strangers in Line to
Congratulate Mr. and Mrs. "Al-
ligator Joe," -- "She's My
Peaches Now," Said Groom.

It's an unusual privilege for guests at a wedding to be able to buy young alligators from the bride. It was not only possible last night at Electric park but was done. It was one of the many features of the wedding of "Alligator Joe," who figured in the marriage license as Warren B. Frazee, and Miss Cleopatra N. Croff. The ceremony was witnessed by many thousand persons. The wedding was perfect in every way. From the moment the bridal party entered the gates of the park until the finish there was but the main hitch. The wedding principals entered the gates in t his order:

Michael G. Heim, manager of Electric park.
J. A. Wilson, secretary of the Missouri valley fair.
Platoon of police.
Hiner's band.
Two flower girls.
The wedding party in an auto.
The Independence, Kas., band.

A complete circuit of the colonnade at the park was made with either of the bands tooting away on a wedding strain. Reaching the entrance to the alligator farm, the bands and autos deployed. The wedding party was marched up the center aisle. On either side of the aisle, crocodiles and alligators splashed in the water or spread their leathery lengths on the sand. But "Alligator Joe" ignored for once the presence of the saurians.


It was an exclusive affair, an admission being charged, but several thousand guests were in the enclosure while hundreds more hung by their elbows on the fence. Outside thousands of persons stood. The marriage was celebrated on a raised dais. Overhead there were rafters of wheat straw and grasses. A wedding bell built of alfalfa and crimson tissue paper was suspended over the couples' head. James A. Finley was best man and Miss Genevieve Johnson the bridesmaid. The Rev. Wallace M. Short performed the ceremony.

A slight inadvertence on the part of "Alligator Joe" marred the occasion somewhat. When it became necessary for "Alligator Joe" to produce the ring, he could not. Never before had eh ever tried to reach gloved fingers into his vest pocket and hold a brand new hat in the other hand. So he clapped his had on his head. Mr. Finlay removed it. "Alligator Joe" dug and dug until he got the ring. Some of the guests snickered, even those who had paid to get in joining in the laughter. The man with the searchlight took pity on "Alligator Joe" and switched off the intense gleam.

After the ceremony "Alligator Joe" reached over and smacked "Mrs. Alligator Joe" heartily. The crowd cheered. Then Mr. Finley essayed to kiss her. "Alligator Joe" gave him the throttle clutch with his four fingers spread under Mr. Finley's chin.

"Quit," "Alligator Joe" said. "This is my peaches now."

"Mrs. Alligator Joe" protested. Then "Alligator Joe" relented and Mr. Finley was allowed to kiss the bride. Afterwards 1,000 persons filed by to congratulate the couple.


The bride was dressed in white and wore the conventional veil and orange blossoms. "Alligator Joe" was in black, his only ornament being a shark's tooth, worn pendant as a watch charm and an exquisite scarf pin fashioned of a fish fin.

"Lad--ies and gentle--men--n-n-n," "Alligator Joe" announced after the reception, through a megaphone, "we are about to give you one of the grandest exhibitions of alligator charming and hypnotism it ever will be your good fortune to see in the wide world. I have in my hand the crocodile Hiki-Kiki, which I will hypnotize before you all-l-l-l. It is simply a sample of the grand-est-t-t-t ex-hi-bi-tion within the park. Inside we will give the performance in a few minutes. All who wish to see it may buy their tickets now. The bride will give to each visitor-r-r-r who wishes them, a souvenir-r-r-r of the occasion."

Which she did, for a consideration. Arrayed in her white dress en train, the infant alligators were sold by the bride. "Alligator Joe," showman that he is, put in a stock of 800 of the tiny saurians.