“Good Looking, Intelligent, Healthy and Pious”

Another one for the annals of Presbyterian romance:

At times the minister might plan his marriage for the benefit of his work as well as for himself. S.A. Agnew relates his own case in whch his plan failed. He had become widowed at the age of 37 with a small son. Through inquiries he found that a Miss Jennie Moffatt of Marshall County, Miss. was a most eligible prospect, so he wrote her to ask her permission to correspond with a view toward marriage. Although he had not met her, he had been told by Rev. H.H. Robison that she was “good looking, intelligent, healthy and pious.” He therefore noted in his journal that “She is the most eligible person of whom I have any knowledge and it is my duty to make the effort.”

When some time elapsed without reply, he decided that the move had probably been in vain, “but I thought it was my duty to make a venture, and she is the only Associate Reformed girl in this region suited for the position of a minister’s wife.” Two weeks later, he received a tentative reply from Miss Moffatt agreeing to exchange correspondence. The young lady preferred a personal interview, but Agnew at first agreed only to an exchange of pictures. Later, he agreed to come to see her, and he arranged to visit through Rev. R.L. Grier, her pastor. The visit was only a partial success, since she did not turn him down but could not yet secure her “own consent” to marry him.

From the time of the visit, he came to believe that there was someone else involved, and the only surprise was when he learned that the person was his fellow minister Rev. R.L. (Robert Leroy) Grier, also a widower. Agnew had spent the night with Grier when he went to plead his cause with the young lady. Miss Jennie married Rev. Grier the following year, and following his death she became the third wife of Rev. David Pressly of Starkville. Agnew’s judgment on her eligibility was affirmed.

Quoted from The Second Century: A History of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church 1882–1982

Posted on by Tim Hopper