Child Bride of the Ozarks

November 28, 1927
18-year-old Ora Obetz appeared in court today seeking to have her marriage of 5 years annulled.  It seems that prior to their marriage, her husband, Louis Allen Obetz, 47, had been her stepfather.

When Ora’s mother died in 1920, the girl was left in the custody of Obetz, who spent the next few years traveling around the Ozarks in a wagon with her.  When she turned 13, he gave her the choice of being placed in juvenile home, a convent, or becoming his wife.  After a month of convent living, Ora finally consented to marry him in Kansas.

A year later, Ora gave birth to a son, and the Obetzs moved to Los Angeles.  Shortly thereafter, Louis threatened Ora at gunpoint, at which point, the brave girl picked up her infant son, marched out the door, and left Obetz for good.  That was two years ago.

Since then, Obetz filed a $100,000 "alienation of affection" suit against 83-year-old A.F. Christianson, a wealthy Angeleno whom Obetz claimed had influenced Ora’s decision to leave him.  But before that case was heard, Ora had her day in Superior Court.  The issue at hand was not whether Ora was coerced into marriage, due to the fact that Kansas had no laws mandating the age at which girls could marry.  However, the legality of the marriage was called into question by Ora’s testimony that a friend of Obetz’s had posed as her dead father in order to obtain the marriage license.

On December 7, 1927, Obetz’s suit against Christianson was dismissed when the former failed to appear in court.  He didn’t show his face on the 9th either, when Ora Obetz was granted her annulment and full custody of her son.

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off!

Call the Whole Thing Off Headline

You say eether and I say eyether,
You say neether and I say nyther;
Eether, eyether, neether, nyther,
Let’s call the whole thing off!
George and Ira Gershwin

October 8, 1927
Los Angeles call the whole thing off pic

What’s a gal to do when she can’t even pronounce her own married surname? She files for an annulment!

Eva Tanguay, a singer, fell in love with and married a vaudeville performer. The man of her dreams was named Allen Parado, or so she thought. Eva soon found out that she’d been deceived, and that his name was actually Alexander Booke.

The newlywed singer thought she might as well roll with it – it wasn’t as if her spouse had some chippie stashed in a love nest downtown. Besides, Eva Booke had a nice ring to it.

But even a woman in love has her limit, and when she found out that her husband’s real name was Chandos Ksiazkiewicz she not pleased.

In Eva’s defense she tried very hard over the next several months to learn to pronounce and to spell the jumble of consonants. But try as she might introductions were awkward, and forget about signing for anything.

Chandos was not about to give up on his marriage and continued to pester his bride to reconcile – maybe Eva just needed a little more time to conquer the tongue twisting last name. Eva was having none of it, and was not entirely convinced that the name game had ended. Fearing that Chandos would not leave her alone as she sought an annulment, she applied for a restraining order. Judge Burnell sided with Mrs. K and signed an order forbidding Parado, Booke, or Ksiazkiewicz from bothering her.

A Ksiazkiewicz by any other name…