Desha Elopes, Weds; Keeps Secret 2 Years
Jack Desha of Hawaii, Harvard’s star baseball player, marries girl of his choice despite opposition of stern parent. Two ceremonies held, and he becomes proud father before his classmates learn the story that he has long left the ranks of single men.
—Photo by Perkins.
Harvard Hears News When He Presents a Candidate for Class Baby
Jack Desha of Hilo and Harvard, famed as a football and baseball player, is a benedict. Further than this, he entered the ranks of married men two years ago by way of an elopement with the daughter of his landlord and was married on New Year’s Day, 1910. It may also be stated that Jack Desha has been a proud father since December 11, 1910, when Evelyn C. M. Desha came into the world.
Friends of Jack Desha in the Hawaiian Islands need not feel disappointed or grieved at the fact that the young athlete failed to confide in them, for it appears that the members of his own class at Harvard, that of 1912, knew nothing about it until Desha as a candidate for the class baby, to which position she was at once elected by the class.
Married When Sophomore.
It appears that while in the first term of his Sophomore year, young Desha, who was then the shortstop for the varsity team, fell desperately in love with Miss Agnes Reddy of Medford, Mass., at whose home he was staying. Miss Reddy reciprocated his affection, but her stern sire opposed the match in vigorous terms on the ground that his daughter was a Catholic, and he desired her to wed a man of the same religious affiliation.
The young people labored in vain to break down the parental opposition and failing, cut that Gordian knot by skipping out to Nashua, N. H., where an obliging official tied them with a matrimonial knot.
They then returned to ask father’s forgiveness and blessing. They didn’t get it, not until they had promised to have the marriage rite performed over again in a Catholic church.
Kept Close Secret.
This was done, but notwithstanding the fact of two marriages having been performed, the affair remained a secret until Desha chose to give the news of his marriage to his classmates at the conclusion of his last year at Harvard.
Desha is the son of the Rev. Stephen Desha of Hilo. He won fame in the Islands as a football and baseball player, and in the latter game excelled to such an extent at Harvard that he had no difficulty in making a varsity team where he held down the position of shortstop for two years.
According to friends of Desha here, he will not visit Hawaii this year, but will remain on the mainland and enter Harvard Law School.
(Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7/11/1912, p. 1)