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The New York Times, Feb 27, 1930, pg 24
Miss Benkard Wed by Bahai Ceremony

Her Marriage to Charles H Clarke the First by Such Rites in New York Society

Mirza Sohrab Officiates

Bride is Given in Marriage by Her Stepfather, Lewis S. Chanler, in Mother's Home

—The marriages of Miss Elsie Benkard to Charles Harold Clarke, which took place yesterday afternoon at the home of her mother, Mrs. Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler, 132 East Sixty-fifth Street, was out of the ordinary, for they were married with a Bahai ceremony. It was the first time that such a ceremony, described by Mrs. Chanler as very simple, has been used at a society wedding in New York. Mirza Ahmad Sohrab officiated. Mrs. Chanler and her daughter have recently embraced the Bahai sect, an offspring of the Persian religion, which is said to have many converts among English-speaking peoples. According to Mrs. Chanler, Bahaism is a new religion for the present age, founded in the middle of the last century, accepting all the Messiahs and adding one of its own.

—The house was Springlike in its decorations of dogwood blossoms.

Daughter of Late J. Philip Benkard

—The bride, who is a daughter of the late J. Philip Benkard, was given in marriage by her stepfather, Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler. Instead of the conventional wedding gown, she wore a simple costume of pink crepe de chine. She was unattended.

—Edward Robinson was best man for Mr. Clarke. There were no ushers. An informal reception followed.

—After their wedding trip Mr. Clarke and his bride will live at 204 East Forty-first Street.

—The bride is a granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Benkard, who for many years were prominent in New York society. She also is related to many well-known families of Boston, through her paternal grandmother, who was the former Miss Fanny Horton. On the maternal side the bride is a granddaughter, of the late Stephen H. Olin, who was a prominent lawyer and for many years a trustee of the New York Public Library.

—Her great-grandfather was the late Rev. Dr. Stephen Olin, second president of Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn. She is a descendant of the late Mr. and Mrs. Samuel L. M. Barlow and also of the late Peter Townsend, whose country estate is a part of Tuxedo Park.

—Mr. Clarke is the son of Mrs Charles Clarke of this city and the late Mr. Clarke. During the World War he was a Second Lieutenant in the 311th Infantry. He is with the firm of Cromwell, Reid & Co.

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