At ages 17 and 19, Eunice and Lloyd Ford were married in secret late one night by a Baptist preacher in west Paris.
Eunice, aided by her aunt, left her parent’s home under the pretense of going to a show in town, but instead met up with her love, Lloyd, and eloped.
That was the night of April 9, 1929.
Lloyd, 102, and Eunice, 100, recently celebrated their 83rd wedding anniversary.The couple still live in their home of several decades in Rugby, with one of two children, Gary Ford, living next door.
The longtime couple still remember their younger days, when Eunice lived in Hugo and Lloyd on the property where Camp Maxey sits today near Powderly — the place they met.
Eunice’s grandparents lived near Lloyd’s family and she grew up friends with Lloyd’s sister. Both insist they “never knew the other existed” until their mid-teens. Both families were hard-working farmers.“I didn’t know she was there,” Lloyd said. “I was just a little squirt and she was even smaller.”
“We would go down there in a wagon, work all day, come in and milk a cow, feed the hog if we had one, and just live like you want to,” Eunice said.
When Lloyd and Eunice “started going together,” and began talking of marriage, Lloyd had a spat with Eunice’s father, and rather than Lloyd asking her father for permission, the couple decided to elope.
Eunice said in 83 years of marriage, they’ve never had a fight.
“We never have fought,” Eunice said. “We’ve gotten mad at one another, but we never have fought. Usually if he got on me about anything, I walked off and left him. We never did quarrel.”
The couple gave some marriage advice:“Most of the time, if you get mad, walk off until you cool off,” Eunice said.
“The first thing is they’ve got to love one another,” Lloyd said. “If there ain’t no love, there ain’t no marriage.”