Bedaux Courts Fern Lombard
by Richard Vettese
Bedaux, who became a naturalized American citizen by July of 1917, had developed a close relationship with Miss Fern Lombard, a favorite in Grand Rapids society and in the city’s musical circles. With his failed marriage behind him, he courted Miss Lombard, daughter of one of the city’s prominent lawyers, Mr. James Lombard, and his wife, Hattie M., of 223 Prospect Avenue NE. This second marriage happened in a most unusual way.
According to the Grand Rapids Herald, they were driving from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids when they had a flat tire. Another man stopped to help as they were changing the tire. He asked how he could assist them. Mr. Bedaux, since he was prepared with his marriage license in his pocket, replied, “If you are a minister, you may.” The man replied that he indeed was a clergyman. Other occupants of the minister’s car acted as witnesses, and the wedding ceremony was performed at the roadside. Later Fern and Charles toured northern Michigan resorts on their honeymoon. The couple returned to reside for a short period of time in Grand Rapids, eventually moving to New York in 1920 living in an affluent apartment on Fifth Avenue.