Title: "Quaker Girl's Parents Okay Marriage to Jap-American," Seattle Times, 6/30/1944, (ddr-densho-56-1052)
Densho ID: ddr-densho-56-1052

Quaker Girl's Parents Okay Marriage to Jap-American

Although Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi, 24-year-old former Seattle Japanese-American, and Esther Schmoe, 20, Seattle Quaker girl, have been engaged for some time, issuance of a marriage license yesterday in Spokane was "news to us," the bride-elect's parents, Mr. and Mr. Floyd W. Schmoe, said today.

When Miss Schmoe read in Monday's Seattle Times that a federal complaint, charging Hirabayashi with failure to complete and return a Selective Service form, had been filed here, she left immediately for Spokane.

Hirabayashi is Spokane secretary of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization. He went there after finishing a three-month prison camp sentence in Tucson, Ariz., for violation of the Japanese evacuation order.

Hiribayashi [Hirabayashi], a native of Auburn, is a former University of Washington student.

Schmoe Works With Quakers

Schmoe, who lives at 13434 40th Ave. N.E., was a professor of forestry at the University for 15 years, and now is Northwest secretary of the American Friends Service Committee. During the First World War he served overseas with the group, which rehabilitates war-torn countries.

The Schmoes gave their parental blessings, stating: "We haven't disapproved of the engagement. We have a great deal of admiration for this boy."

They had expected the couple would marry either after the war or wait at least until Miss Schmoe, who has been taking pre-nursing at the University of Washington, had finished training. She had applied for admittance at both Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts General Hospital.

"This marriage is a sort of pioneering for both of them," Schmoe observed.

May Marry in August

Hirabayashi said in Spokane the wedding would take place early in August, according to the Associated Press.

Schmoe said the wedding could be performed "without benefit of clergy, if they follow the 300-year-old tradition of the Quaker Church," of which Miss Schmoe is a member. A typical Quaker wedding, he said, is a ceremony in the presence of witnesses in which the couple marry themselves," speaking their own vows."