Bloomington (IN) Herald Telephone
February 15, 1937
page 1


Climax to Devotion of Bedford Girl to Prisoner

Climaxing a devotion that has endured while her sweetheart served one prison sentence, with a marriage as he was entering on another lengthy sentence, Miss Wanda Ratkovich, 23, of Bedford, became the bride of Sheridan Skidmore, 22, in a ceremony performed this morning at 9:30 o'clock in the office of Sheriff Jack Bruner in the county jail.

Less than five minutes after, Justice of the Peace W. L. Bailey had pronounced the couple man and wife, Skidmore entered the car of Sheriff Bruner and left for Pendleton where he is sentenced to serve from ten to 25 years for robbery in the state reformatory. His heartbroken bride, weeping silently, clung to him even after he was seated in the car, but she smiled through her tears as the car left and waved a goodbye to the youth for whom she has promised to wait during his long prison term.

"I love him enough to wait for him, and he is worth encouraging and waiting for. I wanted to be his wife so I would be allowed to visit him in prison and write letters to him," was the explanation of the comely young woman when she and Skidmore's mother, Mrs. Pearl Skidmore, approached Sheriff Bruner with the request that the marriage ceremony be performed before Skimore was taken to prison.

The couple was attended by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Martin, the latter a sister of Skidmore, and the ceremony was witnessed by Skidmore's mother, brother and sister, Clerk Paul Harvey, who issued the license, Sheriff Bruner and a Daily Telephone reporter. The seven months old baby daughter of Mrs. Martin slept peacefully on the lap of her grandmother oblivious to the drama of devotion being enacted in the room.

The bride, who is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mat Ratkovich of Oolitic, is employed in Bedford and returned there today to take up her self-imposed role of patient waiting for the return of Skidmore.

The young man was sentenced Saturday afternoon by Judge Donald A. Rogers, receiving three sentences that will run concurrently. He was given from one to ten years for grand larceny, ten to 25 years for burglary while armed, and ten to 25 years for auto banditry. He pleaded guilty to the affidavit filed in connection with a holdup at the Ray Blakely grocery on South Dunn Street in April 1934. Skidmore had just completed a sentence of more than two years in federal prison for a post office robbery in Ohio and was on parole from the institution when arrested here on the old charge.

During his first prison sentence, Miss Ratkovich, who had been his sweetheart before he was sentenced, remained true to him, and the courtship was resumed when Skidmore returned to the home of his mother south of the city. He had given the girl an engagement ring for Christmas.

Typed and donated by Randi Richardson.

County Coordinator note: There is an Amanda Mary Ratkovich Skidmore (1914-1989) buried at Patton Hill Cemetery.