SPOTLIGHT: An Idaho History Of Marriage And Bigamy After World War II

Oct 14, 2016

A new book chronicles the bizarre true story of a Boise woman who became the victim of a bigamist who traveled around the West after World War II. The man, it seems, had a penchant for marrying, and then leaving, young women.

“The Courtship of Eva Eldridge” was written by author Diane Simmons. Simmons spent time with Eva and her family as a child in Idaho and Oregon. When Eldridge died, she named Simmons executor of her estate. As a result, Simmons ended up with all of Eldridge's letters and documents. Through them, she learned the story of Vick, a man who traveled from town to town, leaving a new wife behind each time.

In the 1950s Eva Eldridge was young, single and working at the Hotel Boise when she met the man of her dreams.

“They met, they were quite a spectacular couple and they had a whirlwind romance. He could not wait to get married. This was a marriage made in heaven,” says Simmons.

But that dream was shattered when the man disappeared and Eldridge learned he had left a multitude of wives behind across the West. Simmons spent five years researching the book, talking to some of the people involved. To protect their privacy, she changed the names of the people in her book.

Simmons continues to investigate Vick’s exploits, using the internet and old court records. Her book on Eva Eldridge's life was released over the summer. Simmons will be coming to Idaho to Rediscovered Books to talk about “The Courtship of Eva Eldridge” January 13.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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