Golden Wedding Anniversary - 1913

Wednesday, October 19, 2011




    Friday, July 11, 1913, seventy-five relatives and friends assisted Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Brickley, of this place celebrate their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary.  About 11 o'clock, a.m. the relatives and few invited guests assembled at the Brickley home where they were graciously received by the bride and groom of fifty years.
    A lively social time followed consisting of funny witticisms and numerous comments upon the youthfulness of the bride, who was dressed in white for the occasion, and the unusual nervousness of the groom elect.
    At high noon the announcement was made that the feast was spread, and it was in readiness at the M. T. church basement, where previous plans had been well carried out to serve all comfortably.  The officiating minister, the Rev. J.J. Kidder, and wife led the procession.  Immediately following them were the bride and groom, the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and lastly the guests.  As the procession arrived at the church doors the strains of a brilliant wedding march played by a granddaughter, Lela Purcell, fell upon the listening ears.  After all were comfortably seated in the church parlor, Rev. Kidder proceeded to read the beautiful impressive ceremony as follows: "Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the presence of these friends and dear ones to celebrate the Golden Wedding of John W. and May Melissa House Brickley.  To Almighty God, our creator, and preserver, we render devout and sincere thanks, given for his benignant providences that has generously blessed and kept this husband and this wife, in the holy astute of matrimony for half a century.  For the benediction of this manly and these womanly daughters and their families, the children give to cheer and comfort our hearts, we thank our heavenly Father."
  "For as much as you did, fifty years ago, consent together in hold wedlock, and did witness the same before God and a goodly company, and did there pledge your faith either to other, and did declare the same by joining hands, do you, John W. and Mary Melissa, now renew these solemn vows and covenants before God, and in the presence of these witnesses, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost?"
    The response of such was "I do." after which the little granddaughter, Virginia Purcell, brought forth the wedding ring to grandpa, which the bridegroom of fifty years placed on the bride's finger with the words: "And with this ring we renew our plighted faith."
    The invocation was then pronounced.  Congratulations were then showered upon the couple.  To brighten up the seriousness of the occasion, Dr. J. A. White was called upon to make a new remark which he did ably and sufficiently to bring forth smiles from old and young.
     Dr. Port congratulated himself that he was counted a guest on this occasion, and Dr. Guernecy counted silence truly golden in keeping for this time.
    Chansey Houstman responded with an appropriate reading dedicated to "My Aunt Mary's in the country."
    The following verses were composed and recited by the bride:
    We've traveled down life's pathway.  Through its joys and through its pains, we have learned to trust in Jesus, hoping you all may do the same.
When your life's work is ended and time on earth with us shall be no more, we hope to greet you one and all with the loved ones gone before.
    Then the groom added words of good cheer to his relatives living testimony of a life filled blessings that he might grow and live in the service of the Lord.
    Mrs. C.J. Price directed the company to their places in the dining room which was tastefully decorated in white and yellow, the latter color being in honor of the Golden Wedding.
    The bride's table in the center of the room was profuse with yellow on the white linen.  In the center of the table was a huge bride's cake baked by Mrs. T.D. Crain, an old neighbor of the bride.  At this table set the bride and groom and their children.  All the tables were laden with cut flowers and all the good and dainty things known to the culinary art.  The dinner had been prepared by the children and was served in courses by Mrs. W.J. Miller and Mrs. Packer, who were ably assisted by the Misses Esther and Faith Kidder, Inz and Ethel Cruise, Ruth Cole and Blanche Walstin.
    John W. Brickley and Mary Melissa House were married at the home of the bride's father, Jeremiah house in July 1863, by Tomothy Stivers, Justice of the Peace.  There are living to-day three of the witnesses to this ceremony - Mr. and Mrs. James Carter and Mrs. J.M. Price.  On account of their feeble condition, Mrs. and Mrs. James Carter were not able to be present, but Mrs. J.M. Price, a sister of the groom was present at this time.
    To this union has been born ten children.  The one still living are Mrs. Fannie Lyon, J.H. Brickley, Lulu Purcell, Frances Taylor and Jennie Purcell, all of who live near Olin and all were present except the daughter who lives at Cass Center.
    There are 24 grandchildren, 22 of whom were present; 7 great-grandchildren, of whom 5 were present.  The out of town friends present were Mr. and Mrs. Martin Hayes, of Anamosa, friends of long standing; Mrs. Mary Turbox, of Clayton, Illinois, a sister to Mr. Brickley.
    Regrets were received from absent close friends, and many beautiful tokens were left by the children and friends in the form of gold coin, jewelry, useful articles for the table and house.  These so filled the hearts of the hospitable couple with appreciation that it is needless to say they really acted surprised with joy.
    Everyone in this vicinity knows Mr. and Mrs. Brickley, and can attest to the high esteem in which they are held.  Always having lived on their farm near Olin until seventeen years ago, when they moved to Olin, they have seen the country pass through many changes.
     Converted at an early age they have always been consistent members of the Methodist church, active in all its services, so that they are rightly classed among the most spiritual pillars of the church.
    O.A. Dayton was invited to take a picture of the company, after which friends began to say goodbye.
    Thus the golden links of friendship were strengthened, and lives made happier by the celebration of this Golden Wedding.

Transcribed by Mary Lyon Hellman 10/18/2011