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We interrupt this WWI Diary to bring you news of two special wedding anniversaries!

 

Our Wedding

August 6, 1983

August 6th is a pretty good day for a wedding if stability is what you have in mind. Today as my husband and I celebrate our 34th anniversary – we wish my uncle and his bride congratulations on their 57th anniversary!

 

It’s funny how wedding dates are selected – no doubt it depends on the availability of the church and reception venue and I know many brides today spend many months, if not years planning their weddings.  For Rick and me – it was a much more practical consideration – there were only a few weeks between the end of my summer job and the beginning of my second year of law school. Why else would anyone choose early August in Washington DC?

We spent the early part of our time in Washington DC finding a church that we wanted to join. I remember many Sundays visiting different churches. I also remember visiting Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church and thinking I wouldn’t like it (it was in a wealthy DC suburb and I thought this very middle class girl would feel out of place with Washington’s upper crust). Of course, that was before I knew all of my Preston and Bryant family history, through which I learned that I am a descendant of Washington DC’s “upper crust!”

I still remember the sermon on our first visit to Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church int he spring of 1983 by the head minister – Tom Jones. It was entitled, “Sins of Omission.” It was a sermon about the civil rights movement and the terrible things that were going on during freedom marches in the south in the 1950s and 60s. He certainly got my attention when he said – “if you were not actively protesting the abuses by whites in the South,  you were just as guilty as the people holding those fire hoses on the marchers.” Hmmm… maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad church to join after all. And of course, it was beautiful both inside and out.

We joined in short order and remained active participants in the life of that church for the next two years until we moved away from DC in 1985. But I digress – this post is supposed to be about wedding anniversaries!

Rick and I were married at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church on August 6, 1983. It was hot – the Washington DC kind of hot, dripping with humidity. I remember Rick asking if he could pay extra to have the church leave the A/C on the night before. We were assured that someone would turn it on early enough for things to cool down in time for our 10 am ceremony. I don’t remember being too hot so it must have worked out.

As for Deane and Nancy who celebrate their 57th anniversary today – I have this picture that I found on Newspapers.com from page 6 of the Columbus, Indiana Republic on August 8, 1960.Nancy.wedding picture.1960

Sorry to cut off the article but what an elaborate affair it seems to have been. I don’t see Deane and Nancy as often as I’d like, but it has always made me happy to share a wedding anniversary date with them.

Here’s an excerpt from my grandfather’s family letter dated November 25, 1958 in which he describes meeting Nancy’s parents for the first time.

“There are prospects of a wedding in our family. Deane is sure he has found the right girl, and they thought of getting married at the end of this school year, but the latest decision is to wait until Deane finds out whether the Army is going to take him, and for Nancy to finish her last year at the university. [Deane was a senior and Nancy a junior at Indiana University when this was written.] They met while they were both working on the Daily Student, and this fall it began to get serious. Nancy Myers lives in Columbus, Indiana, 40 miles east of Bloomington; she is majoring in journalism and literature. She is pretty, intelligent, and wise for her years, and we like her very much. We invited her father and mother for dinner about a month ago, with her sister and her boyfriend. It was her father’s birthday and we all had a good time. The four young people went to a dance and the four parents stayed home and had a good talk.

Mr. Myers studied for the ministry and preached for a while in a Christian church, then went into one of the plants in Columbus that makes radios and a number of other things as a personnel and labor relations officer. Her mother was born in Australia, and they are both lively, witty, and good people. They like Deane, and had no objections to the kids getting married, though it would please them if Nancy finished her last year in the university. This is an example of Mr. Myers’ kind of wisdom: he suggested that they think over carefully the pros and cons of getting married next June, then he would arrange a debate and he would argue in favor of it. Well, when Deane and Nancy thought of all the reasons against it, they called up her father and told him there would be no debate. They may still change their minds, but they are both thoughtful youngsters and, we will be satisfied with whatever they finally decide.

I just realized as I was typing this that the “we” in this letter means that Kitty also met Nancy’s parents. I rarely think of Kitty (my grandmother) as being involved in family events because she died in December 1959.

 

 

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Osage Treasures

Do you ever have one of those weeks when it seems like a month’s worth of things happened? That is how the past week was for me. I spent most of the week at the national meeting of land trusts in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Osage, Iowa before it all began. I left Greensboro at 5:30 am on October 26th and by 10 am Central time, I was on my way to Osage – just over a two hour drive south of Minneapolis.

Other than taking about 20 minutes to get headed in the right direction once I left the Minneapolis Airport (freeways named Interstate 34W South confuse me – especially when I want to go South East!) it was smooth sailing for my 100 mile drive to Osage. Lots of farmland, which I love to see, but very different than North Carolina fields.  It was a gray, dreary day and the fields were bare. At one point as I drove along, I wondered why certain farmers had burned their fields. The landscape ahead looked just like the remnants of a field that had been managed by prescribed burning – a technique used to restore prairies and support new growth of fire dependent species. Upon closer examination, I realized that the black I mistook for char and ash was the color of the soil in Minnesota and Iowa – a far cry from North Carolina’s red clay!

On my drive down I called the Osage Cemetery because I wanted to make sure I had a map if I needed one to find the Kingsbury family grave site. The number for Osage Cemetery turned out to be City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce and the Visitor Information Center all rolled into one and the folks were as nice as could be. “Sure – if you come after 1:00 pm img_5152(we’re closed from noon to one for lunch) we’ll be happy to help you find what you’re looking for.”

My first amazing discovery of the day took place in City Hall when the city manager showed me a picture of Orrin Sage – a man from Massachusetts who is credited with “founding” Osage.  He may not have ever set foot in Osage, or anywhere else in Iowa for that matter, but he sent money and for that got a town named after him. A Brief History of Osage Iowa.   I wonder how many babies born in Osage in the late 1800s were named Orrin? I certainly know of one – the youngest son born to Wayland B. Kingsbury and his first wife, Flora Jane Bush, in 1892 – Orrin Dean Kingsbury. However, it’s also possible (and perhaps more likely) that Orrin Dean Kingsbury was named after his paternal grandmother’s father – Orrin Brown. But what an interesting way to name a town – first initial and last name of the town’s benefactor. There are not a lot of names that would work with!

My other amazing discoveries were made at the Mitchell County Historical Society which is now housed in the Cedar River Complex at 805 Sawyer Drive. The library volunteer – “Char” (short for Charlotte) – was very helpful – directing me to every box, drawer, file cabinet and shelf with anything related to Cedar Valley Seminary – and believe me – there was plenty to see.

Like many small historical societies, much of what is in the collection depends on what the locals have donated. There was a file draw with hanging file folders for families by last name. In the file for Kingsbury – only one document – the a memorial booklet for Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury, printed shortly after his funeral in 1909. It contained a summary of his life that he had written several years earlier, excerpts of the sermon given at his funeral and excerpts from letters sent by friends and family attesting to his sterling character. I took pictures of each page using my phone but I’m not sure you will be able to enlarge them. The cover (not shown) simply said  In Memoriam Joseph B. Kingsbury 1827-1909. img_5171

From the records of Cedar Valley Seminary I know that my grandfather, Joseph Bush Kingsbury was in the class of 1909. It would make sense that he started college that fall and given the time and expense of travel from Washington, DC to Iowa, he probably did not attend his grandfather’s funeral in September 1909. Here’s an excerpt from a letter that his older brother Forrest wrote to my grandfather that was reprinted in the In Memoriam pamphlet.

“He has gone to the reward of a long splendid, useful life, and for his sake, we are all glad, and cannot wish it otherwise. I am so glad Grandma feels as she does, and what a splendid example she is for us. Joe, how grand it must be to have a record to leave, such as Grandpa’s is, and how we wish ours may be so too. No one can ever tell how much we, and the world, owe to him. And I shall believe he will be surprised and gratified to know all that God has been able to do through him. I believe Grandma will seem closer to us now, because she will, in a sense take Grandpa’s place, as well as her own.

And here is an excerpt from the Sermon of Pastor L. T. Foreman, entitled The Triumphant Life from the text of Timothy 4:7-8.

“It was eminently true of Mr. Kingsbury that he had fought a good fight against sin and temptation, against the world, the flesh and the devil, against any and every form of evil. Right grandly in his quiet, sturdy way did he fight the good fight of faith.  He had endured hardship in early days as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

And more that that he was victorious. He lived a triumphant life. Today, an entire community in loving esteem joins in saying, “He fought a good fight.”

“I have kept the faith,” What a pity it is that so many lives are lost in doubt and unbelief. The joy of life has disappeared in the fog of doubt and in the bog of despair. Deacon Kingsbury was always true to his Christian faith and this was his joy and strength. As a neighbor recently said: “He was pure gold.” He loved his Savior, he loved his Bible, he loved his church and the fellowship of the people of God.”

In many of my grandfather’s writings he recalls the profound influence of his early Christian upbringing. His diary entries from his first year of college show that he was actively involved in Sunday School and prayer meetings. I think over time he became less active in church. I remember writing to him with questions about religion and faith, but I’ll save that for another post.  I will say that part of my decision to join a Presbyterian Church was influenced by that being the church denomination that my grandfather belonged to when he began taking an active role in his church in Bloomington, Indiana after he retired from Indiana University. Interesting that like my grandfather, I was baptized in a Baptist Church but later switched to Presbyterian.

I’ll close with the poetic part of the funeral sermon and will write about more of my Osage discoveries this weekend.

“Have you ever watched the glories of the sunset? It is exquisitely beautiful, it is heavenly with its blending of yellow, of purple, of red and gold. Only a divine artist could produce such a sunset, and the fingers of the Divine hands spreads it over the canvas of the western sky at the eventide. But a glorious sunset is a promise of a glorious morrow.

How beautiful is the sunset of this man of God; His career has been radiant with the golden deeds of helpful service. Only divine fingers could sketch out such a life.  . . .

The glories of the setting sun of life are but the promise of a brighter morrow in the everlasting sunshine of the favor of the King, when there will be no more sorrow, nor pain, nor sin, nor death.”


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Happy Birthday Joseph Bush Kingsbury

My grandfather would be 126 if he were alive today. In some ways I feel I know him better than I did when he was alive because I’ve spent so much of the last three years reading his contributions to the family letter and organizing family photos.

Here’s a pictJBK.1890orial review of some key points in his life.

Wouldn’t it be great to know what became of that christening gown? I imagine it was a family gown, worn by his two older and two younger brothers as well.

Ten years after this picture was taken, Joe’s mother, Flora Bush Kingsbury died at the young age of 40. Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury and Hannah Brown Kingsbury moved in to help their son Wayland care for his four sons.  Of this time, Ella Kingsbury Whitmore, Wayland’s sister writes:

“The only time in all those years that death entered the family circles was to remove the sweet wife and mother, Flora Bush Kingsbury, to the heavenly home, in 1900. Father and mother willingly gave up their quiet home and went to that of the desolated family. They were glad they were wanted and could still be useful. When the children were told that grandpa and grandma were coming to stay with them, and they would all be careful and try not to tire them, Joe said gently, ‘We will be quiet, we are used to walking on tiptoe.’ And what little Joe said was sure to be acceptable to his small brother Dean.

The two older boys [Forrest and Frank] were, while real boys, sensible and thoughtful and kind, and the home was, as nearly as possible, a happy one for all. Later, dear Annie Walker came to be a blessing and joy to all of them, most happily filling a mother’s place to this good day.”

Whitmore, Ella Kingsbury.  Salt of the Earth.  Monrovia: Monrovia Printing Company, 1944. Print.

Gentle is a good word to describe my grandfather. He had a quiet way about him that made him easy to be with despite our 65 year age difference.

After one year at Cedar Valley Seminary in Osage Iowa Joe began school at George Washington University in Washington DC in 1910. One of my prized possessions is his diary from his first year in DC. It begins with his account of a trip to New York City on December 24, 1910. I’m transcribing it just as it’s written with the exception of adding paragraphs.

Left Washington in the rain at 7 a.m. At Philadelphia changed cars, got on wrong train and went 5 or 6 miles before we discovered mistake, came back to West Philadelphia and took next train. Twenty minutes late in New York arrived at 1:35. Looked for Forrest for 1/2 hour, telephoned to Aunt Ruth then found him. Walked down Broadway, saw Wall Street, Trinity Church, around Battery Park up Water Street to Brooklyn Bridge.

Lunch at Child’s on Broadway. Took subway to 110, back to 96 and walked to 103. Three rooms at Clendening, parlor, 2 bedrooms, bath and hall, fine, quiet place, fine furniture, beds and bath. Great style. Rested feet, talked and wrote post cards until 7:30 then rode down Broadway, saw the Electric signs, theater crowds, etc. Got off at 44th and walked to 33d over to 5th and past Library. Stopped and got presents at Japanese Bazaar. Got lunch, went over to Pa Sta and got suitcase then took elevated back to Hotel. Bed at 11:00. Fine sleep. Wakened by chimes playing Christmas carols, beautiful morning.

All had bath, walked up to Whittier Hall, got Aunt Ruth walked over past Grant’s Tomb to Edgewater Ferry, crossed through the ice. Trolley to Ridgewood, arrived at 10:30. Roy at SS Talked had presents, ate candy etc all day. Fine turkey dinner, 3 courses, plum pudding. Ate candy all pm. Took a walk to Paramus Church, where Aaron Burr was married. Played with Donald and Guyon. Perfect little boys. Mr. & Mrs. Rogers called in evening on way to church. Aunt Clara and Aunt Ruth went over there to sleep. I slept on cot in parlor. Guyon came down and got in bed with me early in morning.

Got up and took a run. Fine cold morning. Ate about 49 buckwheat cakes. Forrest, Lucius and I went with Roy in auto to his office, wrote post cards, L and I went up on Heights north of Hohokus, over to Paramus Church and back. Beautiful homes.

Even though I’m still figuring out the relationships between the people he mentions, having something like this is so valuable to document family history.  I think Ruth and Clara may be Annie Walker Kingsbury’s sisters but there were women named Ruth and Clara on the Bush side of the family too so I’m still figuring out the relationships. I hope to retrace my grandfather’s steps on a visit to New York City but probably not in December. I’m not sure “the elevated” is still an option and I know from a quick Google search that the Hotel Clendening was demolished in 1965.

I’ll close today’s birthday tribute to Joseph B. Kingsbury with his college graduation picture – neatly dated on the back “1915 AB Geo. Wash U. Joseph B. Kingsbury”

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Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury’s Civil War Records

Most people know I’m a big Civil War buff and some might assume its because I grew up in the land of magnolias and sweet tea. I think it is because my husband and I started visiting Civil War battlefields when we were first married so it is a  hobby we developed together. I am sure we will do even more of it when we retire.

One of the first things I did when I got interested in genealogy was to track the Civil War records of my ancestors and I have both Northern and Southern soldiers in my family tree. Our direct line Kingsbury ancestor who would have been old enough to fight in the American Civil War – Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury was born in Vermont in 1827. I knew from his daughter Ella Kingsbury Whitmore’s book entitled Salt of the Earth, published in 1944, that he did not serve. Here’s what she writes about that:

p.20 The Civil War came on with all its tragedy. To this day, the sound of the fife and bugle, on patriotic occasions, recalls those stirring days, small as I was. Our father’s place was seen to be with his family, so we were spared the anxiety that came to the homes from which the father joined the army.

Today I found out why Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury’s place was “seen to be with his family.” FLBlog.5.27.16

His name is on line 13 of the record copied above, which is the 1863 draft registration record for the Third Congressional District of Iowa. He is registered as Class II, which is the designation for married men over 35. If he’d been born one year later, he would have been Class I and might have been drafted in the later years of the war.

 

 


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A Man Ahead of His Time – My GG Grandfather Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury (1827 – 1909)

My grandfather’s aunt Ella Kingsbury Whitmore wrote a book about her family’s life as pioneers entitled Salt of the Earth. It’s the Kingsbury family’s personal  Little House on the Prairie and recounts the events from Joseph and Hannah’s marriage in Vermont in 1850 to their life in the Midwest, first in Illinois and then in Iowa. If you check this blog often, you’ll get bits and pieces of that story from time to time.

Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury was a carpenter and he met his wife Hannah Brown when he was building a barn for her step-father John Robinson in Jamaica, Vermont.  Hannah’s father Orrin Brown died when she was young and her mother remarried. The headline picture on this blog is of the Kingsbury family of Osage Iowa – Joseph and Hannah seated in front of their four children – Emma, Wayland, Ella and Mary. It was probably taken in the late 1880s.

The family’s strong abiding faith in God and love of family shine through Aunt Ella’s account of daily life in the Kingsbury home. My grandfather, Joseph Bush Kingsbury (JBK) described his religious upbringing as something he never questioned until much later in life.  His father Wayland married a minister’s daughter (Flora Jane Bush, whose father Reverend Alva Bush founded Cedar Valley Seminary in Osage, Iowa) so JBK and his brothers  had a strong religious upbringing. JBK’s diary from his time as a college student at George Washington University (1910- 1915) has numerous accounts of Sunday School meetings and other church related activities, in addition to his job as a stenographer and clerk in the Department of Agriculture.

JBK 1970My grandfather was 65 when I was born and he was a college professor at Indiana University.  I could talk to him about anything and he was a strong influence in all of my academic pursuits. Near the end of his life (he died in 1983 at age 92) I remember asking him about his belief in God and his religious views.  We had never talked about that but I always thought of him as “religious.” I was surprised by his reluctance to talk about his faith.  He said something like – “I think I’m just about ready to talk about that,” but it was a conversation we never had.

Somehow his reluctance to tell me about his faith journey made a stronger impression on me than if he had said, “Yes there is a God, Jesus is His son and you should believe that.” Coming from him, I probably would have. I think JBK understood the benefit of someone struggling with their own ambivalence in matters of faith and finding their way without accepting what they were told they should believe.  I think he was right about that.

I have digressed from my original intent in writing this post, which was to illustrate the progressive views of my very religious GG grandfather Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury but in doing so, I’ve shared the even more important and progressive views of his namesake, my grandfather.

So as for the views of Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury – his daughter Ella writes:

“Father was not only deeply interested in the abolition of slavery and of the liquor traffic, but also in woman suffrage. He thought his daughters were as capable as his son of expressing their convictions on matters of local or general interest. Their ‘in-laws’ were equally forward looking and progressive.”  (From p.55 of Salt of the Earth by Ella Kingsbury Whitmore)

I’m proud to be from a long line of progressive men.

 

 

 


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Hannah Brown Kingsbury – A Lifter, never a Leaner – Week #5 – 52 Ancestor Challenge

With Winter Storm Juno bearing down on New England, it seems like a good time to write about my great great grandmother Hannah Brown who was born in Vermont in 1830. (Even though it is a week early for Challenge #5) No doubt she had her fair share of plowing through snow during her childhood in Vermont and perhaps plowing of a different sort when she and her husband Joseph Kingsbury began their life as pioneers in the Midwest; first in Illinois in 1852 and five years later in Fayette County, Iowa where they secured a quarter section of land, built a log cabin and began farming.

Hannah was the youngest of three girls born to Orrin Brown and Mary Read Cheney. Her father died when she was only 3 years old and her mother remarried a few years later. Mary and her second husband had four sons (Clark, John, William and Nathaniel) and one daughter Lucy Ann. The 1850 census for Jamaica, Vermont shows 19 year –old Hannah Brown living with her mother, step-father and half siblings.

Hannah met her husband Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury while he was building a barn for her stepfather. Hannah and Joseph married on October 4, 1852 and they moved west that same year. Their first child, Mary Lucinda, was born in Cherry Valley Illinois in1853. In 1857 they moved to Iowa and began life on the prairie where their next three children were born, Fannie Ella (1857), Wayland Briggs (1859) and Emma Brown (1861).

SaltoftheEarth.1.27.15I have a book written by Hannah’s daughter Ella Kingsbury Whitmore entitled Salt of the Earth. She published the book in 1944 in Monrovia California and dedicates it to the descendants of Joseph B. and Hannah Brown Kingsbury. She wrote the book at the request of her daughter to capture some of her memories of life in the Midwest. It describes her childhood growing up in Iowa and provides a detailed account of daily routines – everything from making soap and candles, making and washing clothes, and the importance of music and religion to her family.

On page 12 Ella writes of her parents when they were young:

“One can picture the young Vermont couple, Joseph with his dark hair and eyes, tall, and thoughtfully serious, Hannah, short and plump, blue eyed and earnest, as they grew interested in each other. Her voice was a rich soprano, full and true through the years, such as is rare. His was bass, sweet but not strong, and before many years, was but a whisper. His love of music was deep.”

Their wedding was a simple ceremony at the minister’s home with Hannah’s older sister Mary and her husband as witnesses.  The young couple left for Cherry Valley, Illinois where they had relatives, as soon as they married.They carried all of their worldly possessions, “a strong tool chest, filled with carpenter tools, a small trunk of Joseph’s make, containing his wardrobe and a ‘big box’ of Hannah’s store of clothes and bedding, and keepsakes. They had youth and health, and habits of frugality and industry, and a good share of the rare quality, common sense.

After a few years in Illinois, the family visited Vermont with their first child, Mary Lucinda.

“A daguerreotype picture of them at that time shows three earnest, thoughtful faces. The young mother and little daughter have their dark hair parted over their broad foreheads, and smoothly combed over their ears, not very different from the style of young people today.”

From the story of Joseph’s tall silk wedding hat dropping to his shoulders when he put it on, and the reference to Hannah and her daughter’s “broad foreheads,” I think it’s a safe bet that my “bulgy Kingsbury brow” as my husband lovingly calls it, might actually have come from the Browns and not the Kingsbury side of the family.

In 1881, Joseph and Hannah sold the farm and moved into the town of Oelwein, which was a new railroad town. They eventually moved to Osage and Joseph worked with his son Wayland in the family hardware store. The hardware store in Osage stayed in the Kingsbury family until the mid-1950s, with Wayland’s second son Frank as the final owner.

Hannah and Joseph stayed with Wayland and his four sons after the death of Wayland’s first wife, Flora Jane Bush in 1900. Ella writes:

“Father and mother willingly gave up their quiet home and went to that of the desolated family. They were glad that they were wanted, and could still be useful. When the children were told that grandpa and grandma were coming to stay with them, and they would all be careful and try not to tire them, Joseph said gently, ‘We will be quiet, we are used to walking on tiptoe.’ And what little Joe said, was sure to be acceptable to his small brother Dean.”

Ella recalls her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary as a grand celebration held at the home of Mrs. N.J. Berger. Grandchildren played violin and piano and recited verses. Their children and friends shared stories of Joseph and Hannah’s life together. There was a picture taken in the yard with 34 people in it (sadly, not reproduced in the book) and the next day 24 family members went to the photography studio for a more formal picture (also, not reproduced).

Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury died in September 1909, a month before their 57th anniversary and Hannah later moved to the home of her son Wayland and his second wife, Annie Walker Kingsbury. On August 24, 1914, Hannah wrote to her daughter Ella, then living in California:

“I am settled with Wayland and Annie again, with no prospect of unsettling, and I am satisfied. Shall try to be cheerful and agreeable and useful, as far as I am able.” After describing her day at church she continues: “Dean received a letter from a girlfriend in Washington, with a clipping containing a whole lot of names of Americans that were stranded in Europe, and Joe’s was among them, as also the two friends that were with him. They were in Nuremberg. We have to keep satisfied with ‘watchful waiting’ for awhile, probably. Oh, the cruelty and meanness of such a war.”

Hannah died when she was 84 and her daughter Ella describes her as brave and helpful to the end. In one of my favorite lines in the book she writes of her mother:

“No self-pity, no whining, no grumbling, do I recall. Trustful and true to the last. To her it was humiliating to be a leaner. A lifter was her habitual character.”

Good advice – the world could use more lifters!


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50th Wedding Anniversary Poem for Joseph Biscoe Kingsbury and Hannah Brown Kingsbury – October 1902

This poem is from the book Salt of the Earth by Ella Kingsbury Whitmore on the occasion of her parents’ 50th Wedding anniversary. It was written by one of their granddaughters.

Just fifty years ago today,
‘Mongst Vermont hills so far away,
In a little quiet eastern town,
Occurred the things I’ve written down.

Perhaps you’ve heard the tale before –
Perhaps you’ve heard it o’er and o’er;
But it ne’er before was writ in verse
So listen, please, it might be worse.

October four, in fifty-two,
The sky was not a lovely blue,
At early morn the rain came down,
On the wedding day of Hannah Brown.

The stalwart youth who won her heart,
And Hannah, lived some miles apart,
But he was young, and strong, and full of life
And went through the rain to take his wife.

Up the big long hills he drove along –
His heart was full of joyful song,
For today he and the young school teacher
Had planned to go and see the preacher.

So what cared he for mud or rain?
He soon would see her face again
And side by side, through life, from now,
He’d always have a smiling “frau.”

And she was young, and fair, and sweet,
As any girl you’d chance to meet,
If you would travel far and wide,
Up many a mountain’s rugged side.

From her country home to Londonderry,
Where lived the young man Joe Kingsbury,
Over the mountains she had come,
To teach the youngsters near his home.

As long as the old world turns around,
Just such cases will be found.
He learned to love, and wooed and won,
The shy and pretty Hannah Brown.

So now he planned to take his wife,
And go out west, begin a life,
In far away big Illinois,
Of which he dreamed, since but a boy.
The wedding gown was fine and new,
It was light gray-it was not blue
There’s a joke about the bridegroom’s hat-
Maybe he will tell you that.

No wedding grand was in their plans-
A quiet marriage, by a man
They both knew well was kind and good,
Jamaica’s preacher, Elder Wood.

As eve drew on, the sky did lighten,
And stars came out, their way to brighten,
As on they went, these loving two,
With sister and her husband true.

The knot was tied, and good and strong-
Has not come loose through all the long
And busy years passed through since then,
Through years now counting five times ten.

Some days perchance were dark and dreary,
And oftentimes they both were weary;
But through hard times they came at length,
Each strengthened by the other’s strength.

And now around them in their home,
Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren come;
Each one’s heart is full of love,
Each one trusting God above

Will send his blessings, rich in store,
For long years prolonged many more.
So here are congratulations hearty!
At this anniversary party.

Three cheers for Grandpa and Grandma Kingsbury,
For Jamaica Town, and Londonderry!