“Observes 55th Wedding Day---Mr. & Mrs. Henry T. Clemens, natives of Blount County, but for nearly 42 years residents of the State of Washington, observed the 55th anniversary of their wedding, January 5, at a dinner at the home of their youngest son in Spokane, Washington, where they are now living. They were married at Mrs. Clemens’ girlhood home near Maryville, January 5, 1870. Mrs. Clemens is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Newton McConnell, while Mr. Clemens was the son of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Clemens, both families being well-known in Blount County three score and ten or more years ago.
H.T. Clemens left Maryville for the West in the spring of 1883, in company with a younger brother, Samuel R. Clemens. He came by way of San Francisco, from which place passage was on an ocean steamer to Astoria, Oregon, and thence by Columbia River on a boat to Portland. After spending the summer working at Walla Walla, Washington, he located a homestead in Whitman County, where he prepared for the arrival of Mrs. Clemens and the four children that fall. They made the trip by train to what is now Sprague, Washington, then the railroad terminal, some 75 miles from what was to be their new home in the open hills of the western stock country.
Except for a few years spent in Walla Walla and the past 10 years in Spokane, nearly all of the four decades since leaving Maryville have been spent in Whitman County in the vicinity of Pampa, where the original homestead was converted into a home.
At the anniversary dinner in Spokane, three children and seven grandchildren were present: Mr. & Mrs. H.N. Clemens and three children, Eleanor, Jean and Ruth; Mrs. Anna Clemens Jones and three children, Norman, Helen and Lawrence, and Mr. & Mrs. Fred W. Clemens and one child, Louise, at whose home the celebration occurred. The two oldest children, Mrs. W.A. McConnell of Seattle and J.E. Clemens of Nez Perce, Idaho, and their families were unable to be present. Had they been present the party would have numbered 24, including five children and thirteen grandchildren.
Of Mr. & Mrs. Clemens’ five children, all but one, Fred W., were born in Blount County, the oldest being almost 13 years old when they reached Washington Territory.
Mr. & Mrs. Clemens will be 79 and 77 years old respectively this year. A veteran of the Civil War, Mr. Clemens is active in a Spokane G.A.R. post, of which he is a past commander and which he has served five years as chaplain.”