The Chariton Leader, Chariton, Iowa
Thursday, February 1, 1906
On Monday, January 29, 1906, was the fiftieth anniversary of the marriage of MR. and MRS. TANDY ALLEN, of Russell, and the event was celebrated at their home on South Hill in a manner befitting the occasion. Their children, grandchildren and near relatives formed a considerable company, but besides these there were many more than a half hundred friends who had responded to the invitations -- in all one hundred and twenty-five -- to congratulate the host and hostess on their golden wedding day and to enjoy the social communion. Fifty years ago back in the old Hoosier State, in Putnam County, the groom resided. The bride, MISS JOANNA VAN NICE, was a daughter of Hendricks County, but soon after their marriage they decided to come to Iowa and found a home of their own -- in fact it is reasonable to presume the preliminary arrangements had been decided on prior to January 29, 1856 and the wedding day was the culmination which led to the successful carrying out of their plans.
They came direct to Lucas County where land was secured and for near forty years they resided on their Cedar Township farm, worked out their destinies, raised their family and enjoyed the comforts of a home, the fruits of careful labor and good management. In later years they have resided in town -- in their commodious residence on South Hill.
Their family consisted of twelve children, eleven surviving, all of whom were present on Monday. MISS CARRIE E. ALLEN, who is an educator in the Chicago schools, C.E. and family of Cozad, Nebraska, FRED and family, Davenport, Nebraska, H.S. CLAY and AYLMER, and families of Cedar Township, the Mesdames W.J. PRATHER, S.T. GOLTRY and G.H. JOHNSON, and families, also of Cedar Township, MRS. GERTIE WORTMAN and family of Malvern, DR. LLOYD ALLEN, of Forest, Illinois, and MISS ETHEL and LEONARD CASSITY, of Russell, form the family group. All save the children of MR. and MRS. C.E. ALLEN being present. MR. LEONARD and MISS ETHEL CASSITY are the children of MRS. ELIZA CASSITY, deceased.
To say the least, this family gathering was an unusual one. Every member is such as to inspire a pardonable feeling of parental pride, each being capable of coping with the practical affairs of life and established in the various honorable occupations, and it may be doubted if there is another family in Lucas County which has caused less parental anxiety on that score than this, and when this is said it is without the least inclination to flatter.
The dinner was a great feature of the day and was served in courses and the conversation was spirited and devoid of that scared formality which so often makes the pleasures that should abound in tranquil profusion.
After the dinner came speech making and song but lest we forget the "groom" was kept busy much of the day answering the interrogation: "What kind of a day was it fifty years ago?" The answer never failed to come back -- "Cold -- awfully cold but a sixteen mile drive through a blizzard on one's wedding day is not much to be minded."
MRS. T.S. CROZIER made a reminiscent talk, contrasting the earlier times with the present, vividly picturing the pioneer privations and calling attention to the part taken by the home builders in the prairie wilderness of their bravery and determination. She made the application appropriately and in a happy vein. MISS ETHEL CASSITY entertained with a vocal selection which was followed with a recital by MISS JOANNA PRATHER and a reading by W.P. WORTMAN, which were in harmonious accord.
The speech of the afternoon was by C.E. ALLEN. It was a most beautiful tribute to his parents and his words were full of feeling, though at times he made humerous allusions and cultivated the risibilities. He, as the other sons and daughters, had gone forth from the old hearthstone and yet the parental roof was still home. They had responsibilities and cares -- children and establishments -- and yet when they thought of father and mother it was ever "home." Childhood on the old farm seemed tiresome and father's ways sometimes harsh but now in the reflection of mature years his earlier wisdom is unquestioned. He gave instruction, demanded obedience out of which has grown self reliance. His tribute to his mother, patient, never tiring -- devoted -- was an inspiration. Her counsel, a benediction. Each son and daughter was proud of their parents and whatever degree of merit they had attained it was largely through precept and example and in their training he hoped there was cause for mutual admiration.
MISS CARRIE ALLEN read a letter from an absent sister of her mother and also her mother's impressions of the wedding journey. As is known by acquaintances, MR. S.N. VAN NICE and MR. TANDY ALLEN "exchanged" sisters in the matrimonial market. Both young couples had determined on the west. It was winter when they were to start. It was deemed advisable that the men start two weeks in advance and the women would come by rail as far as the Mississippi River and then continue their journey to Lucas County by easy stage. The iron horse had never yet shrieked beyond the great father of waters. On reaching the river, the ladies walked over on the Ice, took the stage next day and rode as far as Eddyville, where they joined their husbands. Although their stage fare had been paid all the way they decided to finish the journey in the prairie schooners and finally reached the "promised land" in safety. MRS. ALLEN says she never crosses the great river now on the big railroad bridge without thinking of the impressions of that first crossing on Ice fifty years ago.
S.N. VAN NICE gave some reminiscences of the days back in old Hendricks County and of the subsequent experiences, and in dwelling on these his face lit up like a Hoosier school boy delivering an essay. The Misses BENNIE JOHNSON and JOANNA PRATHER and Mesdames AYLMER and T.C. ALLEN rendered some pleasing musical selections and J.H. COOK closed the exercises with what was designated as a "speech of commendatory remarks", and it undoubtedly was a graceful and eloquent tribute worthily bestowed. MR. ALLEN was the recipient of a gold-headed cane and MRS. ALLEN received a gold-handled umbrella, each engraved with their names and the dates "1856 and 1906, from their children," while the guests, as a memento of esteem, bestowed (in plain Hoosier English) a golden candlestick of pleasing design, to light their pathway to the end of the century period.
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
September 24, 2004