Family stories…

I have been a busy little bee in my free time for the past month, filing, sorting, throwing, exclaiming, groaning – basically trying to get a better feel for what records I need to look for in my Shepard search. In the process I have run across a few piles of emails and photocopies that never got filed. Here is a transcription from Evelyn Mason regarding the 50th wedding anniversary announcement for John Shaw and Idea Webb. Enjoy…

GOLDEN WEDDING OF JOHN AND IDA WEBB SHAW, 1887

Married, at the residence of the brides parents near Newton, Hamilton County, Ohio January 29, 1837, Mr. John Shaw to Miss Ida Webb.

On Saturday January 29, 1887, a very respectable crowd of 40 or 50 of the friends and relatives of Mr. and Mrs. Shaw assembled at their old residence on the Hilltops to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary day, and were welcomed and entertained by Mr. F. E. Bettle and excellent wife and daughters. About 11 o’clock the company had arrived and after friendly greetings and congratulations Professor J. K. Parker very kindly addressed them with a few pointed and appropriate remarks. Letters from Mr. Shaw’s sister, Mrs. Viola Magill, of Cincinnati, Mrs. Anna Rogers of Goshen, Ohio, Mrs. Jane Davis of Indiana, Miss Mary Eberesole of California, Ohio, Mrs. Sarah Webb of Minnesota, Mr. N. E. Armstrong of Iowa, Mr. James Ferguson of Indiana, Mr. Samuel Shaw of Cincinnati. Judge Edward Riley of Kentucky, Mr. and Mrs. Wright of Kentucky and Judge J.Q. Ashburn of Batavia, Ohio, life long friends of Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, sending their congratulations and regrets at not being able to attend in person, were read. Mr. T.P. Webb of Minnesota read an appropriate poem.
    The blushing bridegroom of 77 summers, one of the best known characters in Clermont Co., and a man of more than ordinary menta1 vigor, who has accumulated a vast store of knowledge and general information by thorough course of reading history ancient and modern, and research of the general literature of the day, being called upon read the following humorous account of his courtship, marriage and first years of his married life.
This the Story
    Since the subject of celebrating our golden wedding has been under family discussion a great many questions have been asked, particularly by our younger grand children, some of them wanting to know why grandpa and grandmother were never married before and wondering how grandpa ever found such a good grandmother for them. To gratify their curiosity I suppose I will have to tell them the story and as well as I now recollect here it is.
    About 52 or 53 years ago when the state of Ohio was 33 years of age and I was a few years younger, I became acquainted with a very pretty little girl living on the Little Miami, near Newton. Somehow or other I got to sidling down that way occasionally to see the folks and test my little girls cooking, I some times staid two or three days, and thus it ran on for a year or two when I discover that the exposure to bad weather or some other cause, there was getting something the matter with me, though my gernera1 health was good. Did not know exactly what ailed me at first, so I thought I would go down and tell my little girl about it, and after chalking on my hat “Barkis is Willin” and supposing that she was getting tired of boarding me so long for nothing, proposed that we get married and board ourselves.
    Well, after hemming and hawing awhile she thought may be, perhaps we had better. That little matter being settled the next thing in order was to hunt up the old folks and see what they thought about it. They did not seem to be much surprised and being of good old hard predestination faith I guess they thought that what was to be would be any how, gave their consent and the old lady thought that if we kept in the same mind we ought marry the following summer. Ida thought in the spring would be a nice time. Well that was some concession on their part, but did not satisfy me by any means and I proposed the fore part of the next week as the proper time. But after higling and jewing for some time the best that I could do was get them down to a month ahead, and we settled on the 29th of January 1837. Meaning business now, and to save another trip, I went to the clerks office and procured a license (marriage) of old General Harrison and put in my pocket, thinking now that I had a preemption right to my girl at least. I then felt in good humor and went around whistling “Yankee Doodle” and occasionally a bar of “Old Dan Tucker”, as if there was nothing the matter. After along month expired, I hastened down to finish the matter up, and be done with It. Found & nice crowd of friends there and among them good old Deacon Ferris, whose occupation was preaching the Gospel on Sunday and blacksmithing the balance of the week. Then we stood up and he struck a few sledge hammer blows while the iron was hot and made the weld, pronouncing us one bone and one beef, or something of that sort.
    Now skipping over an interval of ten days we found ourselves settled in our own log cabin, not exactly in the garden of Eden, but high up on Mt. Pisgah, over against Jerico, and south of Sweet Afton, where we spent the balance of our honeymoon, my wife cleaning the log house and I making rails, just as happy as couple kittens.
    When after a sojourn of 2 years in this happy land we concluded to migrate a little south and we pulled up stakes and came down off Mt Pisgah and crossed over the east fork, through the valley of Jehosaphat and up Ulrey’s run by way of Jerico, to the head waters of Twelve Mile, thence westerly through the land of Nod to the big woods. Here on the ground where we are now, we pitched our tent, under the shadow of a beach tree, which as a memorial stands unto the present day.
    Before we got fairly settled in our new abode there came an imperative necessity for a few yards of calico and some other small fixings, and in due time a bouncing little girl made her appearances and took her place as natural as life at the head of our tribe, which has now grown to what we now see here today} four of the first generation and 19 of the second, all standing fair and square on their pins, physically and mentally allright, apparently and if they continue to grow up making good, industrious and useful members of society then the way we look upon it, the country will be slightly in our debt. But if any of them should be so unfortunate in their growing up as to become dudes or drones or shams, or idle drones, then we would have to acknowledge ourselves indebted to the State for their room. Be that as it may we know that we love you all and hope for the best.
    Now, reserving the best of the wine for the last of the feast, we will proceed to business, which will be to step into the dining room and assault the turkey and enjoy ourselves the best we can.

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