IAGenWeb ~ Decatur County IA ~ J.R. "Jim" & Eliza A. (Graham) Smith Golden Anniversary, 1914



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 The Leon Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, November 12, 1914, Page 3

Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Smith.

One of the grandest and most long-to-be-remembered events in Lamoni's history occurred Tuesday evening at the Coliseum, when Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Smith received one hundred and seventy of their friends and relatives to help them celebrate their golden wedding.

The guests assembled in the main auditorium and from there marched to the beautifully decorated dining hall in the basement to the strains of a march played on the Victrola, operated by Leighton Teale. The basement was decorated in the color scheme of gold and white together with palms, ferns and chrysanthemums. A large gold wedding ball hung over the bride's table, at which were seated the entire family of six children, seventeen grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

While the excellent two-course turkey dinner was being served by twenty-four of Lamoni's loveliest young ladies all dressed in white the following program was rendered:

     Toastmaster, G. W. Blair.

     Original reading by Miss Marjorie Lawhorn, dedicated to her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Smith.

     Song, "Silver Threads Among the Gold," Saxo male quartet.

     Toast, "Memories of Associations from Boyhood," W. A. Hopkins.

     Reading, Maud Waye Smith, written by Vide E. Smith, dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Smith.

     Roast, "Reminiscence of the Past," Dr. J. B. Horner.

     Song, "When I Was Twenty-one and You Were Sweet Sixteen," Saxo male quartet.

     Reading, Mrs. Helen Silabee-Smith, written by Mrs. Alice Cobb dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Smith.

After dinner Mr. and Mrs. Smith took their placed in the front of the room, with Mrs. Sherman of Burlington as maid of honor and Dr. Sherman as best man, and again renewed the vows of fifty years ago, G. W. Blair officiating. Then old fashioned congratulations followed. All the men had the pleasure of kissing the blushing bride and the ladies kissed the groom, wishing them many more happy years of married life.

The bride wore a beautiful white silk poplin with dainty lace and pearl trimming.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith recieved many beautiful presents suitable to the occasion, and in evidence of their appreciation the guests were received at the home from 2 till 5 on Wednesday afternoon to view the many tokens.

Out of town guests were in attendance from Burlington, Indianola, Leon, Pleasanton, Davis City, Mt. Ayr and Kellerton.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are among the early settlers of New Buda township, there they settled in the autumn of 1866. When they settled in New Buda township they bought 160 acres of land where they lived continuously till they moved to Lamoni a few years ago. To this original 160 acres Mr. Smith kept adding till at one time he had 900 acres here all in one body besides a farm of 320 acres in Bloomington township. At the present time Mr. and Mrs. Smith own the old homestead and an elegant home in Lamoni. Mr. Smith is also a stockholer and vice-president of the Farmers State Bank of Lamoni.

Mr. Smith was born in Lewis county, New York, April 2, 1841; Mrs. Smith was born in northern Illinois in July, [12] 1844.

At the age of fifteen years Mr. Smith started to make his own way. He left New York and came to La Salle county, Illinois, where he lived till manhood. When about 21 years of age he went to Jo Davies county, Illinois, where he married Miss Eliza A. Graham on November 3, 1864. Mr. and Mrs. Smith continued to live in Jo Davies county until they moved to New Buda township, Iowa.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of eleven children, three dying in infancy. Those living being: Mrs. Gertie Teale, Mt. Ayr, Iowa; Mrs. Minnie Keller, Mrs. Louisa White, Clarence F., Theodore J., and Arthur H., all of Lamoni.

While living on the farm Mr. Smith was quite an extensive dealer in stock, buying and feeding. This business alone amounted to around $50,000 per year. In those days there was no such think as a check book, everything was paid for in cash, so Mr. Smith had to have a considerable amount of ready money about him all the time. While engaged in the stock business, Mr. Smith was always considered as one of the leaders, and was at all times willing to impart what information he could to his friends and neighbors, for the betterment of the business. We think it can truly be said of J. R. Smith that he was one of the leaders at all times in his community in advocating improvement and progression along right lines not hesitating to devote his time as well as his money for the detriment of [illegible] them. In the early days while living on the farm the Jim Smith home was known far and wide as one of the most hospitable places in this section of the country.

In the evening of their lives Mr. and Mrs. Smith are surrounded by their children and grandchildren together with a host of friends that could not be numbered who only wish for them many more years of happiness, contentment and prosperity.

~ Lamoni Chronicle

NOTE: J. R. [James Robert] was born on April 3, 1942 (cemetery transcription), and died on February 20, 1922. Eliza died on June 23, 1923. They were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Lamoni IA.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, July of 2015