Birthday Announcements

Transcribed by: Stacey McDowell Dietiker, Nancee (McMurtrey) Siefert, and Sharon Becker
The Lamoni Chronicle
July 12, 1906

BIRTHDAY SURPRISE - Miss Bertha Bailey was the victim of a pleasant surprise last Saturday evening. Sunday was Miss Bailey's seventeenth birthday and her mother and sister, Mrs. V. W. Gunsolley, planned the surprise in honor of that event. There were from thirty to thirty-five young people present and the evening was passed very pleasantly, game of various kinds helped to pass the time until a late hour when the guests departed, wishing Miss Bertha many happy birthday anniversaries. Miss Bailey was the recipient of several nice presents.

Decatur County Journal
Thursday, October 2, l9l9

MRS. ALBERT BULLARD, who is well known to many of our Journal readers, celebrated her 9lst birthday anniversary on September l6th, at the home of her daughter, MRS. C.J. PRICE, of Des Moines. A pleasant surprise had been planned for her and a number of friends invited to a l2 o'clock luncheon. Another daughter, MRS. J.N. EASTER, of Topeka, Kansas, was also present. A number of beautiful and useful tokens of their friendship were presented, among them being a quantity of flowers, both potted plants and hot house flowers. The ladies were all treated to a long automobile ride. "A most enjoyable time, indeed," was the expression of all. Then as a very pleasant ending of a perfect day, she, in company with her home folks, was invited to six o'clock dinner at the home of a dear old Decatur County friend, MRS. JENNIE GRIBBLE RINKLER, who, with her husband and family, are located in the city. Letters and cards of congratulations were received from a number of friends who were unable to be present.

--One Who Was There.

The Leon Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, January 18, 1917, Page 1

A Pleasant Birthday Surprise.

There are times in a man's life when he wants to say something and does not feel capable of the task, or we will say pleasure, in this instance, but, as "Faint heart never won Fair Lady," here we go.

Last Tuesday was the occasion of one of the most happy events we have ever had the privilege of attending -- the surprise dinner on our esteemed father-in-law, A. A. Burchett, it being his seventieth birthday. At about 10 o'clock the brothers and sisters, children and married grandchildren began to arrive at the pleasant country home and in a very short time they were all present that were to be the guests of this kind Christian gentleman. To say that he was surprised only tell the tale as it was.

Our better half had conceived the idea of having Rev. Orr Campbell present as the orator of the day, and say, when he made the speech presenting Father Burchett with a fine gold watch chain, he did better than any other man on earth could have done. Knowing the real true value of the recipient, gave him the impetus for his talk, and he did it with that comely grace which only a true Christian can give a brother.

A bounteous dinner such as the Burchetts can prepare was one of the greatest features. We hope to see Father Burchett live to enjoy many more occasions of this kind. He and his good wife have the respect of everybody who have ever met them and this gives to these occasions the real beauty which they possess.

Decatur County Journal
Thursday, August l, l9l8

On the morning of July 22nd, the children of WILLIAM R. CASH surprised him by marching into the old home on Grand River with well filled baskets. There were present WINFIELD CASH and wife, J.G. SPRINGER and wife, G.A. MEEK, wife and daughter, all of Leon, B.M. RUSSELL, wife and children, of Lamoni, F.W. CASH, wife and children, of Kellerton, DR. WM. H. CASH, wife and children of Lenox, MRS. ISABELLE TAYLOR, son and daughter, and JOHN A. CASH. The only child not present being HON. J.R. CASH, of Bonesteel, S.D., who was kept away by urgent war work. There was present also his only living sister, LOTTA, and her husband, JOHN SELLERS.

A suitable table having been improvised under a large elm tree in the yard, the whole company of thirty--children, grandchildren and relatives, sat down together to enjoy the bounteous dinner.

MR. CASH, although eighty-eight is able to get around quite easily and help with the gardening and chores and takes a keen interest in everything and especially the progress of the war. MR. CASH has been a resident of this county for seventy-three years, having come here in l845, when fifteen years of age, and with his father, ELI CASH, settled on the place which is still his home. He has watched the country develop from a wilderness and home of the Indian to its present state. He has seen the transition of dropping corn by hand and covering with the hoe to plating with the modern check-row planter. He has seen the sickle and cradle superseded by the mower and self binder, the single shovel by the riding cultivator, the ox team by the automobile, the dip lamp by the electric light. He has seen the introduction of the washing machine, the sewing machine, the telephone and telegraph and the mighty railroad. He has a wonderful store of memories of the early days of the county and state and reads with interest the items of "Fifty Years Ago," having been a reader of the Journal since its first issue.

Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, August 3, l922

MRS. HANNAH CHANDLER, of Leon, celebrated her 84th birthday on Tuesday of last week, and as the birthday of MRS. W.R. MOORE was on the same day, they were joint hostesses to a large number of friends in the evening. MRS. CHANDLER is quite an active woman for her advanced age, and maintains a keen interest in all the questions of the day. The guests present on this enjoyable occasion spent a delightful evening and left wishing the hostesses many more happy returns of the day.

Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, June 25, l925

Sunday, June 2lst being MR. J.G. COCHRAN's and MR. FRANK SEARS' birthdays, some of the old friends from northeast of Leon, planned a surprise dinner for them, all coming about noon with well-filled baskets and all enjoyed the day very much and wish each of them many more happy birthdays. Those present were Chas. Keim and family, Lloyd Watson and family, of Leon, Bert Biddison and family and Mrs. Anna Caster and son, Frank, of Weldon, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Adams and son, James, of near Davis City, Perry Cochran, of Tingley, Iowa, Mr. and Mrs. Joe L. McMorris and Nathan Boyce and family, and Leo Hembry of Decatur.

The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, July 5, l900

MR. and MRS. THURMAN CRAIG entertained Tuesday evening in honor of their daughter GERTRUDE's twentieth birthday. The evening was spent very pleasantly on the lawn, which was lighted by Japanese lanterns, croquet being the favorite game. The refreshments were served to the l2 guests in the parlors. They consisted of sandwiches, deviled eggs, iced tea, cake, orange sherbet, ice cream and fruit. After supper MISS PEARL NORMAN sang, and MISS MYRTA HOWELL recited her famous "Sermon of Long Ago," both of which received hearty applause.

MISS GERTIE is a charming young lady and her friends wish for her many more happy birthdays.

The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, April 9, l896

Monday, April 6th, being the 69th birthday of W.F. CRAIG, about 11:30 a.m., seventeen of the members of the G.A.R. assembled, and marched in a body to the residence of THURMAN CRAIG, where a bountiful dinner had been prepared for the occasion. They succeeded in taking "UNCLE BILLY," as he is familiarly called, entirely by surprise. He was presented with a beautiful chair, as a token of esteem, by his old comrades.

W.F. CRAIG organized the first company of soldiers that was raised in Iowa, and having been commissioned as Captain by Governor Stone, on April 10th, l86l, he marched, with his brave Iowa volunteers, to the defense of the grandest old flag that ever was unfurled -- the stripes and stars. His company was first known as Company A, of an independent regiment. It was afterwards assigned as company G, of the 7th Iowa, and later on, from Company G to Company A, of the l7th Iowa Regiment of Volunteer Infantry.

After the dinner had been disposed of, and an hour or two spent in talking over old times spent on the battle fields, all bid UNCLE BILLY good-bye, and wished him many another happy birthday, and departed for their respective homes.

Such gatherings have a tendency to bind the hearts of the old soldiers more closely together, and should be held more frequently than they are, for the few old patriots who still have a lease on this life, should do all they can for the enjoyment of each other, and to establish a feeling in the hearts of the rising generation that will make their memory sacred in the days to come. But there are others who did not go with their brothers to the battle fields, but who fought many a hard battle at home. We refer to the wives and mothers of the soldiers. They should be held as sacred as that of the old soldiers themselves, and we also think the "brave boys of 6l" will agree with us.

The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, April 9, l896

Tuesday, April 14th, being the 36th birthday of J.W. CUMMINGS, a number of relatives and friends assembled at his home, taking with them well filled baskets, and all partook of a bountiful feast in honor of the day. MR. CUMMINGS was in much better health on that day than he had been for some time, and it was a surprise to many of our citizens to see him out riding.

Those present at the dinner were: Mr. and Mrs. Lon Bullock, Mr. and Mrs. John Merritt, Mr. and Mrs. A. Cummings, Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Cummings, Mrs. W.J. Cummings and Mr. and Mrs. G.E. Mitchell.

MR. CUMMINGS was presented with a fine chair, as a token of love, and all joined in a wish that he may again be restored to health, and enjoy many happy returns of the day. The Advance, and in fact all who know him, heartily endorse this wish.

The Independent Patriot
Lamoni, Iowa
November 18, 1897


G. H. DERRY, more popularly known as "Bert" DERRY reached the twenty-seventh milestone in the journey of life on Friday, November 12, and to bring him to a realization of the fact his wife planned a surprise for him. There was not a flaw in the arrangements, but by some means, he says it was because his birthday has never passed without a similar event since his married life began, he "caught on." So when the visitors were rather late in making their appearance, the greeting they first received from him was, "Folks I began to b e afraid you were not coming." But his having surmised the facts did not hinder the company from a good social time, and when they departed it was - well it was time.

Grand River Local
Grand River, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, September 03, 1914


On Thursday of last week, August 27, 1914, the relatives of Mrs. Armina EDWARDS gathered at the home of her son, Thomas EDWARDS of Long Creek township, with whom she lives, and gave her a very pleasant surprise, the occasion being the celebration of her eighty-eighth birthday. Beneath the shade of an elm tree on the lawn a temporary table was prepared and loaded down with good things suitable for such an occasion. Fifty-three were present and did themselves justice to this feast and tried to look pretty while they had their pictures taken. Three children were present – Mrs. Chris [Lucinda] FOLAND, Mrs. W. H. [Nervesta] YOUNG, and Mr. Tom EDWARDS. Three other children who live in the state of Washington could not be present. Before leaving devotional exercises were conducted by Rev. F. EDWARDS of Osceola. The aged mother took this opportunity for thanking the company for the beautiful gifts bestowed and the joy they had given her on this occasion. She also expressed her faith in a loving Saviour and his power to keep her until called to that Home for which she is waiting. After wishing Grandma many happy returns of the day we departed to our several homes.

SOURCE: genealogical clippings of Pearle Veva (BRAMON) FOLAND

Leon Reporter
Thursday, January l3, l92l

Editor Reporter--A happy surprise birthday was given at the home of J.H. EVANS, formerly of Leon, Iowa, now residing at 237 East 5lst Street, Los Angeles, it being the seventy-sixth time MR. EVANS has dealt in years and birthdays.

It was one of the happy occasions of old time neighbors and friends brought together by the love and thoughtfulness of MR. EVANS' son, JOHN and wife, and MR. JOHN BAKER and son, FRANK, who live at the EVANS home. They planned a complete surprise and successfully carried it out to the end. The Los Angeles friends met at the HENRY MILLER home which is near the EVANS home. We arrived in quietness, rang the bell and MR. EVANS opened the door. JOHN EVANS, wife and daughter, MARJORIE, stepped in. He was glad to see them alright. The MILLERS came next. He said, "Well, HENRY, how are you?" Next, the CHASTAINS, and he says, "JOHN has come, how's this?" The others followed in and he was quiet. Soon all were greeted and found seats a plenty. MR. EVANS said he ought to fix up some, but his wife said "No, they found us like this, so have a good time as we are." MR. EVANS was called to the door to meet the Long Beach friends and he now knew it was not all a just happen so as he at first supposed. Slipping around to his wife he asked her what it was all about. She said, "Don't you know it is your birthday?" "Yes, I knew it, but how did all these people find it out?" MRS. JOHN EVANS said, "We all came to greet you with kisses and shower you with love and good wishes, so now I will light the candles on your birthday cake and see you blow them out."

He did a neat stunt, the cakes were cut and social hour began while the birthday menu was melting away. A call for speeches was responded to by MR. EVANS in a thankful and happy way, speaking of old time friends in Alta and Leon, Iowa, and now some were here to share the great blessings in sunny California. One who enlisted as a boy with him was present to enjoy his birthday, MR. WILLIAM GRAHAM. We pulled turnips out of the same patch, ate the same pumpkin and divided our crackers to the last ditch. Now we are near neighbors here to enjoy ourselves in a sunny clime. I feel very grateful to all our friends and the Heavenly Father for all His blessings to us.

A call for MR. H.G. POPHAM, of Alta, Iowa, and he responded in behalf of the Alta friends, and in a few well chosen words, made a presentation speech and handed MR. EVANS a box all wrapped in tissue paper. MR. EVANS thanks were tearful at least.

MR. CHASTAIN was called to respond for the Leonites, which he did in kind greetings to all. MR. EVANS still held his box and someone asked him what he had, and MRS. MILLER said it looked like a doll box. He jumped up at that and said "I'll see." His wife came to help him. They first found a card of congratulations on one side, and on the other "A present from the bunch." Then he raised the lid of the box and laughingly said, "They want me to drink coffee and lots of it. It's a Thermos." We all agreed it was nice to meet old friends at the JIM EVANS home in California, and expressed the hope he would have many other birthdays for us to enjoy with him and his good family.

Others not mentioned who were present from Alta, Iowa, were MRS. WM. GRAHAM, MRS. LAURA PARSONS, of Los Angeles, PHOEBE BAKER, of Long Beach. From Leon, MRS. SALLIE CHASTAIN, MRS. HAZEL BAKER, MR. and MRS. STEWART, of Los Angeles, MRS. CORA BRANT and MR. ROBERT PALMER, of Long Beach.

We all send greetings to Decatur County people from their California friends.


The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, October 5, l899

Saturday, September 30th, being MRS. MINERVA FRANKLIN's 5lst birthday, she entertained the Post at 6 o'clock tea, in remembrance of her husband, SQUIRE FRANKLIN.

The Post met at the G.A.R. Hall and marched up to the house, where a fine supper, which MRS. FRANKLIN had prepared for the occasion, awaited them. They all did ample justice to the sumptuous repast, being nicely waited on by Misses Myrtle Switzer and Mary Freeman. After they all had partaken of supper, they repaired to the parlor where Miss Switzer rendered a few instrumental selections. Mrs. Van Beek then favored the Post with two excellent songs. The Post then requested Miss Switzer to play the old time songs which they all joined in singing.

Before returning to their homes, they presented MRS. FRANKLIN with a fine rocking chair, Wm. Craig acting as spokesman.

By request we print the names and ages of those present:

G.D. Van Beek, 84.
A.A. Patterson, 79.
Dr. W.C. Wheeler, 7l.
Wm. Craig, 72.
J.W. Valentine, 59.
B.A. Norman, 55.
Rastus Grim, 52.
Mrs. R.H. Hawkins, 80.
Mrs. Van Beek, 56.
Mrs. Valentine, 55.
Mrs. Dr. Wheeler, 53.
Mrs. B.A. Norman, 5l.
Mrs. Thomas Doss, 48.

Many more of the Post were invited but sickness prevented them from being present. They all enjoyed the eveing very much and wish MRS. FRANKLIN many more pleasant birthdays.

-- O.W.W.T.

Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, February 7, l924

'The Oldest Lady in Mercer County, Celebrated the Event at Her Home, Jan. 25.'

MRS. PRUDY ANN GOINS celebrated her l03rd birthday Friday, Jan. 25 at her home in the southeast part of Princeton. She is probably the oldest lady in the State. Although she has attained an age which is seldom reached, she still retains all her mental faculties. Her memory is wonderful, not only of dates that transpired years ago, but incidents that are happening daily. She is very jovial and always ready to greet her many friends with a smile. She carries on a very interesting conversation.

"AUNT PRUDY", as she is familiarly called, was born twelve miles east of Knoxville, Tenn., where she grew to womanhood, receiving what little education was afforded by the schools of that time, most of which were subscription and lasted only a few months of the year.

In l84l, she was married to PRESTON LEE GOINS. In l860, she and her husband, with the DYKES and BROGANS, there being fifty-two in the caravan, moved to Mercer County, making the trip overland with ox teams, settling north of Princeton. The dwellings of the pioneers were made of logs with little furniture. So far as money was concerned, the demand was supplied by wolf scalps and beeswax. Deer, wild turkey and game of all kinds were plentiful.

MRS. GOINS is the mother of nine children. Those living are: WILLIAM and MRS. J.N. FAULKNER, of Princeton, ALBERT and JESSE, of Kansas City. She has nine grandchildren, nineteen great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.

MR. GOINS died 48 years ago and she moved to Princeton shortly after his death. Besides raising her own children, she has raised three other sets of children, one being the children of her sister, and one each for two of her sons.

Those who enjoyed the l2 o'clock dinner with her were her husband's cousin, ROBERT GRIFFIN, of Princeton, her daughter-in-law, MRS. MAY WALTERS, of Kansas City, Kans.; her granddaughter, MRS. PEARL DAYER, of Kansas City, Kansas; and her great grandson, EDDIE WHITE, of Kansas City, Kans.; MRS. RACHEL RAGAN, of Mercer; LEORA HOLMES; MR. and MRS. H.R. SPENCER.

The family has always been known for their longevity. Her father, RICHARD COX, lived to be l05 years old and his father was ll0. Her mother died in Princeton at the age of 98 years.

She united with the Methodist Church at the age of l5 and feels that everyone should devote their whole life to Him who doeth all things well. She told each caller Friday that she wants them to live so they can meet her on the other shore.

All day Friday her friends could be seen going to and from the home of "AUNT PRUDY" carrying tokens of love and remembrances to this beloved lady. Over sixty-five persons brought and sent presents which ranged from flowers and fruit, etc., to a dress pattern. The teachers and their pupils in the grades sent her a lovely miscellaneous shower.

She wishes to thank everyone who so kindly remembered her.

--Princeton Telegraph.

The Lamoni Chronicle
November 29, 1906

BIRTHDAY PARTY. - Mrs. T. C. GRAY planned a very pleasant party in honor of her son, Evan's, ninth birthday. The guests, about twenty in number were masked, some of them presenting a very ludicrous appearance. One little fellow was dressed in his father's "bloomer" ball pants and well, we think he must have been the clown. After they had enjoyed themselves in the masks for a time they unmasked and partook of refreshments prepared by Mrs. GRAY. The party was from half past six to half past eight, and they departed for their homes wishing their little friend many happy birthdays.

The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, February 18, l897

The friends and relatives of MR. and MRS. JOHN HAMILTON, numbering seventy-eight in all, met at their residence Sunday, Feb. l4th, it being MR. HAMILTON's fortieth birthday.

The table was most tastefully arranged and laden with good things. Everything passed off excellent as was anticipated, as all knew the host and hostess to be a most amiable couple.

MR. HAMILTON was born in Schuyler Co., Mo. Feb. l4, l857, moved to Decatur Co., Hamilton Township in l865, came to Davis City, his present residence, in l893. He was the second oldest son of MR. ALEXANDER HAMILTON now deceased. His mother, sister and brothers were all present, with the exception of MRS. JAS. ACTON and MRS. SAM CRAIG, both being ill with la grippe.

The afternoon was spent in pleasant chat, and the friends and relatives finally turned homeward, wishing JOHN many happy returns of the day.

The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, June 6, l90l

MRS. LINDA HAMILTON was 80 years old on May 28th, and her children and relatives to the number of 6l gathered at the home of her son MARION, south of town, and gave her a genuine old fashioned surprise party. A bountiful dinner had been prepared to which all did ample justice, and the day was happily passed in social pleasure by both young and old, and the time for parting came all too soon. Before parting, the entire company had a group photograph taken by Artist Teale, so all might have a memento of the happy occasion. Grandma HAMILTON is very feeble, but enjoyed the gathering greatly, and was the happy recipient of several handsome presents. she was born in Tennessee, and has lived in this vicinity since l865, and has a wide circle of friends who will wish her many more birthday parties before she prepares for the final journey.

Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, July 30, l925

An interesting affair was the coming together of the HENDERSON family in the Davis City Park, Sunday, July 26th, to celebrate the birthday of numerous members of the family that happen to fall in the same week of the year. The birthday of CLARENCE, KENNETH his son, THERESSA, his mother, CHARLES, his brother and MRS. ALNORA HOWELL, his sister, all fall in the same week. This being the case you can readily see that it takes the greater part of one week in each year to celebrate all of these birthdays. In order to expedite matters and have one glorious big day, JAMES K. HENDERSON, who is now turning eighty years old and is the head of this famous family in Decatur County, decided to bring all the members of the family together in the city park on July 26th, which was done to the satisfaction of all.

JAMES K. HENDERSON, the founder of this family, was born in Lawrence County, Indiana, in the year l846. Came to Decatur County, Iowa, in l854; was married to THERESSA STARKEY in l856. MR. HENDERSON is the father of seven children, eighteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. There were present at this family reunion, sixty members old and young, besides a large following of friends. A Mr. Hudson and wife entertained with banjo music and song, after which H.L. McLaran, an old friend of the family, gave a very interesting talk on the HENDERSON family history describing in detail its growth until it now numbers thirty-three active members besides the collateral members who came in by marriage. A large table was spread and all members and friends of the family feasted on pie, cake, spring chicken, ice cream, hot coffee and fruit of every description.

JAMES HENDERSON, the venerable head of this family, joined the Baptist Church while yet a young man, and has lived all these years a consistent Christian life. MR. HENDERSON has been a farmer all his life, only a few years since he retired and moved to Davis City. We understand that he has sold his farm in Hamilton Township where he lived so many years. This aged man is among the last of a fast disappearing host of pioneers who came to this county in poverty in the early days, driving an ox team, but who has been spared by the hand of providence to see his children and grandchildren grown to manhood's estate and all leading the lives of happy peace loving citizens, and enjoying the blessings of our modern progress. It is a notorious fact that no member of this family has ever been found in jail or in the poor house.

Decatur County Journal
October l, l896

Quite a number of young people gathered at the home of MR. and MRS. JAS. IRONSIDE, four miles northwest of Leon, last Friday evening, and spent the evening with their daughter, MISS MARY IRONSIDE, in honor of her eighteenth birthday. MISS MARY has been attending the Leon public school for a number of years and during that time had gained many friends among the young people of this place. The morning hours had begun to arrive before the guests took their departure, and all report the time spent most pleasantly.

A number from Leon were present, among them:





Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, October 29, l903

A very pleasant surprise was tendered to MR. and MRS. JESSIE LLOYD Wednesday evening, Oct. 28. The occasion being MR. LLOYD's 78th birthday. A number of the Odd Fellows and their wives drove out to his farm which is about one mile south of Decatur City, and completely surprised him. After spending some time in pleasant conversation the guests were invited into the dining room. There a very pleasing sight greeted them, an elegant supper had been prepared by the ladies of the Rebekah Lodge, and spread on the table which was groaning under its weight, to this all did ample justice. After supper in behalf of the members of the lodge, MR. LLOYD was presented with a fine rocking chair, which was received with many thanks, and no doubt will be kept as a souvenir from the lodge. MR. LLOYD is one of Decatur County's oldest and most highly respected citizens, having lived in this county for almost fifty years. He has been a member of the I.O.O.F. for almost forty years filling many honorable positions in the order. It will be a pleasant evening in the remembrance of MR. and MRS. LLOYD, and the many friends who attended. The guests departed at a late hour wishing that he and his estimable wife may live to celebrate many more birthdays.

The Lamoni Chronicle
August 9, 1906

Society Notes.

BIRTHDAY PARTY. - A pleasant surprise was had at the home of F. M. WELD last Wednesday evening, the occasion being the sixteenth birthday of Willie MCCALLUM of Independence, Mo., a nephew of Mrs. WELD, who is here visiting. Between fifteen and twenty of his young friends gathered at the WELD home in his honor and a merry time was had. Games occupied the time except while they were disposing of the ice cream and cake which was served. Willie has many friends here who wish him a long and prosperous life.

Reporter, Leon, Iowa
January l9, l905

Yesterday was MRS. EMMA MULLINIX's 7lst birthday and she celebrated the occasion by inviting the hungry editor of the Advocate and his wife to eat dinner with her. The editor has known "Mother Mullinix" every since we can remember and she has tied up many a sore finger and helped us out of many a boyish "scrape" and although old in years, MRS. MULLINIX is as jolly and young in actions as she was twenty years ago. Another kind deed of the good lady on this day, was to send a dainty dinner to Mrs. A.C. Sanford, who has been confined to her home most of the winter.


The Lamoni Chronicle
Lamoni, Iowa
November 3, 1904


The young friends of Paul NEWBERRY planned a pleasant surprise in his honor, Monday evening. Marching in a body to the NEWBERRY home they found Paul - well he was hardly ready for the occasion; but after washing his face and donning his "Sunday best" he was ready for the good time which followed. After fun and games the young people produced baskets filled with good things, and the way those good things disappeared was good to see. Bidding their young host good night they departed - home? Well yes; thought we understand they did not forget that it was the good old Halloween time. We do not think, however, that they are responsible for the rubbish around the town pump the following morning.

The Lamoni Chronicle
October 4, 1906

BIRTHDAY PARTY - A number of neighbors and old acquaintances gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Solomon PUTERBAUGH, Wednesday, September 26, in honor of her seventy-seventh birthday. A good old-fashioned time and an elaborate dinner was enjoyed by all. Many little gifts were left by her friends with wishes that she might live to enjoy many such occasions.

Leon Journal-Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Wednesday, December 11, 1980

On December 14, Carrie A. Redman, Van Wert, will celebrate her 100th birthday.

Garden Grove Express
Thursday, Oct. 20, 1893
Garden Grove, Iowa

Yesterday was Grandpa RIDGWAY's 89th birthday. Mills and his wife arranged a pleasant surprise for him by inviting his children and grandchildren to eat dinner with him. What added very much pleasure was the visit of his brother William from Osceola. We wish him many returns of the event. And judging from his present activity and good health he will live to add several anniversaries of the day of his birth.

Decatur County Journal
March 3, l898


Wednesday, February 23, l898, being the thirty-ninth birthday of MRS. C.L. RUDIBAUGH and the eleventh birthday of MISS GEORGIA, of New Buda Township, MR. RUDIBAUGH arranged a surprise for them. MRS. RUDIBAUGH and children had gone to spend the day at MR. FLORA's and MR. RUDIBAUGH was supposed to have gone to Lamoni, but instead he was preparing the house for the reception of his guests.

MRS. H. SNETHEN and MISS HALLA BARR assisted in the culinary department. At about 8 o'clock, MRS. RUDIBAUGH came home to find her house filled with about forty of her friends from DAVIS CITY, besides MR. and MRS. J.E. LEEPER from Pleasanton. She was indeed surprised but tried to appear at ease and give her friends a hearty welcome. Supper was served from 9 o'clock until 11 o'clock. The fare consisted of fresh oysters, fruit and cake, and the guests did ample justice to it.

After supper, DR. HORNER made a presentation speech in behalf of the guests, in which they showed their friendship for MRS. RUDIBAUGH and daughter by presenting each with a fine rocking chair. MR. UDIBAUGH also presented his wife with a fine parlor suite and MISS GEORGIA with a set of silverware. At twelve o'clock they all departed for their homes, expressing their regrets that the evening had passed so quickly, and wishing MRS. RUDIBAUGH and MISS GEORGIA many happy birthdays.


The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, February 28, l90l

In response to invitations issued by MR. and MRS. C.L. RUDIBAUGH, a jolly crowd of young people drove down from Davis City to their home, to celebrate the fourteenth anniversary of their daughter GEORGIA. After amusing themselves for a time with various kinds of amusements, they were summoned to the dining room to partake of a bountiful repast which consisted of oysters, fruit, cake and candies, and to say they did justice to it would be a small estimate, but they of course were very hungry after their long drive (?). After supper adieus were made and they returned home, feeling very grateful to MR. and MRS. RUDIBAUGH and wishing MISS GEORGIA many such happy anniversaries.


Garden Grove Express
Thursday, May 11, 1893
Garden Grove, Iowa


Garden Grove, April 11, 1893.

Mr. Samuel SHELINE's family and many relatives gave him a grand surprise dinner in honor of his fifty-sixth birthday. The greatest surprise of the day was the appearance of his daughter and grand daughter, Mrs. BOARAM, of Lesan, Ringgold Co., She came the evening before and her brother met her at the depot and conveyed her to her sister's, Mrs. Wellington MCCULLOUGH, where she was kept in concealment until morning. His children presented him with a nice sofa and his wife with a nice looking chair. He received many other valuable presents. His children and grandchildren all being here except David and his family and Bennie and wife, who were in Nebraska, and circumstances prevented them from coming. In spite of the rain and mud, there were thirty-two present to enjoy the occasion.

From grandmother West's scrapbook
Society Page (not sure of what paper)

Mrs. E. O. Stearns

Ida S. Stearns, although recovering from hip surgery to repair a break, celebrated her 100th birthday as she entered the Marina Mercy Hospital cafeteria in Hollywood, Calif., Dec. 10, where relatives and friends were on hand to help. Her birthdate was Dec. 8.

Ida Stearns, the widow of the late E. O. Stearns of Van Wert, before moving to California, was a former music teacher and for years played the trumpet, and as she said, "I played until I was 75 and had to quit after receiving my dentures." While living in Van Wert, Mrs. Stearns was active in many projects and after moving to California, continued her interest not in the old-way of doing things but she likes "new things" to keep her modern. She played in a band composed of grandmothers at one time on the Ralph Edward Show. Edwards was invited to her birthday party at the hospital but was unable to attend. He did, however, send her a bouquet of flowers. Mrs Stearns has always been interested in air transportation and had longed for a chance to visit the control tower of a modern airport. The day before she broke her hip in October, arrangements were made for her to spend 30 minutes in the control tower at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Reports from her granddaughter, Karen Jacobs, said she was thrilled at the chance to visit the tower and was able to talk to one of the pilots of a plane in the area which made a visit worth remembering.

Helping to celebrate the occasion at the hospital were her daughter Esther Andrews; her granddaughter, Karen Jacobs, and her doctor, J. Flore.

Her daughter Esther said, "Mother has always been active and has had a bright outlook on life." Mrs. Stearns said, "Don't say anything about anyone unless it's good. It works. I hear so many ladies complain about other ladies. It pays to have good word for everyone."

Garden Grove Express
May 17, 1894
Garden Grove, Iowa

L. W. SULLIVAN was 52 years old last Friday. About a dozen of the town folks drove out in the afternoon to congratulate him, and partake of some of the delicious ice cream and cake prepared by Mrs. SULLIVAN. A very pleasant afternoon was spent by the guests at his pleasant farm residence. The Express joins the company present as well as his hosts of friends who were not there in wishing him many happy returns of the occasion.

The Lamoni Chronicle
August 30, 1906

BIRTHDAY SURPRISE - Olive THOMAS was pleasantly surprised last Monday evening by about a dozen of her young friends, the occasion being her sixteenth birthday. Music, games and refreshments of ice cream, cake and watermelons, occupied the time. Miss Inez SMITH won the prize, a box of candy, for writing the best verse. A pleasant evening was spent.

The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, April 8, l897

Today is the thirty-seventh birthday of MR. HENRY TURPIN, and his good wife prepared a pleasant surprise for him by inviting a number of the neighbors to take dinner with them, the Advance force included. HENRY came home from his work at noon, unsuspicious of danger until he opened the door, when his astonished gaze fell on the assembled crowd of friends.

A sumptuous dinner had been provided and all did ample justice to the cooking. The Advance hopes that he and his may live to enjoy many like happy occasions.

Decatur County Journal
February 8, l900

Grand River, February 5, l900.

A. VANDERPOOL was born in Carter County, Tenn., February 3, l8l6. When three years of age his parents moved to Chariton County, Mo., and afterwards to Ray County where he grew to manhood. He married ESTHER STANLEY January l, l837, and moved to Mercer County, Mo., and in l844 located in Decatur County. His wife died in Richland Township June 6, l882. September 25, l884, he married ELIZA COMSTOCK. MR. VANDERPOOL was a member of the first grand jury ever impaneled in our county and was also the first man ordained to preach the Gospel. He was one of the organizers of the East Grand River Association at Bedford and preached all over southern Iowa and northern Missouri. For more than thirty years he was engaged in ministerial work. He was a soldier in the Blackhawk and Seminole wars.

Last Saturday was his 84th birthday and his old acquaintances planned a surprise party for him and so completely was it carried out that none of the family suspected until l0 o'clock when friends began to arrive by the wagon loads with welled baskets of everything good in the line of eatables. At one o'clock, the guests to the number of fifty-four sat down to an excellent dinner to which all did ample justice. All expressed themselves as having an enjoyable time with the old pioneer and none more so than himself. They all bid the old father in Israel goodbye and wished him many more such happy occasions.


The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, March l, l900

Friday, Feb. 9, l900, being G.D. VAN BEEK's 85th birthday, his Comrades and the ladies of W.R.C. concluded it would be a good time to pay our respects to him for we all know he enjoys these gatherings of his old Comrades and friends. So we plotted against the peace of all the VAN BEEK family by not giving them the least hint of what was going on until about l0 a.m. when the ladies began to arrive with well filled baskets, then the excitement began. Comrade VAN BEEK said it made him feel as young as a boy of sixteen, and it made us feel glad to see him enjoy himself, for not many men live to be as old as Comrade VAN BEEK and carry thimselves as upright and spry as he does, always glad to see his friends, and enjoy their society.

About l2:30 dinner was announced and the Comrades and a few of the ladies surrounded the table. A few remarks by one of the Comrades congratulating Comrade VAN BEEK on his honorable life and service to his country. He and his wife replied thanking the ladies and friends for their kindness. Invocation by Comrade VAN BEEK, and then we went to work on the good things before us, under the load of which the table fairly groaned. The ladies of the W.R.C. are good cooks as well as loyal women, and the way J.M. SYLVESTER and S.L. WOOD got out side that grub would cause Commissioner EVANS, if he knew it, to reduce their pension to about $2. per month.

After dinner, roll was called and a list of names and the ages of those present were obtained:

Comrades G.D. VAN BEEK, 85.
S.L. WOOD, 62.
T.E.S. DOSS, 59.

Ladies of W.R.C. were:

Mesdames RHODA HAWKINS, 8l.

The aggregate ages of the eight Comrades was 539, average age, sixty-seven and three-eighths; aggregate age of the fifteen ladies present was 608, average age, forty and eight-fifteenths.


From grandmother West's scrapbook
Barry West
Another relative
Society from out of the city

Birthday surprise on Jeff West at Corydon

Monday, Nov. 11, being the 76th birthday of Mr. Jeff West of Corydon, a number of his relatives from Van Wert, joined by those of other places, drove to his home Sunday to help him celebrate his birthday. He attended church in the morning and when he returned home and opened the door his friends were in the room ready to greet him with Happy Birthday. He was very much surprised to see his friends there. Those who shared the event were; Alice Hacker West, Bertha Fierce Ross, Margaret Barrackman Fierce, Hester West Ciantoa, Edith Stevens Fierce, Lowell V. West, E. W. Fierce, Virgil S. West, Russell Fierce, Ralph D. Hoadley, William Raymond West, Clifton A West, Ray West all of Van Wert.

Jeff was a barber in Corydon. Anyone have a hair cut from Jeff. I once got a haircut in Eagleville for .25 cents and you could buy a watermelon from outside.

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