Greenup  Stafford

          One of the most interesting events that has ever occurred in the history of the county this year was the celebration of the golden wedding, yesterday, of  Mr. and Mrs. Greenup Stafford  at their home three and one-half miles south of the city.  For this occasion hundreds of invitations had been sent out to relatives and friends in this and adjoining counties, for the popular couple have hosts of friends, many of whom knew them years ago when the county was a wilderness.  At an early hour yesterday morning the people began to arrive in vehicles of every character and by noon at least three hundred had assembled to assist in the notable celebration and partake of the bountiful feast which had been prepared by the neighboring farmers.  In company with  John Williams  and  Joseph Levinson , the city editor of this paper, drove to the scene of joy and happiness.  The celebration was held in a beautiful grove, northwest of the residence, and overlooking a lovley valley which is as rich land as Shelby county affords.  As we approached the celebration it looked like a basket meeting, for all through the woods were people, young and old, solemn and gay, while along the highway for quite a distance were teams hitched to the fences.  The bountiful dinner was spread upon two tables, which in length measured two hundred and fifty-six feet.  Before dinner  Squire L. VanPelt , as master of ceremonies, presented to Mr. and Mrs. Stafford the tokens of affection in the way of presents which had been sent in from the following persons:  Gold spectacles for father and mother from their daughters,  Mrs. Sallie Trees  and  Mrs. Angie Thompson ,  apron and silk handkerchief from Mrs. Sallie Trees; gold spectacles for Mrs. Stafford from Mrs. Joseph Levinson; elegant dress from  Mr. and Mrs. Shelby Stafford ; another fine dress from  Ella Stafford : suit of underclothing for Mrs. Stafford from  Aunt Caroline Green ; suit of clothes for Mr. Stafford from three sons,  Nathan,  James  and  Albert Stafford ; easy chair for Mr. Stafford from Mr.  Elston Green ; sofa chair for Mrs. Stafford from  Sarah and Sallie Stafford .  After the presentation ceremony had been finished the entire assemble sat down to the long tables to enjoy the finest feast ever spread in that part of Shelby county.  Father Kent  asked the blessing of Divine Providence upon the audience and especially upon the venerable couple in whose honor the day was being observed.  Dinner being over the afternoon was most pleasantly spent in greeting old friends, recalling early pioneer life and in speech making.  Among those who spoke were   Uncle Isaac Wilson ,   Rev. E. Kent ,   Allen Sexson , of Franklin,   Joseph Levinson ,   Andrew Maple ,   S. L. VanPelt   and   Nathaniel Thompson .  Each of these gentlemen interested the audience by stories of early days in the history of Shelby county.
          Mr.  George Goodrich  was present and photographed the entire crowd, the Stafford family being grouped in front with the guests in the background.  In conversation Mr. Stafford stated that he was seventy-four years old and his wife was sixty-nine.  He came from Kentucky but had resided in the present locality for fifty-four years.  They were married on Lewis Creek at the residence of  Elijah Lympus , father of the bride, on October 1, 1835, and yesterday rounded up their fifty years of married life.  They still live happily and rejoice that they linked their fortunes in life together. The first land Mr. Stafford tended in Shelby county was the strip of ground in this city extending from  Conrad Schroeder's  corner down to the court house then owned by Major Hendricks.  Mr. and Mrs. Stafford enjoy good health and feel as lively as they did twenty years ago and hope to enjoy many more years of married life.  The only brother of Mr.Stafford who was present was  Shelby Stafford , one of the solid men of this county living two miles south on the Norristown pike.  Two other brothers reside in Kansas.  Quite a number of persons were in attendance from this city.  We congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Stafford on the fact that Divine Providence has permitted them to live to see the day of their happy golden wedding and we earnestly hope they may reach their diamond wedding hale and hearty.
From  The Daily Republican,  Friday, October 2, 1885, page 1, column 5: "Fifty Years of Married Life, Celebration of the Golden Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Greenup Stafford."

Submitted by Barb Huff

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