Bafford Lewellen, Andrew Co, Missouri, and Preble Co., Ohio

Billie Harris - Jan 16, 2009

The following was in Llewellyn Traces, March and June 1997

"Golden Wedding

"Celebration of Fifty Years of Married Life by an aged and respected Andrew County Couple

"On Thursday, 11 March, 1897, it was our good fortune to be present at one of those occasions that never occur in the lives of children, old bachelors or maids, or young married people, never more than once in the lives of any person, and rarely in the lives of any -- a golden wedding.   It was that of Mr. and Mrs. Bafford Lewellen, at their home, three miles northeast of Rosendale (Andrew County, Missouri).

"After the guests wre all assembled, Elder W. A. Chapman was made master of ceremonies, and the following program rendered by the grandchildren:   recitation by Percy Lewellen; recitation, Willard Lewellen; song, duet, Misses Lillie and Lulu Lewellen; song, Percy, Willard, Lillie and Lulu Lewellen; recitation, Miss Lela Lewellen.

"On account of their appropriateness, we would gladly have obtained copies of these songs and recitations, which were so well rendered by the children, but succeeded in getting only that spoken by Master Percy, little son of A.M., of Gaylord, Kansas.   It was as follows:

"I'm just a little lad from Kansas, your sister on the West;
Of all the many good old states, she is the very best.
We've pretty girls with golden curls,
And waving fields of golden grain,
And plenty of Pops, to kick the drops.
And sometimes we have rain.
We have golden bugs - without the gold,
And silver bugs are spreading;
But we have come to grandma's house
To attend the Golden Wedding.

"The recitation of little Miss Lela, daughter of the County Treasurer, entitled 'The Golden Wedding' was very appropriate and remarkably well rendered.

"Then came the presentation speech by Elder Chapman, which was substantially as follows:

" 'There is only occasionally an individual in the world who accomplisheds that which induces the world to call him great.   The great majority are only ordinary mortals.   There are few events in the lives of ordinary persons that are of sufficient importance to be celebrated.   There are two, and to my mind there ought to be four events in the lives of all persons which are of great moment.   They are birth, marriage, obeying the Gospel of Christ, and death.   Two of these are over which we have absolutely no control, the other two are entirely optional with each individual.   It is one of these events that we have assembled this day to celebrate, viz:   the marriage of Father and Mother Lewellen.

" 'A half century has passed since Bafford Lewellen, then a young man of but 27 years, led to the matrimonial alter a blushing bride, in the person of Miss Nancy Peters, a few months younger than himself.   Since that time alas! how many thousands have taken upon themselves similar vows, only to prove untrue to them and pronounced marriage a failure.   And again, how many thousands more, while not literally severing the holy bonds of wedlock, have proven to be unhappily mated - unequally yoked together - and have led lives of discord, and consequently of discontent and unhappiness.

" 'But it is exceedingly gratifying to us, their descendants and friends, to know that their being 'made one' was not a mere formality, but as they were then, one in heart, fifty years !! with their joys and sorrows, fifty years, with their successes and failures, fifty years, with their 'ups' and 'downs,' have not sufficed to sever that oneness, but as we meet here today in their comfortable home, to celebrate the semi-centennial of their marriage, we find them still one.

" 'And as they go down the western slope of life they walk hand in hand and heart joined to heart; and while a large percentage of the friends of their early life have passed to that 'journey from which no traveler returns,' still their friends are legion; and the purpose of this coming together is that we might spend a few hours in this your quiet country home, and I feel honored at having been selected to present to you a few slight tokens of the high esteem in which you are held by us all!'

"Among the presents were a handsome handpainted plaque from Mrs. Parker of Gaylord, Kansas; a beautiful throw, made and presented by their little granddaughter, Lillie; a handsome golden candlestick by Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Auckerman and Mrs. Jane Auckerman; a pair of gold spectacles for each by Dr. and Mrs. E. W. Ward, Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Reece, and Mr. and Mrs. James Pettijohn; and a valuable gold watch for 'Mother' and a gold headed cane for 'Father' by their childrne.

"There were present:   Judge Joseph Peters and wife of Cosby; John S. Peters and wife; Frank Peters and family, Z. T. Wells and family, C. A. Lewellen and family; G. W. Wells and wife; J.P. Lewellen of Rea, Dr. D. A. Pollard and wife of Guilford; J. A. Aukerman and family of St. Joseph; Mrs. Jane Auckerman of Whitewater, Indiana; B. A. Thomas and family of Bingham, Iowa; A. M. Lewellen of Savannah; Ambrose M. Lewellen of Gaylord, Kansas, A. L. Lewellen, Mrs. R. P. Beall and family; Dr. E. M. Ward and wife, James Pettijohn and wife; Elder W. A. Chapman and wife; James Peters and family, Mrs. W. D. Reece, and Mrs. Hannah Wells of Rosendale - 66 in all.

"This is truly a most remarkable family.   Father Lewellen is one of a family of 10, all of whom are living and whose ages average 72 years; while Mother Lewellen is one of eight, seven of whom are living, and whose ages added to that of the Lewellens, aggregate more than 1200 years !   They are the parents of nine children, eight of whom, with 23 grandchildren, were present on this occasion, three grandchildren being absent on account of measles.

"Following the presentation came dinner, which was all that even the veriest epicure could desire.   The same tablecloth was used at the wedding dinner, 11 March 1847, as on this occasion, having been manufactured by Mother Lewellen's own hands from flax as it came from the field in Prebble County, Ohio, prior to her marriage.

"A Guest."  

"We are indebted to Violet (Harvey) Lewellen of Kansas City for sharing this wedding anniversary story with us.

"Violet's father-in-law was A. L. (Albert Lee) Lewellen, a son of Bafford and Nancy (Peters) Lewellen.   We are pleased to publish this article 100 years after it originally appeared in the Savannah, Missouri, Reporter of 12 March 1897."