Saturday, February 15, 2014

1934 - A Golden Wedding Celebration

Three Generations of the Upton Family
Back row: Elsie Margaret Greenwell Upton and Otto Dick Upton
Front row: Nellie Carter Upton with Margaret Annettia Upton on her lap, and James Monroe Upton
This time the featured couple is my maternal grandmother's paternal grandparents - James Monroe Upton and Ellen (Nellie) Augusta Carter. My grandmother is the somewhat blurry baby proudly held front and center!  Nellie and James came clear out to Oregon from Pennsylvania to have a look-see at their newest grandchild!  

James Monroe Upton and Nellie Carter Upton - undated - perhaps 1909 which would be their 25th wedding anniversary.

James was born in October 1862 and Nellie in August of 1863 - the day her father enlisted in the Union Army to fight in the Civil War! The couple married in October of 1884.

James Monroe Upton and Nellie Carter Upton - undated - perhaps 1909 which would be their 25th wedding anniversary.

James was a farmer in Warren County, PA.  Both James and Nellie had large extended families in the area. They had five children - one girl and four boys.  My great-grandfather Otto was the 3rd child.  He was the rebel and left at a young age coming out to the Pacific NW for work in logging camps. By the time my grandmother was born the family rift had been healed and his parents came to Oregon to visit the young family.

 James Monroe Upton and Nellie Carter Upton - 1934 
James and Nellie were married for just under 57 years as James passed in August of 1943.  In 1953, as a young teenager, my mother and her grandmother, Elsie Greenwell Upton travelled to  Pennsylvania and visited Nellie.  My mother remembers seeing the couple's ornate marriage certificate hung with place of pride on a wall of the farm house.

In 1934 a small flurry of letters from Pennsylvania to the Oregon branches of the Upton family. Margaret Upton and her aunt, Olivia Upton Adams, shared their Pennsylvania correspondence with one another.

Ross Upton wrote to his niece Margaret in October 1934 about his parent's anniversary celebration:

"Oct 9, 1934
Burlington Ave
Jamestown, NY

My Dear Neice Margarett,

I have been very slow in answering your last letter. But was so dissapointed that you folks was not so you could take the trip. But may be you can some time in the near future at least I hope so.

Tomorrow is your Grandpa birthday, and is seventy two years old, and also there fiftieth golden wedding anniversary Your grandma's relatives had a celebration for them last Sunday, was about seventy there certainly wished that you (over) folks and also Olivia & George could of been there. Every body seemed to have a good time. Wednesday night there neighbor's are having a nother celebration for them. Sunday they was presented with a purse of money besides gifts. I imagine your grandma will write the details.

I have been wondering how you all are. And how you have been getting along this summer. Is your daddy working away from home any this summer?
My work has not picked up very much in fact it is not as good as last yaer. We have had a very dry summer. The folks have most of there crops harvested, they have there potatoes, and apples to harvest yet.

Your uncle Parney and folks was to the anniversary Sunday. Helen said she was getting to know you through correspondence.

Well Margarett I supposed that you heard about me getting married again. Yes life is to lonesome to live alone. My wife is a lovely young woman. Her name was Jennie P. Smith.  She was a girl that was quite alone in the world her father, and mother both were dead. Has two brothers in Pittsburgh.

Have you seen or heard from Olivia or George. I owe Olivia a letter I must answer soon.

I will close with love yo all
Your loving uncle
Ross H. Upton

Write soon and tell me all the news."

     Margaret sent the above letter to her aunt, Olivia Upton Adams.
In December Olivia returned the letter to Margaret along with a letter she had written, a letter from Nellie Carter Upton, and a newspaper clipping from Warren County, PA.

"Newport, Ore.
Dec, 1st, 1934

Dear Margaret: -
Just a few lines this morning to you as I wanted to return your uncle Rosses letter to you and send a letter I received from your grandma. You will not need to return, you girls may want to keep the paper clipping about your grand parents fiftieth golden wedding anniversary. There  I a lot of names in it I don't know I supposed it is cousins that have married. It seems aunt Clara's daughter is one. I for one am glad uncle Ross is lucky enough to find a new partner, as he is still young and has a nice come & can offer a comfortable life.
We have been having a terrible storm now for a week this morning it seems broke. I wish you all could have been here for Thanksgiving as uncle Geo. & I were alone and the day so long.
Are you still working at the same place? And how is the typing coming?
I just got a lovelt letter from Pat Jackson telling of her Alaska trip last summer. I would include it with this but it would be to heavy. So you will come over & read it some time.  Uncle Geo has not been very well for a week now, his side is giving him trouble again, but is better this morning. I am feeling some better than when to see you. Hope this finds you all well & enjoying yor selves.  Lots of Love, Aunt Olivia

P.S. Thanks for sending uncle Rosses letter."

Here's the newspaper article which details The Upton's 50th wedding celebration:

Warren County Times-Mirror 1934
"Warren County Couple Celebrates Golden Wedding Anniversary With Large Attendance of Relatives"

"The picturesque home of Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Upton, Pittsfield surrounded by brilliant autumn foliage was the scene of a very happy gathering Sunday, all of whom arrived early and stayed late in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Upton who were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.

Mrs. Upton was Ellen Augusta Carter of Bear Lake before her marriage, and Mr. Upton was a Garland boy.  When Ellen was twenty-one and Monroe twenty-two, they were united in marriage on the bridegroom's 22nd birthday, October 10, 1884, at the home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Carter of Bear Lake.   

It was a double wedding ceremony as Mrs. Upton's sister, Addie Jane was also married to Peter Yeager at the same service.  The fact that Mr. and Mrs. Yeager were asphyxiated by escaping gas in their home in Washington, D.C. eighteen years ago, brought saddened memories keenly felt by the other couple, who have stood the test of fifty years of partnership.

With the exception of a few months all of the fifty years have been spent in the vicinity of Garland.  The bride of half a century greeted her friends and relatives becomingly gowned in a rich autumn shade of brown.  

They have been blessed with five children, all of who are living.  Three of them spent Sunday in the old home, E.P. Upton, of Erie, Ross Upton, of Jamestown and Robert, who with his wife and 
little son lives at home.  The other two, Mrs. George Adams and Otto Upton live in the state of Oregon and because of the distance could be present only in spirit.  They also have seven grand children to gladden their declining years.

There were seven guests present who witnessed the marriage fifty years ago.  They were the bride's three brothers, Gardner Cater and Lamont Carter of Bear Lake and Joe Carter of Pine Valley; two sisters, Mrs. Kate Mullin, Pine Valley and Mrs. Clara Loomis of Ashville, N.Y.; two nieces, Mrs. Mary Bratt, Celoron and Mary Parker Price of Garland.  Mrs. Price was a small child, possibly the youngest person present at the double wedding of her mother's sisters fifty years ago.

The guests all came with well laden baskets which added to the ice cream and other provisions provided by those honored, made a bountiful dinner.  They were the recipients of several lovely gifts and greetings, also a purse of money and three beautiful wedding cakes in gold and white, one a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ross Upton, another from Blanche Fern and third from Mrs. Seth Holmes.

Among those present were Mr. and Mrs. E.P. Upton and three children, Helen, Virginia and Jane, of Erie; Mr. and Mrs. Ross Upton, Jamestown; Mrs. Kate Mullin, Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Carter, Columbus; Mr. and Mrs. G.C. Carter, Clarence and Arnell Carter, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Carter, Arline Babcock, Mr. and Mrs. Will Stearns, Silver Creek; Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Carter and daughter, Sheffield; Dorothy Mullin, Piqua, Ohio; Mr. and Mrs. Roy Parker, Gace, Edward , Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Fern Morton and family, Bear Lake; Mr. and Mrs. Cyril Peffer and Mr. and Mrs. George Yeager, Ashville, NY; Will Parker, Mr. and Mrs. C.L. Price, Eleanor Price, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Upton and son, Garland; Mr. and Mrs. C.L. Parker, Ernest, Edward, and Edith Parker, Earl Yeager, Richard Yeager, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bensink and daughter, North East; Mrs. Amanda Parker, Harry Parker, Dunkirk; Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Bratt, Celoron; Mr. and Mrs. E.P. Babcock, Arline Babcock, Mr. and Mrs. Will Stearns, Silver Creek; mr. and Mrs. Floyd Carter and daughter, Sheffield; Dorothy Mulln, Piqua, Ohio; Mr. and Mrs. Roy Parker, Grace, Eleanor, Pearl, Raymond, Howard and Harold Parker, McKean; Mr. and Mrs. Will Dow and two children, Randolph; and Mrs. E. Rhinehart, and two children of Newton.

On Wednesday evening, October 10, friends from Garland and vicinity arrived at the Upton home to offer their congratulations and leave their good wishes.

Mr. and Mrs. Upton are both in good health.  They seem to have been given much strength from the Everlasting Hills and their acres of growing things they love.  Mr. Upton is sturdy and active going about his farm duties as usual.  His bride of fifty yester-years is a charming little lady endowed with many graces of heart and manner.  They are bravely and confidently facing the sunset of life and their many friends and relatives rejoice with them."

Nellie Carter Upton 1934

And here is the letter that in late October 1934, Nellie wrote a letter to her daughter Olivia Upton Adams out in Oregon discussing in detail the golden anniversary celebration. Nellie was a free form speller and did not think much of punctuation.  I have transcribe the letter to retain its original feel and tone.

"Oct - 30 - 1934

Dear Olivia and George
I have took this Afternoon to Write a letter to you & I hope it wont give you heart failure for I know I have been Very Slow to Write but it Seams hard to Write When there are So Many talking around & We have had So Much to do for the last two Summers last Summer it Was Reunion this Summer Golden Anniversary And We had aplenty Sunday My Side of the house came & celebrated that Was the Sunday before the Rill day that Was on the Seventh & Wednesday was the tenth the Rill day & in the Evening our Neighbours & Friends around here came there were thirty Five here So you See We couldent Never Forget our Golden Wedding Anniversary Yes the boys & their Family Were here We got Some lovely Gifts From Folks & quite a Purse of Money & the Neighbors Gave Me A Bowl of Gold Fish it is a large one Eight Fish in it & Shells & all the Fixtures that Go With it it is Just lovely & allso a Purse of Money So I think We Shared Very Well...
...So Will Say Good By With lots of love & Best Wishes
Write When Ever you can & as Often as you can..." 

It is amazing how a local newspaper article and a few letter scan 'flesh out' family history event!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines 1945 and 1946

Waning Family Valentines from 1945 and 1946

Monday, June 17, 2013

Margaret Upton Waning

Margaret Upton Waning - about 1918

Margaret Upton - Born June 17, 1915

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Mother and Her Son

A Son and His Mother - 1912
James Willard Waning
Janet McAdam Waning

A Mother and  Her Son - 1968

Janet McAdam Waning 1875-1976
James Willard Waning 1912-2009  

Monday, March 25, 2013

50 Years Together



Cutting the Cake - 1963

Floral Arrangement - 1963

The Happy Couple - 1963

Wedding Gifts - 1963

Let Them Eat Cake - 1963

25 Years Later - 1988

50 Years On - 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Commemoration

Happy Valentine's Day

Let's use the holiday to look at a relationship that lasted over 77 years.

That of my grandparents Jim and Margaret Upton Waning.

James Waning 1930

Margaret Upton 1933


I have decided to use Valentine's Day to commemorate the 77 year relationship my grandparents, Margaret Upton Waning and James Waning, shared together.

Margaret Upton's autograph in James Waning's album
They met in 1931 at at Pleasant Hill High School.  While my grandfather graduated in 1930, for two further years, he continued to takes classes in the hopes that he might be able to go to a state university. In the midst of The Great Depression, this was not to be.

James Waning's autograph in Margaret Upton's Album
Yes, he wrote in it upside down!
Here it is right-side up.

Margaret Upton's Album - a 1933 autograph

By 1933, as this autograph hints, the couple were dating.
1936 - The Wedding Announcement

They married on Margaret's 21st birthday in her parents' home.

James and Margaret Waning -1936

This is the photo they had taken to celebrate the marriage. 

It was a very small wedding.  The bride, the groom, the best man and his girlfriend, and the bride's family.  My grandfather's parents did not attend.  My great-grandmother maintained that she would cry without ceasing if she were there!  And yes, newlyweds moved in with my grandfather's parents after their short honeymoon.  

The Waning Family - Portland, OR 1943

Jim worked for his father-in-law as a logger until an accident in 1942.  He attended trade school and in 1943 the Wanings moved to Portland where my grandfather worked for Iron Fireman.

Jim and Margaret - 1945

By 1944 the family returned to Lane County, OR and Jim to logging.

Waning Family -1947

The family was completed in 1947 with the birth of their third daughter.

Reno 1954

Family trips included Reno, NV and Yellowstone National Park.  My grandparents had the amazing faculty of being able to recreate their many road trips using the road names.  (i.e. 'We started in Junction City on 99N and then took 84E to the Dalles.")  The trips were leisurely as my grandfather was constitutionally incapable of passing a viewpoint or historic market without stopping. 
Jim and Margaret about 1957

25th Wedding Anniversary

25th Wedding Anniversary - 1961
By their 25th wedding anniversary Jim and Margaret were grandparents.  Yep, that's me in the frilly dress.  My Mom is in black as is my grandmother's mother, Elsie Greenwell Upton.       


Gramps continued logging which made for lots of early morning!

Jim and Margaret - 1966

Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas - all holidays were celebrated at my grandparents' home

Christmas - 1976
Within a span of ten years the family had grown to include nine grandchildren. (I'm in the back). 

Margaret and Jim and their camper "Me Too" -1980

Jim and Margaret camped frequently after the purchase of their little camper.    

1986 - 50th Wedding Anniversary

No one enjoyed a celebration more than my grandmother.   

Jim and Margaret and Friendly Islanders 1988
She also loved her U of Oregon Ducks and travelling.  This trip to Hawaii combined travel with sporting events.  Win-win! 

Margaret and Jim 60th Anniversary - 1996

Corsages, a new dress, what's not to like about a celebration?

Margaret's 90th birthday - 2005

And not just wedding anniversaries, milestone birthdays were also worthy of monster celebrations!

Waning Family - 2005

When Grams wanted family she got it.

Margaret and Jim - 70th Anniversary - 2006

Amazingly they celebrated 70 years of married life together.

The Newpaper Announcement

As an only child, I think my grandfather was continually amazed that he'd become the patriarch to three children, ten grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren.  My grandmother on the other hand, relished her role as matriarch of a large clan.

Jim and Margaret - 2007

This is the last formal picture of my grandparents - taken for their church directory.  My grandmother suffered a stroke in July and passed away in September 2007.  My grandfather followed her in early January of 2009. 

I still miss them both very much.