Monday, November 22, 2010

Golden Anniversary - a transcription

My exciting piece of mail which arrived a few days ago is an article about the golden wedding anniversary of my great-great-grandparents, Dixon and Rebecca (Smith) Bartley.  It almost helps me jump right into the party, it's written so descriptively.

The photo at the right shows the Bartley's home in Bruin, Butler County, Pennsylvania, in about 1909, 21 years after the anniversary party.

The article mentions people traveling from North Washington to Bruin.  On today's roads, that trip is about 6 miles.  Traveling by horse and buggy, at about 12-15 miles an hour, the trip would have taken perhaps half an hour.

Below is the transcription of the article which was published in the Butler County Record, page 3, on July 20, 1888.  I've also included a scan of the article itself.  The copy that arrived is more grey and white than black and white but if you want to read from it, click and enlarge it and it will be dark enough to read easily.

Mr. and Mrs. Dixon Bartley Celebrate
Their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Tuesday, July 10, was a beautiful summer day.  By 10 o’clock, a. m., people began traveling the road between North Washington and Bruin.  The tide kept up until afternoon, by which time 250 people had dined sumptuously under an arched canopy alongside the farm house of Mr. and Mrs. Dixon Bartley, the many friends having met to help them celebrate their golden wedding.  After the feast (for feast it was in the fullest sense) the Bruin cornet band discoursed some excellent music.

J. W. Orr was called to act as chairman of the meeting and H. S. Daubenspeck to act as secretary.  Mr. Orr spoke of the kindly feeling which prompted friends to meet together, showing the regard they had for those they came to greet.

Rev. Fidler, of North Washington, congratulated Mr. and Mrs. Bartley on their anniversary; spoke of the time when such a meeting was considered a waste of time, and hoped that the time spent on this occasion would make all happier and better.  Rev. Hazlett, of North Washington, spoke of this as a model meeting and a great family home gathering, showing how we love each other better than we think.

H. S. Daubenspeck referred to Mr. and Mrs. Bartley as being good citizens and kind neighbors.  He also warned the young folks to be careful in choosing partners for life, and not allow themselves to be deceived by outward appearances, which were not as lasting as true love.

In making the presentation of the many gifts to the aged couple Rev. Decker wished them a bright future and spoke of the pleasure to be derived from such an occasion.  He urged upon all present to endeavor to make life brighter for those with whom they were associated.

After music by the band the young men played a game of base ball. Many remained for supper and a party was held at night.  Everything passed off to the satisfaction of all, and the affair was pronounced one of the most enjoyable ever held in this vicinity.

Dixon Bartley is now nearly 80 years old.  He was born in Cumberland county, Pa.  He is a descendant of Robert Bartley, who located in the lower part of Butler county in 1811, and who came from county Tyrone, Ireland, in 1803.  Mrs. Dixon Bartley is 68 years old.  She was the daughter of Thomas Smith, Sr., whose ancestors came to this county from Little York, Pa., at an early day along with the Murrins.

Mr. Bartley came to Parker township March 2, 1836, and worked at his trade of wagon-making for five years in Martinsburg.  He married Rebecca Smith July 10, 1838.  They have lived together happily for 50 years, having seven children living and six dead.  They have also forty-two grandchildren.


  1. Very nice Nancy! I also like the look of your blog. I need to spruce mine up for the holidays.

  2. You couldn't ask for a better description than that : all the factual information you could desire with such a feeling for the atmosphere of the occasion itself.

  3. Just the thought of 50 years - wonderful! I noticed they didn't give their mother's names at the end. Half their children just about, dead. 42 grandchildren! They were lucky to have that huge lawn when the famly gathered.

  4. What a great newspaper write up. And the photo is a wonderful treasure!


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