Mr. Erial Stevens and Miss
Rosanna L. Hawkins 50th Wedding Anniversary
CELEBRATE FIFTIETY WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Mr. and Mrs. Erial Stevens Have
Been Married Half a Century
Been Residents of Red Oak
for Almost That Length of Time
Mr. and Mrs. Erial Stevens, who
have been residents of Red Oak for nearly half a century,
celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary Saturday,
September 9, at their home at 605 Maple street. The day
was observed by holding open house to all old friends and
neighbors from 2 to 5 o'clock in the afternoon, and in the
evening the relatives all gathered at the home and helped
to celebrate the joyful occasion in a fitting manner.
The home was decorated with
goldenrod, and beneath a large arch of goldenrod, from
which was suspended a large, white bell, the bride and
groom of fifty years ago stood to receive the
congratulations and gifts of nearly 200 old friends,
neighbors and relatives who called during the day. Each
guest was presented with a tiny golden bell upon entering
the home. After light refreshments were served and old
acquaintances were renewed the guests passed into the gift
room to view the many tokens of esteem of which Mr. and
Mrs. Stevens were the recipients. Gold coins, a gold
headed cane, cameo clasp, brooch, silverware, dishes and
many other articles, together with a number of letters of
congratulation were among the gifts received.
The members of the G. A. R., were
present and presented their comrade with a gift, and the
speeches of presentation and acceptance served to show
those present that the gift was valued not alone for its
intrinsic worth but for the sentiment which it expressed.
At the evening celebration
fifty-two of the immediate relatives of the family
gathered at the home, some of whom had never seen each
other before, and it was also a matter of comment that
this was about the largest assembly of relatives of which
any one family in this community could boast. Light
refreshments were served, and the evening was spent in
visiting, with several musical numbers by some of the
In attendance at the golden
wedding were a niece and nephew of the bride and groom.
Mrs. Martin Nelson and O. E. Jackson, who were present
also at the wedding fifty years ago. Mrs. T. B. Ratliff,
who had the pleasure of meeting the bride and groom at the
church immediately after their marriage, was also present
at the celebration on Saturday.
On Sunday a family reunion was
held, all of the children and grand-children of Mr. and
Mrs. Stevens being present. The out of town guests present
at the golden wedding celebration were W. D. Stevens and
family of Webster City, and Mr. and Mrs. George Jackson of
Villisca. Mr. Stevens had one sister living but who was
unable to be present, and Mrs. Stevens is the only
surviving member of her family.
Mr. and Mrs. Stevens are the
parents of six children, of whom there are three daughters
and three sons. Two daughters, Ida and Lillie, are
deceased. Those surviving are W. D., of Webster City, Inda
and Harry of Red Oak, and Mrs. Della Koons of Clarinda.
There are eleven grand-children.
Erial Stevens was born in Youngstown, Niagara county,
N.Y., March 1, 1842. At the age of 13 he went to
live with an uncle upon a farm near Milford, Ohio, and at
the age of 17 he went to work on his father's farm where
he also learned the carpenter trade. At the breaking
out of the Civil war he answered the first call for
volunteers and enlisted in Co. C, 32nd Ohio infantry. His
regiment was sent to the eastern field of war where it
took part in the early Virginia battles, was captured at
Harper's Ferry, paroled and sent to Camp Douglas, Ohio.
Mr. Stevens took part in many of the principal battles of
the war, was with Sherman on the march to the sea, and was
discharged at Louisville, Ky., July 20, 1865. He
served exactly four years, and during that time was never
sick or wounded seriously enough to miss a roll call.
On Sept. 9, 1866, he was married to Miss Rosanna L.
Hawkins, and in 1868 he moved to Deleware (sic), Ohio.
From there he and his wife and his wife's brother, Geo. E.
Hawkins, drove overland to Red Oak, arriving here Nov. 5,
1868, and bringing with them from Sciola the returns of
President Grant's first election. Mr. Stevens
purchased two lots and a residence where the Thomas
Transfer Co., barn now stands, and here his family resided
until he purchased a farm four miles south of Red Oak in
1871. In 1886 Mr. Stevens brought his family to Red
Oak again and he entered the livery business on Reed
street with Ed Davis. He has also been in the oil
business, restaurant business, was night watchman for
several years, mail carrier for ten years and operated a
light delivery wagon until last spring when he retired to
obtain the much deserved rest which his many years of very
active life entitled him to. Mr. Stevens is the only
living charter member of the Christian church, and one of
the three persons who signed the papers for the purchase
of the ground upon which the first Christian church in Red
Oak was built at the corner of Hammond and Fifth streets.
Mrs. Stevens, whose maiden name was Rosannah L. Hawkins,
was born May 2, 1845, in Knox county, Ohio, and two years
after her marriage accompanied her husband on their long
trip by wagon to Red Oak. The events of her life
have been closely linked with those of her husband,
sharing as only a true and loving wife can the many joys
and blessings which have come to them. Her
ministering has been not alone to her family, for there
are many others into whose life she has brought sunshine
and gladness who will ever retain loving memories of her.
She was a leading worker in the church until the duties of
home and the infirmities of age prevented her from taking
an active part. And although she has lived her three
score and ten years her many friends unite in the wish
that she with her husband may remain among us to enjoy yet
many more happy years.
~submitted by Sara Stevens Patton