Mr. Randolph Watkins and Miss Matilda Catherine
Kerrihard 56th Wedding Anniversary
CELEBRATE FIFTIETY-SIXTH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Red Oak Couple Wed Fifty-six Years
RED OAK, Ia,
Jan 1. -- Fifty-six years
ago Christmas eve, under the first public Christmas tree
in Red Oak accompanied with a wedding march on the first
piano ever brought into this city, Mr. and Mrs. Randolph
Watkins were married, (by) Rev. Andrews in the first
Methodist church built in this city and now used as an
In honor of the occasion, the symbol of the Yuletide
season--the Christmas tree--was the principal feature of
the decorations in the Watkins home where their children
and many relatives gathered to celebrate the event, the
entire party attending the Christmas exercises at the
Methodist church Christmas eve beside in recollection of
the past event when the best gift on the old fashioned
Christmas tree comprising a hickory tree with trunk and
limbs wrapped in cotton and the decorations composed of
pop corn string and muslin strips soaked in alum which
when dry produced the glistening stincel effect on which
was placed the marriage certificate which launched a happy
companionship that has continued down through the years.
The first piano ever brought to Red Oak was in the old
church and Mr. and Mrs. Watkins recall that for a short
time it was feared that this wonderful instrument could
not be used for the occasion as there was no one in the
city that could play a piano. However, Mrs. DeLay happened
to be spending the Christmas holiday in Red Oak and she
was able to play and consented to do so for the event,
thus eliminating the only possible marr (sic) to the
Mrs. Watkins has resided in this community for the past
sixty-three years as a continuous resident. Her maiden
name was Matilda Catherine Kerrihard. She was born in
Bloomsburg, Marion County, Pa., August 17, 1849. With her
parents she came to Red Oak from Davenport in 1861.
Mr. Watkins was born in Vernon, Ohio, December 8, 1844,
and came to this city in an early day from Monmouth, Ill.
He is unable to give the exact date but it was a short
time after his wife came here with her parents.
They were the parents of three children, one having
died. Two daughters, who were at home in honor of the
event were Mrs. W. M. Lloyd, of Ogden, Utah, and Mrs.
Harry E. Stevens, of Red Oak. They are the grandparents of
eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Mrs.
Lloyd and great granddaughter, Joyce Hall, of Ogden, and
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Stevens and family were among the
relatives present at the festivities which commemorated
Mrs. Watkins celebrated her 75th birthday in August and
Mr. Watkins was 80 years of age December 8, but despite
their advanced years they are hale and hearty and enjoy
the blessings that come to those in happy wedlock in their
fine home at 611 Second street in Red Oak.
Red Oak Express, Red Oak, Iowa. Friday, January 1,
1925, Special to The Nonpareil
~submitted by Sara Stevens Patton