"A Golden Wedding; Mr. and Mrs. Elder Married 50 Years"

Monday afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Henry Harrison Elder celebrated their Golden Wedding in Centralia with a big reception and re-marriage at the Field-Lease hall, at which many of their friends and relatives were present. The afternoon was very pleasantly spent by all those in attendance. Preceding the marriage ceremony there was a short and very enjoyable programme. Mrs. Poncin, of Seattle, rendered a piano solo, after which Rev. Pearson gave the Invocation. Miss Clara Bachtell rendered one of her charming recitations, entitled, "Bachelors," which nearly brought the house down. Miss Naomi Platt sang a beautiful solo and Miss Donna Gifford and Miss Fanny Calderwood each gave an interesting recitation, after which Mrs. Poncia rendered another selection on the piano. The minister, Rev. Pearson, then gave a short sketch of the life of the bride and groom, whom he was about to re-marry after fifty years of very happy and prosperous wedded life. The sketch was substantially as follows:

Henry Harrison Elder was born in Indiana, October 3rd, 1833, and is the third in a family of eleven children. His father moved to Iowa in the spring of 1849, where he settled on a farm and raised his sons to follow agricultural pursuits. In 1864 Mr. H. H. Elder crossed the plains to the gold fields of Siskiyou county, Cal., where he had reasonable success in obtaining the yellow metal. Returning to Iowa he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Elizabeth Collins, daughter of Dr. Thomas Collins, of Oskaloosa, Iowa, who was also a former resident of Indiana. After his marriage Mr. Elder established his residence in Marion county, Iowa, where he lived a number of years following his chosen vocation, tilling the soil. Five children were born to them in that county. In the year 1869 he removed to the seemingly ----- state of Kansas, where he lived for about twenty years, engaging quite extensively in farming and stock raising and experiencing all the reverses and successes incident to that new and fast developing common wealth. Three more children were born into the family, which now consisted of four sons and four daughters.

Mr. Elder made arrangements for educating and preparing them for usefulness in the world, sending some of them to the states of Iowa and Michigan for a higher education. After the liberal and noble institution, the Kansas State Normal, was established at Emporia, some of the family were sent there, where they completed the teacher's course. Five of them chose that vocation in life and have all since been successful teachers. Being convinced that the mild climate of Washington and the Pacific coast was conducive to longevity, Mr. Elder in 1894 moved his family to Lewis county and the Chehalis valley, and settled on a fertile little ranch in the Salzer valley, a branch of the Chehalis valley. since that time they have also resided for a short time in northern and central California, but have at last decided to spend as much of their remaining life in Washington as possible. They have always enjoyed the best of health. Al of their eight children are living and have became useful men and women. Mr. and Mrs. Elder are further blessed with thirty grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, the youngest, the little son of De Witt Elder, who recently came west, was present and took quite a prominent part.

After reading the life sketch, Rev. Pearson again tied the knot, which was tied so tightly fifty years ago and which neither has had any inclination to break since it was first tied. General congratulations were in order and the beautiful and useful presents were placed on exhibition.

Last, but not least, was the feast that was served in the dining hall where all kinds of good things were served by Mrs. Homer Dorland, Mrs. S. T. Bissell and Miss Anna Elder, all children of the happy old couple. The feast was a merry one and one long to be remembered by al who attended.

But three of the children were present, the others being too far away to get home for the second great event in the life of their parents.

Since their residence in this county Mr. and Mrs. Elder have made many friends by their simple mode of living and good will toward all. Needless to say, the Golden Wedding was almost as happy as the first one on that far away December day half a century ago, and the groom's "I will" was just as strong, while the bride of fifty years ago could not have answered more firmly than did the bride after fifty years.

The out of town guests were: Miss Anna Elder, of Hornebrooke, Cal.; Mrs. S. T. Bissell, Ashland, Ore.; Mrs. Kat Babcock, of Salem, Ore.; Mrs. Homer Dorland, of Yreka, Cal.; Mrs. Dorland, Miss Alberta Dorland and Clarence Dorland, of Toledo.

Source: The Centralia News-Examiner, 4 Jan 1907, page 1.

Transcribed by Diana Smith. She has no further information on this individual.