Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Some Summer Fun

You know the summertime routine: Dads, Grads, and maybe a few weddings in June, lots of fireworks and barbecues in July, followed by vacations through whatever point in August signals your hometown’s return to school and sanity at the end of the season.

Right in the middle of summer heat is not the time anyone would expect to catch the flu. However, just before leaving on another research trip, that is indeed what I managed to do. Having a rather bland outlook on productive work of any kind for the last several days, I thought maybe today might be an opportune time to pull out a little fanciful item I found among the papers of Agnes Tully Stevens.

The card, folded in half, is roughly the size of an index card. On its cover it bears the title, “The Wedding of Rose Flower.”

Thinking at first glance that this might be a memento from Agnes’ son’s wedding to an Ohio Flowers family, I took a look inside to discover the questions I’ve reprinted below—obviously a diversion for a young ladies’ event: a bridal shower.

The back cover showed only the printer’s credit:

Dunwell & Ford – Stationery – Chicago

Checking online for any historical reference for that particular enterprise, I found numerous auction web sites mentioning a 1904 pocket calendar produced by this company, as well as an entry in a directory of printers from 1918. However, the time frame extends well before those dates, as I discovered with this entry for a Mr. Ford from the 1905 edition of Who’s Who in Chicago:
FORD, George Wilson, stationer; b. Oswego, N. Y., May 31, 1851; s. Asa R. and Mary A. (Nickles) Ford; ed. public schools of Oswego, N. Y.; m. Chicago, 1879, Minnie M. Cherry; 1 daughter: Mary Cherry. Began in stationery and engraving business in Oswego, N. Y., 1867-9; came to Chicago; since 1876 partner in firm of Dunwell & Ford.
Since 1876? That broadens the horizons considerably. This little pamphlet is more likely the keepsake not from the festivities of the Stevens-Flowers wedding—or any of the in-laws thereof—but of Agnes’ own wedding, a little over one hundred years ago, to William Stevens.

1.         To what nationality and type did the bride belong?
            American Beauty

2.         What was the disposition and name of her husband?
            Sweet William

3.         What was his object in marrying her?

4.         How did he propose?

5.         To whom did she refer him when he asked for her hand?

6.         What time was the wedding?
            Four O’clock

7.         Who performed the marriage ceremony?
            Jack in the Pulpit

8.         What did the organist play before the wedding march?

9.         How many came to the wedding?

10.       What were the names of her two bridesmaids?
            Pansy + Violet

11.       What was the color of their gowns?

12.       What flowers did they carry?

13.       Who was the maid of honor?

14.       What color did the little flower girl wear and what was her name?
            Blue Bell

15.       What did the bride wear in her hair?
            Orange Blossoms

16.       What flower did she carry?
            Lily of the Valley

17.       What did the groom wear the night before his wedding for 
            the last time?
            Bachelor Button

18.       How was the house decorated?
            With Flags + Palms

19.       What did they throw after the carriage?
            Ladies Slipper

20.       Where did they go on their wedding journey?

21.       What was the condition of the mother at the close of the 
            Bleeding Heart

22.       What were the groom’s parting words at their first separation?
            Forget me not

23.       How did she feel when he returned?

24.       What was the manner of her greeting?

25.       What favorite bon bon did he bring her?
            Butter cup

26.       How did the bride rule her husband?
            Golden Rod


  1. Someone both knew the names of a lot of flowers as well as some really bad puns!!

    I hope you are feeling better.

    1. I'll agree with you there, Iggy...they are pretty pathetic puns. And thank you! I am feeling better.


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