Family Stories

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Vaughan’s Golden Wedding

The Hopkinsville Kentuckian, Todd County, Kentucky

Tuesday, January 29, 1889

Golden Wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Vaughan Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their Marriage, at Fairview

Mr. Editor: – It is delightful to go to a wedding, more delightful to go to two weddings and most delightful to go to a double-wedding, but, when you get a gilt-edged ticket to a golden wedding, then all of our social and moral energies begin to stir within us, and we feel, as it were, our youthful life-blood flow with livelier throb, as fancy pictures the social enjoyments in store for us.  So, on the morning of the 24th we donned our best habiliments, shined our gaiters to a glistening ebu-hue, gave our iron-gray locks an extra brush, climbed into a close hack, with Rev. H. F. Perry and Ross Rogers, behind two spanking greys, turned our course eastward, till after a ten-mile run, we reached that pleasant village in the valley, where we spent over forty years of our young life, amid scenes and associations that were always pleasant, there to meet more than 100 guests, who met at the residence of Mr. Richard Vaughan, to enjoy the privileges and honors of his golden wedding and for the interchange of good wishes and congratulations on this rare occasion of good cheer.  After twilight had deepened into darkness, Mr. Vaughan, with his wife leaning upon his arm, as she did just 50 years ago, entered the parlor, followed by their children and grandchildren, when Rev. H. F. Perry addressed them in a few well chosen words, expressive of the feelings and thoughts that would naturally demand utterance in such a scene as that, referring, in pathetic tenderness to the happy time when they began life’s journey together in their vine-clad cottage, with high resolves and noble purposes, to win their way along the embowered avenues then opening out before them.  Then, with his hands resting upon each of their heads, he invoked the benediction of heaven to rest upon them and theirs all along their future pathway.

Then their son, R. F. Vaughan, in presenting his father with a very fine gold-headed, ebony cane and his mother with a gold-handled, silk umbrella, made the following very tender and touching heart-felt speech.  ‘My Dear Father and Mother:  It is a custom with the American people, to celebrate the day on which certain events have taken place and today, we, your children and grandchildren, with your friends, have met with you, at your earnest solicitation, to take part in celebrating this the fiftieth anniversary of your marriage.  Today, fifty years ago, you stood before the altar, in all the vigor of manhood and womanhood and there pledged your faith and fidelity to each other, through the remainder of life.  And, through the goodness of Him who rules all things, your married life has been a long and happy one, and today you are permitted to celebrate this, your golden wedding, though not as young as you were then, for your locks are already silvered o’er by the frosts of many winters, which will remind you that you are nearing the end of your journey here below.  It will be but a few more brief years at most, when God, in his goodness, will call you to come up higher, and take part in celebrating the marriage feast of the Bride and the Lamb.  In celebrating this your golden wedding, allow me, as your oldest living child, to present this cane, in token of my appreciation of your parental regard; may it supplant my efforts to support you in your advancing years and declining strength, as your strong and fatherly arm supported me in childhood and youth, even up to manhood.  Accept it, father, as but the faintest expression of filial regard that has and ever shall hold me in loyal subjection to every command that your parental solicitude so justly merits at my hand, and to you, mother, I present this parasol, as an offering of love from my wife.  Accept of it, and may it be a reminder to you, of this your golden wedding, and may it recall to your memory the happy events of this evening and that of 50 years ago.  May its folds serve to protect you from the searching rays of the sun in our old age, as you pursue your onward journey through life, is the wish of your affectionate son.

This scribe then read an original poem, written for the occasion, when the guests repaired to the large dining room, and partook of one of the finest and best golden wedding suppers that was ever spread in that part of the moral vineyard.

The rich viands and golden delicacies were amply discussed and greatly enjoyed amid the joyous clatter of merry-making.

Richard Vaughan was born January 15, 1819.  His wife was born August 30, 1822.  They both professed religion at a camp meeting at the Cave Spring one mile south of Fairview on the same night, some time in 1838.  He is the oldest member of the Methodist Church at Fairview, and the oldest affiliating mason, and one of the charter members of that lodge, and also a charter member of the Odd Fellow’s Lodge, once organized there.

He has always been a leading citizen in every enterprise that was for the good of the people.

Their love attachments were formed in their youthful school days.

They were married by Esquire William Morrow, the father of Col. T. J. Morrow.

No dowry was settled upon them in their early life, but the good will and confidence of all who knew them.

And, by united effort, combined with industry and economy their lives were crowned with more than ordinary success.

They laid hold with a will and shirked none of the responsibilities that of right belong to every country householder.  Universally respected for their many social and moral virtues and for their characteristic, large-hearted kindness of disposition, they are also widely noted for generous hospitality and unstinted benevolence.  Such a character wins universal esteem.  The whole community seemed to thrill with a gladsome outgush of feeling, in celebrating this half century reunion.

Around that happy home altar was a sacred scene of touching tenderness, when their children and friends grouped around them, while nearly everyone seemed to smile through their falling tears like sunrays of light glinting through the drifting rain clouds.

Two of their four children yet live to bless their declining years.

R. F. Vaughan, living on the old homestead, and Mrs. Belle Perry of Hopkinsville. Their other two sons – William and John – have long since ‘crossed over the river to rest under the shade of the Trees,’ and are now watching and waiting for them.

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