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JIM: An all day wedding at the Rexroats, Font Hill, Russell Co., KY

An all day wedding anniversary celebration, birthday party, double-barreled preaching, and dinner on the table, Russell County style, 1912


(Based on an account in the April 17, 1912 Adair County News)

On April 10, 1912, an all-day wedding anniversary celebration, birthday party, and a double-barreled preaching rolled into one big bash drew a large crowd to the John W. and Ann Mariah Rexroat residence near the Russell County community of Font Hill, that couple having been married 50 years earlier on Mrs. Rexroat's 18th birthday.

All eight of their living children, 33 grandkids, nine great-grandchildren and about 100 friends, neighbors, and shirt-tail cousins gathered for the occasion. Marcellus Wilson, one of their grandsons, reported that

About eight o'clock a.m. children and friends began to arrive, some in road wagons, some in buggies, some on horse back and some walking, all bringing baskets filled with as good food as old Kaintuck affords, together with many nice presents.

By 10:30 that Wednesday morning a century ago, a large crowd had assembled and the religious service began with singing, led by Bro. T.H. Coffey of Fairplay. After "reading the 9th chapter of the Psalm of David" and an praying an inclusive prayer, Rev. M.T. Grim delivered a stemwinder of a sermon, "using for his text the 42nd verse of the 10th chapter of Luke." Immediately afterwards, Mr. & Mrs. Rexroat were presented with their gifts "of gold, some silver, together with many other nice presents," including $16.40 in coin of the realm.

The multitude then set to upon the bountiful feast -- "the table was there arranged about 75 feet long and its capacity of the most inviting and delicious food that could be had in old Russell County."

After dinner, a second service was conducted. Bro. Coffey made a good talk, there was singing, Rev. J.M. Williams presented a scripture lesson from 1st Corinthians, and after a heartfelt prayer by Bro. Coffey, Rev. Williams spoke at length from Matthew 1:20. "His subject was beautifully delivered, dwelling principally on marriage, and was enjoyed by all."

Voices were lifted in a final song, the family and friends gave the old couple "the parting hand in token of their love and friendship," and the joyous day, one that "everybody enjoyed fine, especially the old folks," came to an end. Wrote their grandson Marcellus of the celebrants, "They were over joyed all day long because of all their children being with them, and living to see them all profess a hope in Christ."

(On April 10, 1862, Rev. Alexander Wilson a minister of the Baptist persuasion, solemnized the marriage vows for Mr. John William Rexroat and Miss Ann Mariah Gosser, who thereupon set sail on the uncharted waters of matrimony. Mr. Rexroat crossed the River Jordan in March, 1917, three weeks before their 55th anniversary. His beloved Ann Mariah passed beyond this plane in the spring of 1925 to join him for all eternity.)

Compiled by JIM

This story was posted on 2012-04-21 10:31:52
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