Here’s a clipping about my great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration (William Earl Woodruff & Wealthy Ann Angus), which took place on Saturday, 17 June 1922, at their home in Hillside, Union Co., NJ. The clipping, saved by my grandmother, is from the June 19, 1922, issue of the Elizabeth Daily Journal.
The accompanying photograph, one of our family history treasures, brings to life the article’s description of my great-grandmother’s outfit and all the various flowers on display. Lots of roses, of course!
Such articles usually offer new little clues and facts, and this one does not disappoint. For example, the Who’s Who of who was present, the name of the minister who married them, and the celebratory trip to Niagara Falls were news to me. According to the article, they left for the Falls the next day, Sunday, 18 June. Since their actual anniversary was June 20, Tuesday, they marked the date there.
I visited Niagara Falls for the first time about 10 years ago, but had no idea that this connection with the Falls existed in my family tree. I suppose if I’d known about it at the time, it would have impacted my experience in some small way. I definitely would have paid attention to historical images from that period.
William and Wealthy made the trip at ages 73 and 71, respectively. It must have been a tremendously exciting and memorable moment for them, one that they could look back on happily during their remaining five years together.
Wealthy passed away on 27 May 1927. My dad, who was six at the time, distinctly remembered the emotional tumult the family experienced upon losing Wealthy and the sadness that accompanied William’s passing the following year (18 October 1928). My dad’s parents, who lived in neighboring Elizabeth, took in William and Wealthy’s dog, but the dog kept running away back to the house in Hillside, and eventually got hit my a car. My dad was heartbroken; as he described it, the last link with his Woodruff grandparents was gone.
(Sorry to end the post on such a down note, but I think all these pieces help convey how beloved William and Wealthy were to their children and grandchildren.)